Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Caregiving intensity and change in physical functioning over a 2-year period: results of the caregiver-study of osteoporotic fractures.

Fredman L, Doros G, Ensrud KE, Hochberg MC, Cauley JA. Caregiving intensity and change in physical functioning over a 2-year period: results of the caregiver-study of osteoporotic fractures. American journal of epidemiology. 2009 Jul 15; 170(2):203-10.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


It is unknown whether caregivers who perform more caregiving tasks have a greater decline in health from higher stress or less decline because of better health, staying active, or psychological factors. This 1999-2004 US study examined caregiving intensity and 2-year change in performance-based functioning among 901 elderly women from the Caregiver-Study of Osteoporotic Fractures sample. Caregivers were categorized as high (n = 167) or low (n = 166) intensity based on how many activities of daily living they performed for the care recipient. Caregiving intensity status and physical performance score (sum of quartiles of walking pace, grip strength, and chair-stand speed; range, 0-9) were assessed at baseline and at 2 annual follow-up interviews. At baseline, high-intensity caregivers reported the most stress but had the best physical functioning; noncaregivers (n = 568) had the poorest physical functioning (adjusted scores = 5.09 vs. 4.54, P = 0.03). Low-intensity caregivers declined more than noncaregivers over 2 years, but high-intensity caregivers did not (adjusted difference = -0.33, P = 0.07 vs. 0.03, P = 0.89). Among respondents with the same caregiving status at baseline and 1-year interviews, high-intensity caregivers maintained the highest physical performance throughout follow-up. Higher levels of physical performance persisted over 2 years among high-intensity caregivers, which did not support the traditional stress hypothesis.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.