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Factors Affecting the Burden on Caregivers of Stroke Survivors in South Korea

      Abstract

      Choi-Kwon S, Kim HS, Kwon SU, Kim JS. Factors affecting the burden on caregivers of stroke survivors in South Korea.

      Objective

      To elucidate the factors related to the caregiver burden in stroke survivors in Seoul, Korea.

      Design

      Cross-sectional study.

      Setting

      Outpatient clinic of a university hospital in Korea.

      Participants

      We randomly selected 340 stroke patients and evaluated them for 3 years poststroke. Among them, 147 caregivers and patients were finally interviewed.

      Interventions

      Patients’ demographic data, neurologic symptoms, depression, emotional incontinence, and Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) score were assessed. In addition, primary caregivers’ demographic data, hours of care per day, relationship with the patients, health status, anxiety and depression, and the presence of alternative caregivers were assessed.

      Main outcome measures

      Caregiver burden was evaluated with the Sense of Competence Questionnaire, which has 3 subdomains with a total of 27 items.

      Results

      Caregiver burden score was high as compared with reports from Western society. Patient factors related to the burden scores were being unemployed (P<.05), the presence of diabetes mellitus (P<.05), aphasia (P<.01), dysarthria (P<.05), dysphagia (P<.01), cognitive dysfunction (P<.01), severe MRS score (P<.01), emotional incontinence (P<.05), and depression (P<.01). Caregiver factors related to high burden scores were being female (P<.05), unemployment (P<.01), being daughters-in-law (P<.01), anxiety (P<.01), depression (P<.01), and long caregiving hours (P<.05). On multivariate analysis, the most significant predictor for overall caregiver burden was caregiver anxiety followed by patient MRS score and caregivers being daughters-in-law. Caregiver depression, current employment status, and patient depression were also factors related to their burden.

      Conclusions

      Caregiver anxiety, patient physical deficits, and caregivers being daughter-in-law are important factors related to the caregiver burden in our population. Strategies to reduce caregiver burden should be developed based on understanding of these factors.

      Key words

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