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Impact and Influences on Caregiver Outcomes at One Year Post-Stroke

Smith L.N.a · Norrie J.b · Kerr S.M.c · Lawrence I.M.d · Langhorne P.e · Lees K.R.f
aNursing & Midwifery School, University of Glasgow, Glasgow; bHealth Services Research Unit, Aberdeen Trials Service, Aberdeen; cSchool of Nursing, Midwifery & Community Health, and dNMAHP Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University; eAcademic Section of Geriatric Medicine, and fUniversity Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK Cerebrovasc Dis 2004;18:145–153 (DOI:10.1159/000079268)

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Four outcome measures of carer stress and coping at one year post-stroke were identified: carer general health, anxiety, depression and perception of stress. Methods: Each outcome was assessed using valid and reliable instruments. In addition, we collected demographic data from both carers and patients which could reasonably be expected to influence carer stress and coping (e.g. age, deprivation levels) as well as information specific to the caring role. Results: Carers were found to be more anxious than previously reported. Neither satisfaction with caring nor the adoption of helpful coping strategies were associated with positive carer outcomes but, nevertheless, carers were not reluctant to care. The SF-36 is a useful predictor of carer stress, in particular the vitality score. Conclusions: Patient data are not sufficient to predict carer general health at one year. At one year, both patients and carers are more anxious than depressed. And there may be a group of patients and carers who can be characterised as borderline anxious and/or depressed and who warrant specific attention to prevent carer burnout.

 

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