Caregiver Burden in Gastroparesis and GERD: Correlation with Disease Severity, Healthcare Utilization and Work Productivity.


Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, 3401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Caregiver burden can be significant in chronic gastrointestinal diseases. No studies have been performed to evaluate caregiver burden in gastroparesis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
OBJECTIVE : (1) Assess the caregiver burden in gastroparesis and GERD patients and healthy volunteers (HVs); (2) correlate the caregiver burden of these patients to the severity of patients' symptoms, healthcare utilization, and work productivity of the patients and the caregivers.
METHODS : Patients with gastroparesis and GERD, seen between June 2018 and November 2018, completed Patient Assessment of Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) and healthcare utilization questionnaires. The caregivers of these patients completed Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and WPAI questionnaire. HVs and their potential caregivers also completed these questionnaires.
RESULTS : Forty-seven patients (gastroparesis = 31, GERD = 17), 12 HVs, and their caregivers completed questionnaires. Caregivers of gastroparesis patients reported high burden on ZBI (27.7 ± 2.9), greater than the caregivers of GERD (14.9 ± 2.5) and HVs (5.5 ± 1.6, p < 0.01). Among all patients, the caregiver burden had a strong correlation with patients' Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) total score (rs = 0.63, p < 0.01) and moderate correlations with the number of patients' physician office visits (rs = 0.46, p < 0.01) and the number of work hours missed by caregivers due to patients' symptoms (rs = 0.36, p = 0.04). Using multivariable regression, both presence of gastroparesis and other comorbidities significantly predicted caregiver burden, F(2, 33) = 15.94, p < 0.0001, R2 = 0.491.
CONCLUSIONS : Caregivers of gastroparesis patients have high caregiver burden that strongly correlates with patients' GCSI total score. Interventions to reduce symptom severity of Gp patients may reduce the caregiver burden.



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