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Engler P, Anderson B, Herman D, Bishop D, Miller I, Pirraglia P, Hayaki J, Stein M. Coping and burden among informal HIV caregivers. Psychosomatic medicine. 2006 Nov 1; 68(6):985-92.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the role of coping on caregiver burden among a heterogeneous group of caregivers of persons living with HIV during the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. METHODS: Burden and coping were examined among 176 caregivers of persons living with HIV. Three styles of coping were examined using a 7-item scale: active-approach (task), blame-withdrawal (emotion), and distancing (avoidance). RESULTS: A total of 58.8% of the caregivers were women. They had a mean age of 42 years; 61.9% cohabited with the persons living with HIV who had a mean CD4 count of 401. All three styles of coping were significantly positively correlated with caregiver burden. After controlling for demographic variables and caregiver depression, active-approach coping and distancing coping independently moderated the relationship between perceived severity of HIV-related symptoms (stress) and caregiver burden; however, some caregivers experienced burden even at low levels of stress. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, coping mitigates the effect of stress on burden.