A study of burden of care and its correlates among family members supporting relatives and loved ones with traumatic spinal cord injuries

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To understand and describe in a sample of caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury, their burden of care, resilience and life satisfaction and to explore the relationship between these variables.


Cross-sectional design.


One Spinal Cord Injury Acute Inpatient Unit from a general hospital.


Seventy-five relatives of persons with spinal cord injuries (84% women) with a mean age of 48.55 (SD = 12.55) years.




Demographics (neurological loss and severity according to the American Spinal Injury Association criteria), the Zarit Burden Interview, the Resilience Scale and the Life Satisfaction Checklist.


All caregivers experienced feelings of different intensities of burden (52% mild-to-moderate, 43% moderate-to-severe and 5% severe), and none of them expressed little or no burden at the assessment moment. Caregivers’ main worries were “dependence” and “the future of the injured.” Resilience was medium-to-high (mean = 141.93, SD = 23.44) for the whole sample with just a minority of them revealing low (15%) or very low resilience (7%). The highest scores were obtained in relation to “caregivers’ independence” and “meaning of their lives.” Life satisfaction scores were medium-to-high (mean = 36.6, SD = 6). These scores were not related to demographics or the severity of the injury. Zarit Burden Interview scores were negatively correlated to Resilience Scale (r = −.370, P = .001) and Life Satisfaction Checklist scores (r = −.412, P < .001).


More resilient and satisfied caregivers experienced lower burden. Burden is moderate-to-high and mainly related to uncertainty about the future, caregivers’ insecurity with caregiving and dependence of the injured.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles