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The University of Washington Center on Outcomes Research in Rehabilitation, Department of Rehabilitation, has recently published Version 2 of the UW Caregiver Stress Scale (UW-CSS).

It is common for people who are caregivers to experience feelings of stress or burden sometimes, and the UW-CSS is a way to try to measure those feelings and to compare them to what other caregivers experience. A high score on the scale suggests that clinicians should speak with their patients about their particular concerns or level of stress related to their caregiving burdens. If the patient appears particularly distressed, the clinician should consider referring them to a professional who can help them better cope with the burdens of caregiving or provide them resources for support.

The UW-CSS is an item response, theory based instrument intended for measuring caregiver stress in adults taking care of children under 18 years old. The scale is a publicly available, psychometrically sound item bank for measuring caregiver stress that can be administered by computerized adaptive testing or short forms (on paper or computer). There are also validated formal translations available in Spanish, German, French and Italian.

The measurement scale is designed by Dagmar Amtmann, PhD, research associate professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. This is just one of several self-reported outcome measures that the University of Washington Center on Outcomes Research in Rehabilitation has developed. These resources are freely available and accessible on their website for use in research, clinical trials and clinical practices.


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