Anxiety, depression, and strain among caregivers of terminally ill patients


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Abstract

AimTo describe the characteristics of informal caregivers of terminally ill (hepatic, cardiac, and renal failure) patients and their care recipients and to examine the relationship between depression, anxiety, and burden among informal caregivers.Participants and methodsThis was a cross-sectional study, in which 51 caregivers of terminally ill (hepatic, cardiac, and renal failure) patients were recruited from among inpatients of Internal Medicine Department, Kasr Al Aini, Faculty of Medicine, from September 2011 to April 2012. The patients were subjected to a Caregiver Questionnaire, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scales, and Hamilton Depression Rating Scales, and the Modified Caregiver Strain Index was determined.ResultsMost of the caregivers experienced high levels of burden, severe anxiety, and mild depression. Several factors showed a statistically significant correlation with caregiver burden, anxiety, and depression including the care recipient’s functional status, personality changes, mental functioning, the presence of comorbidity, the Palliative Prognostic Score, being the main caregiver, duration of caregiving, the caregiver’s employment status, perceived health, and impact on social activities. Caregiver burden, anxiety, and depression were significantly correlated.ConclusionCaregivers of terminal organ failure (hepatic, cardiac, and renal) patients experience high levels of burden, severe anxiety, and mild depression. Predictors of anxiety, depression, and burden include being the main caregiver, duration of caregiving, the caregiver’s employment status, perceived health, and impact on social activities.

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