Clinical research
Caregiving burden and its determinants in Polish caregivers of stroke survivors
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Submission date: 2012-07-19
Final revision date: 2012-11-02
Acceptance date: 2012-11-18
Online publication date: 2014-10-23
Publication date: 2014-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2014;10(5):941–950
Introduction: Despite the growing body of literature on the consequences of providing non-professional care to stroke survivors, the determinants of caregiving burden are still not fully recognized. Identification of significant determinants can facilitate caregiver intervention programs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of burden borne by caregivers of stroke patients and to identify the most important determinants of burden at 6 months after hospitalization.
Material and methods: Data were collected from 150 pairs of stroke patients/caregivers. Caregiver burden was assessed on the Caregiver Burden scale (CB). Several characteristics were measured as potential predictors of the burden. Special attention was paid to the caregiver’s sense of coherence (SOC) and anxiety. Regression analysis was employed to test the hypothesized relationships between these variables and the burden.
Results: Forty-seven percentage of the caregivers reported a substantial burden (severe or moderate). Caregiver SOC (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001) and the patients’ functional status (p < 0.001) were the most important predictors of the overall burden and the most consistent predictors of the majority of aspects included in the CB scale. Caregiver health, patient’s gender, time spent caregiving and social support were also factors related to the burden. The identified predictors explained 67% of the variance in the overall burden.
Conclusions: Clinicians and other professionals should focus on the coping abilities of caregivers, their emotional state and the level of patients’ dependency, as these are the vital and modifiable factors affecting caregiver burden following stroke.