Original Research

Caregiver strain and quality of life 6 - 36 Months post stroke

J. Hilton, W. Mudzi, V. Ntsiea, S. Olorunju
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 69, No 4 | a382 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v69i4.382 | © 2013 J. Hilton, W. Mudzi, V. Ntsiea, S. Olorunju | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 November 2013 | Published: 16 January 2013

About the author(s)

J. Hilton, Physiotherapy Department, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
W. Mudzi, Physiotherapy Department, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
V. Ntsiea, Physiotherapy Department, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
S. Olorunju, Biostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

Background: Caregivers of patients with stroke are central in providing for the patient’s needs post stroke. The well-being and quality of life of the caregiver is important in the rehabilitation of the patient with stroke. This study sought to establish the: functional level of patients, level of strain and quality of life of the caregiver, and the factors that influence caregivers’ quality of life six to 36 months post stroke. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study which included 35 patients six to 36 months post stroke and their primary caregiver utilising a sample of convenience from local clinics/hospitals in Johannesburg. Demographic information was obtained from the patient and the caregiver using a questionnaire. The Barthel Index (BI), Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) and the EQ-5D were also administered. Results: On the BI, 60% of the patients were moderately dependent to independent while 77% of the caregivers were strained. Older caregivers were 81% more likely to experience a decrease in quality of life than younger caregivers. Conclusion: A large proportion of patients are discharged from hospital without receving rehabilitation and are still dependent on caregivers six to 36 months post stroke. Caregivers of patients with stroke need more support from health professionals to mitigate against the high strain and low quality of life that they experience when caring for patients six to 36 months post stroke.

Keywords

Stroke patients; Caregivers; Caregiver strain, Funtional level

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