Lynette Olson

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


Family caregivers are a valuable health resource whose role is critical to meeting the health needs of older persons. The profound physical, psychological, social, and financial changes brought about by chronic illness or impairment can lead to caregiver burden levels which can adversely affect the entire family, sometimes to the point that the members are unable to continue to provide the care. Abusive behavior by family members towards their elderly relatives may be attributed partially to the pressures of providing care (Kosberg & Cairl, 1986). Identifying types of caregiver burden can facilitate the development of interventions to reduce the caregiver's burden, allowing them to cope in effective ways, thus making caregiving a more positive experience for both patient and caregiver (Zarit, 1989). Rural caregivers are a special population that have received little attention in the literature. This descriptive study addresses the various types of burden experienced by rural caregivers living in a rural Midwestern area.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Caregivers -- Middle West -- Psychology

Caregivers -- Middle West -- Physiology



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University