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

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Quality of life (QOL) and Burden of informal Caregivers of Stroke survivors in two selected hospitals in south-western Nigeria
Michael Opeoluwa Ogunlana

Last modified: 2012-02-17



Stroke rehabilitation has concentrated on patient focused intervention which has reduced the level of disabilities and has increased the number of stroke survivors being managed at home by caregivers. Researches has shown that caring for a stroke survivor 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 survivors and the quality of life of these caregivers.


This study was designed as descriptive cross-sectional documenting QOL and care-giving burden in 130 informal caregivers of stroke survivors seen the physiotherapy outpatient clinic of the Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta, Ogun state and the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital Osogbo, Osun State. Participants in this study were selected through a purposive sampling technique after meeting the inclusion criteria for participation. 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 were 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 and care-giving burden.


The mean age of caregivers was 41.1±13.95 years while that of Stroke survivors was 60.4±10.9 years. Among the stroke survivors 75 (57.8%) were female and 74 (56.9%) of the caregivers were males. The mean strain index for the caregivers of stroke survivors was 14.6±6.65 (range of 0-24) and their mean QOL score was 62.4±17.07 (range of 0-100). The mean Barthel index score for the stroke survivors was 62.5±27.4 (range of 0-100) 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 increase in care giving burden. Targeted interventions like a stroke support group may be a necessary prescription to alleviate the burden on caregivers and improve their QOL. Caregivers strain factors and stroke survivors’ functional status should be given adequate attention during interventional therapy.

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