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Pilot 2


Health Outcomes in Spousal Caregivers of Older Adult Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Patients

Paula Schulz, PhD, RN

Paula Schulz, PhD, RN

Principal Investigator


Coronary artery bypass surgeries (CABS) performed on older adults with shortened hospital stays have resulted in more demands being placed on caregivers after discharge.  Caregiver health is a major consideration in the ability to provide care and assist with the patient’s physical and emotional needs.  Even with patients going from acute care to intermediate or skilled care facilities for a short period of time, the demands for elderly caregivers and the impact this has on their health is still of concern. Older adult caregivers living in rural areas have additional caregiving challenges and have had limited study. The purpose of this pilot study is to examine factors that influence the health outcomes of 40 older adult (≥65 years) spousal caregivers for patients recovering from CABS.

The primary aim for this study is to describe the trajectory of change in spousal caregiver health behaviors, symptoms (anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep problems), and health outcomes (physical activity and Health Related Quality of Life).  A second aim is to explore the predictors of spousal caregiver health outcomes. Data will be collected from spousal caregivers and CABS patients at baseline (before spouses’ discharge), and 3 and 6 weeks and 3 and 6 months after the spouse’s hospital dismissal.   Pearson correlations and repeated measures analysis of variance will be used in data analysis.  The use of growth curve models will be explored to describe the range of individual changes over time.  This descriptive study is needed to explore the trajectory of caregiver responses and guide the development of nursing interventions which will assist high-risk rural caregivers to maintain positive health outcomes for themselves.


Demographic and Rural Variables Tool

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Questionnaire-Physical Activity

 Actigraph Accelerometer


Patricia Hagemen, PhD, PT        UNMC-SAHP      phagemen@unmc.edu

Karen Schumacher, PhD, RN     UNMC-CON       kschumacher@unmc.edu