WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Isa Usman Lawal

Last modified: 2012-02-07



Data on specific caregiver-related problems of stroke survivors’ caregivers and factors influencing the burden of caregiving are still scanty especially in the developing countries. The study evaluated the extent of burden and the role of caregiver and stroke survivor socio-demographic characteristics on burden placed on caregivers. A multicenter based study was conducted to assess burden of caregiving in 194 stroke survivors’ caregivers alongside the characteristic of 194 stroke survivors they render care for. Zarit Burden Interview was used to assess the psychological burden of stroke on caregivers. Functional Independence Measurement was used to evaluate stroke survivor’s severity of symptoms. Association between psychological burden and both caregiver and stroke survivors related characteristics was analyzed using spearman rank order correlation coefficient at a significant level of 0.05. Majority of the caregivers that participated in the study were found to be quite frequently burdened (64.4%). Correlation between duration of caregiving and level of perceived burden was found to be positive and statistically significant (r=0.241, p<0.001). Poorer post-stroke functional independence was also found to correlate significantly with higher level of caregiver perceived psychological burden (r=-0.208, p<0.004). Based on the present investigation, it was concluded that caring for stroke survivors is associated with psychological burden and that stroke survivors’ severity of symptoms and duration of caregiving are the most important factors associated with level of perceived burden. It is therefore important to consider caregivers psychological wellbeing in order to optimize caring for stroke survivors undergoing rehabilitation. It is therefore, recommended that future studies should investigate the effect of caregiver psychological burden on outcome of rehabilitation in stroke survivors.

Ethical consideration: Study approval was given by the ethics committees of Aminu Kano Teaching, Hospital and Kano State Hospitals Management Board.

Key words: Psychological burden, stroke survivors, rehabilitation.

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