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

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Informal Caregivers’ Burden and Quality of life (QOL) of Caregivers of stroke survivors
Michael Opeoluwa Ogunlana, Samuel O Oyewo, morenike oluwafunmilayo ogunsan

Last modified: 2013-06-10



Stroke rehabilitation has concentrated on patient focused intervention which has reduced the level of disabilities and has increased the number of stroke patients being managed at home by caregivers. Researches has shown that caring for a stroke patient especially those with disabling condition places an undue strain on the caregivers and this sometimes reduces their quality of life. This study was aimed at determining the level of strain experienced by the caregivers of stroke patients and also to determine the quality of life of caregivers of stroke patients managed at the physiotherapy department of two tertiary health institutions in south-western Nigeria.


This study was designed as descriptive cross-sectional documenting QOL and care-giving burden in informal caregivers of stroke survivors seen the physiotherapy outpatient clinic of the Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta and the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital. One hundred and thirty Informal caregivers of stroke survivors seen at these clinics during the period of this study (three and the half years) who met the inclusion criteria were invited to participate in this study. Subjects were asked to complete the Personal Wellbeing index for QOL measurement and caregivers strain index for measurement of caregivers burden (CBS). Socio-demographic and stroke related information where also obtained using a specially designed proforma. Descriptive statistics were used in summarizing the demographic data and stroke related histories of the stroke survivors and their informal caregivers. Inferential statistics were used to investigate the association between the socio-demographic and stroke related variables on the QOL of the respondents.


Stroke patients had a mean age of 60.4±10.9 years, and 75 (57.8%) were female. The mean age of caregivers was 41.1±13.95 years, 74 (56.9%) were males. The mean strain index for the caregivers of stroke survivors was 14.6±6.65 and their mean QOL score was 62.4±17.07. The mean Barthel index score for the stroke survivors was 62.5±27.4 and 56 (43.1%) of the stroke survivors had a modified Rankin score of 3 indicating moderately severe disability. Care givers burden was inversely correlated to their quality of life (p<0.001). Caregivers socio-demographic characteristics like gender, age, and social class significantly affected their quality of life and strain index p<0.005. Stroke survivors’ functional status as recorded by Modified Rankin Score and Barthel index significantly influenced the caregivers’ QOL and strain index.



Caregivers of stroke survivors experience reduction in QOL and increases in care giving burden. Targeted interventions to alleviate the burden on caregivers and improve their QOL should be focus on both caregivers strain factors and stroke survivors’ functional status. 

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