The Dutch objective burden inventory: validity and reliability in a Canadian population of caregivers for people with heart failure

Anthony Makdessi, Karen Harkness, Marie Louise Luttik, Robert S McKelvie

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Evidence suggests that caregivers of people with heart failure (HF) often experience caregiver burden and emotional distress. However, these studies measured the caregiving experience using generic tools since a disease-specific tool was not available. Recently, the Dutch Objective Burden Inventory (DOBI) was developed as a disease-specific tool measuring objective caregiver burden in a Dutch HF population of caregivers. Using a cross-sectional design, caregivers of HF patients attending an outpatient HF clinic completed the DOBI, the Hosptial Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Caregiver Reaction Assessment (CRA). Caregivers (n=47) were mainly female (72%) and spouses (72%) of the HF patients with a mean age of 63.1 (±10.4) years. Patients were older (mean age 72.7; ±10.6), 64% male and had advanced HF. Feasibility for the objective portion of the DOBI was excellent with <10% missing values. The subjective component of the DOBI was incomplete and could not be used in the analyses. Seven items had minimal variability. Significant relationships emerged between the DOBI, CRA and HADS revealing construct validity for all subscales of the DOBI. Cronbach's alpha was >.80 for all DOBI subscales. The DOBI is the only disease-specific tool that measures burden for caregivers of HF patients. The objective portion of the DOBI showed evidence of adequate internal consistency and construct validity in a Canadian population of caregivers of HF patients attending a HF Clinic. Further testing is needed to determine floor and ceiling effects for DOBI items and responsiveness of this tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-240
JournalEuropean journal of cardiovascular nursing : journal of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the European Society of Cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • caregivers
  • heart failure
  • middle aged
  • netherlands
  • psychometrics

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