Background: Informal caregivers are vital to the long-term care and rehabilitation of stroke survivors worldwide. However, caregiving has been associated with negative psychological outcomes such as anxiety and depression, which leads to concerns about caregiver as well as stroke survivor well-being. Furthermore, caregivers may not receive the support and service provision they require from the hospitals and community.
Aims: This study examines caregiver psychological well-being and satisfaction with service provision in the context of stroke.
Methods: Caregiver data were collected as part of the ASPIRE-S study, a prospective study of secondary prevention and rehabilitation which assessed stroke patients and their carers at six-months post stroke. Carer assessment included measurement of demographics, satisfaction with care (UK Healthcare Commission National Patient Survey of Stroke Care), psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and vulnerability (Vulnerable Elders Scale). Logistic regression analyses and chi-squared tests were performed using stata version 12.
Results: Analyses from 162 carers showed substantial levels of dissatisfaction (37·9%) with community and hospital services, as well as notable levels of anxiety (31·3%) and depressive symptoms (18·8%) among caregivers. Caregiver anxiety was predicted by stroke survivor anxiety (OR = 3·47, 95% CI 1·35-8·93), depression (OR = 5·17, 95% CI 1·83-14·58), and stroke survivor cognitive impairment (OR 2·35, 95% CI 1·00-5·31). Caregiver depression was predicted by stroke survivor anxiety (OR = 4·41, 95% CI 1·53-12·72) and stroke survivor depression (OR = 6·91, 95% CI 2·26-21·17).
Conclusion: Findings indicate that caregiver and stroke survivor well-being are interdependent. Thus, early interventions, including increased training and support programs that include caregivers, are likely to reduce the risk of negative emotional outcomes.
Keywords: caregivers; informal caregivers; satisfaction with care; secondary prevention; stroke outcomes; well-being.
© 2015 World Stroke Organization.