Stroke Survivors’ Behavioral and Psychologic Symptoms Are Associated With Informal Caregivers’ Experiences of Depression
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of stroke survivors' behavioral and psychologic symptoms (BPS) on informal caregivers' experience of depression in the context of the caregiving situation. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey using a structured quantitative interview. SETTING: Rehabilitation facility outpatient clinic, tertiary care facility outpatient clinic, and community care organizations. PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-four informal caregivers to stroke survivors completed standardized measurement instruments. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Measurement instruments included the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, Brain Impairment Behavior Inventory-Revised, Caregiver Assistance Scale, Caregiving Impact Scale, and Mastery scale. RESULTS: A substantial percentage (44.7%) of caregivers were at risk of clinical depression. Caregivers experienced more depression symptoms when they cared for stroke survivors exhibiting more BPS of memory and comprehension difficulties, provided less assistance, experienced more lifestyle interference, and had lower mastery (F(5,85)=26.02, P<.001, adjusted R(2)=.58). CONCLUSIONS: BPS exhibited by stroke survivors contribute to informal caregivers' experience of depression. These results can assist rehabilitation professionals to identify informal care providers who are at greater risk of experiencing emotional distress and, therefore, may benefit from intervention.
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