AIMS Medical Science, 2019, 6(1): 115-127. doi: 10.3934/medsci.2019.1.115

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The relationship between the stroke survivors’ functional status and their informal caregivers’ burden and quality of life

1 Department of Pediatry, Dr. Behçet Uz Child Disease and Pediatric Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
2 Department of Internal Medicine Nursing, Yüksek İhtisas University Faculty of Health Sciences, Ankara, Turkey

Background and purpose: Stroke is a major cause of disability and affects the lives of both the patients and their caregivers. The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between the functional status of stroke survivors and the care burden and quality of life of their informal caregivers. The relationship between selected socio-demographic variables and the caregivers’ caregiving experiences, quality of life, and care burden also was investigated. Methods: This cross-sectional study consisted of 100 patients and informal caregivers dyads. The Patient and Caregiver Information Form was used to collect demographic data; the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Barthel Index (BI) were used to assess functional status; the Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS) and 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey Quality of Life Scale (SF36-QLS) were used to assess the caregivers’ burden and quality of life. Data were evaluated using descriptive statistics, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and parametric and non-parametric tests. Results: The mean FIM and BI scores of the patients were 61.0 ± 30.0 and 42.6 ± 28.3, respectively. The caregivers’ average score in the SF36-QLS subscale of general health perception was 51.7 ± 22.7; their average CBS score was 39.2 ± 13.8. The caregivers’ quality of life was found to be moderate to high in the domains of physical function, social function, mental health, bodily pain, and general health, but low in the domains of physical role function, emotional role function, and vitality. There was a negative correlation between the average FIM and BI scores of stroke survivors and their caregivers’ CBS scores or scores on the SF36-QLS subscale of general health perception. Conclusion: There is a relationship between the stroke survivors’ functional status and their caregivers’ burden and quality of life. The caregivers’ quality of life decreased and their care burden increased as the functional status of the patients deteriorated.
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