Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Nursing (BSN)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Martha White and Dr. Amber Derksen


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and impaired physical function. Many caregivers of patients with ALS experience significant burden as a result of the physical and psychological demands of providing ongoing care for their loved ones. There is limited research exploring the predictors and factors that increase burden among caregivers of patients with ALS. A review of literature is necessary to facilitate comprehensive understanding of the factors predisposing caregivers to burden. This project synthesizes the methodology and results of current literature related to caregiver burden in ALS. The researchers utilized various standardized instruments to assess caregiver burden and the severity of illness in patients with ALS. Caregiver burden is strongly influenced by the severity of illness in patients and the caregiver’s own psychological distress due to the physical and psychological demands of providing ongoing care. Management of caregiver burden ensures optimal physical and psychological wellness among caregivers, therefore improving patient care. The researchers recommend the implementation of self-care strategies and psychosocial services to alleviate caregiver burden. It is necessary for healthcare professionals to recognize symptoms associated with caregiver burden, and thus implement strategies to alleviate physical and psychological burden (Burke et al., 2018; Caga et al., 2018; Oh et al., 2021; Schischlevskij et al., 2021; Tang et al., 2021; Thomas et al., 2018).