Assessment of Caregiver Burden in Families of Persons With Multiple Sclerosis

Marijean Buhse, PhD RN NP-C


J Neurosci Nurs. 2008;40(1):25-31. 

In This Article


MS is a highly unpredictable disease that causes uncertainty in the caregiver and partner (O'Brien, Wineman, & Nelson, 1995). The unpredictable nature of the disease, the "invisible" symptoms, and the physical and cognitive disability all increase caregiver burden. Nurses are in a unique position to assist caregivers to share their feelings, foster realistic perceptions, and promote adjustment to the changing disease, thus reducing burden. Assessing the caregiver for burden will help nurses to better understand the needs and capacities of the family, enable family members to remain in their caregiving role longer, and ensure optimal outcomes for the patient.


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