Research Reports - Factors affecting caregiver burden after severe traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Aug 12

Manskow US(1), Sigurdardottir S, Røe C, Andelic N, Skandsen T, Damsgård E, Elmståhl S, Anke A

OBJECTIVES:: To assess burden in the caregivers of patients with severe traumatic
brain injury (TBI) 1 year postinjury, related to caregiver's demographic data and
social network, patient's demographic data, injury severity, and functional
status.
DESIGN:: Prospective national multicenter study. Self-report from caregivers,
patient data collected from the national cohort on patients with severe TBI.
PARTICIPANTS:: 92 caregivers.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:: The Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS).
RESULTS:: Total caregiver burden was reported high in 16% of caregivers and
moderate in 34%. The mean total burden index was 2.12, indicating a moderate
burden. Caregivers reported highest scores on the General strain index, followed
by the Disappointment index. Poor social network, feeling loneliness, and caring
for patients with severe disability were significant predictors of higher burden
in univariate analyses (P < .01). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that
experiencing loneliness and caring for a patient with more severe disability were
independent predictors for higher caregiver burden for all CBS indices. Marital
status (married) and low frequency of meeting friends were significant results in
some indices.
CONCLUSIONS:: Lack of a social network, feeling loneliness, and patient's
functional status are predictors of caregiver burden. General strain,
disappointment, and isolation were identified as areas in which caregiver burden
is high.

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