The moderating effect of care-burden on formal caregiver's mental health during COVID-19

Ziv Karni-Efrati, Yuval Palgi, Lee Greenblatt-Kimron, Ehud Bodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Homecare organisations employ professionals (i.e. gerontologists, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers) to help their clients gain rights and supervise non-professional formal caregivers. Formal caregivers, and especially those who work closely with impaired older people, are at greater risk of infecting or being infected by SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19). During the first waves of COVID-19, older people were encouraged to stay home; and the care-burden inflicted on their caregivers has increased. Objectives: This study examined formal caregiver's mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, that is, the association between anxiety and depression symptoms and how care-burden moderated this association. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey conducted in the home care services sector throughout Israel. A sample of 400 formal caregivers of older people (Mage = 47.7, SD = 13.8) completed a questionnaire regarding their levels of care-burden, general anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Results: A significant positive relationship was found between anxiety and depressive symptoms among formal caregivers. The level of care-burden moderated this relationship, showing that caregivers with higher care-burden demonstrated a stronger association between anxiety and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Professionals may use ADL/IADL as a practical index to assess care-burden and the risk of mistreatment. Implications for Practice: Formal caregivers with higher care-burden should get enhanced professional's support to reduce adverse mental health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12482
JournalInternational journal of older people nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • anxiety
  • care-burden
  • depression
  • formal-caregiver
  • home care
  • mistreatment
  • prevention


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