Caregiver Burden in Gastroparesis and GERD: Correlation with Disease Severity, Healthcare Utilization and Work Productivity

  • Asad JehangirEmail author
  • Alexis Collier
  • Mohammed Shakhatreh
  • Zubair Malik
  • Henry P. Parkman
Original Article



Caregiver burden can be significant in chronic gastrointestinal diseases. No studies have been performed to evaluate caregiver burden in gastroparesis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).


(1) Assess the caregiver burden in gastroparesis and GERD patients and healthy volunteers (HVs); (2) correlate the caregiver burden of these patients to the severity of patients’ symptoms, healthcare utilization, and work productivity of the patients and the caregivers.


Patients with gastroparesis and GERD, seen between June 2018 and November 2018, completed Patient Assessment of Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) and healthcare utilization questionnaires. The caregivers of these patients completed Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and WPAI questionnaire. HVs and their potential caregivers also completed these questionnaires.


Forty-seven patients (gastroparesis = 31, GERD = 17), 12 HVs, and their caregivers completed questionnaires. Caregivers of gastroparesis patients reported high burden on ZBI (27.7 ± 2.9), greater than the caregivers of GERD (14.9 ± 2.5) and HVs (5.5 ± 1.6, p < 0.01). Among all patients, the caregiver burden had a strong correlation with patients’ Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) total score (rs = 0.63, p < 0.01) and moderate correlations with the number of patients’ physician office visits (rs = 0.46, p < 0.01) and the number of work hours missed by caregivers due to patients’ symptoms (rs = 0.36, p = 0.04). Using multivariable regression, both presence of gastroparesis and other comorbidities significantly predicted caregiver burden, F(2, 33) = 15.94, p < 0.0001, R2 = 0.491.


Caregivers of gastroparesis patients have high caregiver burden that strongly correlates with patients’ GCSI total score. Interventions to reduce symptom severity of Gp patients may reduce the caregiver burden.


Gastroparesis GERD Caregiver Burden 



We would like to thank Rashmi Dhittal, MD, for performing statistical review of the study.

Author’s contribution

Asad Jehangir helped in the study planning, data collection and analysis, literature review, and writing the manuscript. Alexis Collier helped in patient recruitment and data collection. Mohammed Shakhatreh helped in the study planning, literature review, data collection, and writing the manuscript. Zubair Malik helped in the study planning, literature review, and writing the manuscript. Henry P. Parkman planned and supervised the study, evaluated patients included in the study, and did literature review and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All the authors approve the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Gastroenterology, Department of MedicineTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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