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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


PENA-IBANEZ, Fernando; ALVAREZ-RAMIREZ, Miguel Ángel  and  MELERO-MARTIN, Julia. Caregiver burden in the informal care of immobilised patients in a urban health district. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2016, vol.15, n.43, pp.100-111. ISSN 1695-6141.

Background and aim: Caregiver overload is a matter of increasing relevance in the social and health care fields. Its appearance and severity are conditioned by the characteristics of the affected population. This study aims to describe the caregiver burden and mental health deterioration of the informal caregivers of disabled patients in a Basic Health Area, as well as the related factors. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study was developed on the whole population of informal caregivers of immobilised patients of our health area. Data were collected by means of structured phone interviews. Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) and Goldberg (Anxiety and Depression subscales) tests were used. Results: The immobilised patient's mean age (n=202) was 85.75 years (Standard Deviation, SD, 10.79) with a predominance (79.7%) of females. Informal caregivers' population (n=60) shows 65% of females, mean age 62.32 years (SD 4.2). Mean value of CSI is 7.17 (SD 3.83). Female caregivers show worse results than male caregivers in all the scales employed (CSI, Goldberg-Anxiety and Goldberg-Depression). CSI values are higher if the main caregiver is the daughter or partner of the patient, in those with higher studies, and those not getting any informal support in the daily care. Conclusion: Informal caregivers show high values of caregiver burden. Community care teams can have a major role in the detection of these caregivers and the related risk factors for undertaking specific interventions.

Keywords : Caregiver; Home nursing; Dependent ambulation; Caregiver strain index; Gender and health.

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