Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate factors related to caregiving appraisal for family caregivers of older stroke patients in Korea. Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey of a sample of 242 family caregivers (95.7% response rate) was conducted in Korea from 1 January 2005 to 4 January 2007. Data were collected from outpatient stroke centres at three hospitals and two home health agencies located in Seoul, the capital city of Korea, its suburban area of Kyunggi-do, and the rural areas Gyeongsangbuk-do and Chungcheongbuk-do. The questionnaire was self-administered. spss 13.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used to perform frequency, percentage, mean standard deviation, t-test or analysis of variance, and Pearson's correlation calculations. Results: Caregiving appraisal was statistically different based on the caregiver's location of residency and the relationship between the caregiver and the recipient. The caregivers who resided in urban areas reported higher scores of caregiving appraisal compared with those who resided in rural areas. With regard to the caregiver-recipient relationship, spouses reported the highest caregiving distress status, followed by daughters-in-law, sons and, finally, daughters. In addition, caregiving distress significantly correlated with age (r = 0.151, P = 0.022), the number of caregiving hours per week (r = 0.198, P = 0.003) and filial obligations (r = 0.336, P = 0.000). Discussion: The study results helped to better understand the caregiving process of Korean family caregivers. The data emphasized the importance of examining the expression of cultural roles and individual values on the caregivers' quality of life in diverse cultures. The knowledge gained from this study will be utilized to develop culture-specific interventions and social policies to directly support Korean family caregivers and to indirectly support stroke patients.
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