A Multicenter Pilot Study of Burden Among Caregivers of Geriatric Rehabilitation Patients With Neuromusculoskeletal Diseases

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Abstract

Purpose:

In this study, we aimed to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of caregivers of patients in a geriatric unit and to clarify the relationship between caregiver burden and specific clinical variables in the patients and the characteristics of the caregivers.

Design:

Cross-sectional multicenter study.

Methods:

One hundred twenty-three patients and 123 caregiver dyads, with mean ages of 72.5 ± 7.7 years and 51 ± 14.7 years, respectively, were included. The functional, psychological, and cognitive statuses of the patients were determined, and the sociodemographic characteristics of the caregivers as well as the type and duration of caregiving were recorded. Caregivers completed the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) to measure the perceived burden of care. Most patients were female and generally lived with their family.

Findings:

Most of the caregivers were family members (90%), female (73.2%), primary school graduates (52.8%), and first-degree relatives (73.1%). The average CBI score was 33, and the highest CBI subscores were for time, developmental, and physical burdens. Caregiver burden correlated with the patient’s ambulatory, psychological, and cognitive status and with the caregiver’s age, gender, income level, and duration of caregiving.

Conclusions:

We have highlighted the relationship between caregiver and patient characteristics in a cohort of elderly Turkish patients with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. In particular, we have highlighted the heavy caregiver burden in a developing country.

Clinical Relevance:

Our results may guide the nurses to understand the requirements of caregivers and to help them find suitable resources that would meet their needs to cope with their burden.

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