The perceived burden of care among caregivers of survivors of cerebrovascular accident following discharge from a private rehabilitation unit.

Lyndall Serfontein, Marieta Visser, Mia van Schalkwyk, Cornel van Rooyen


Introduction: The transition between inpatient rehabilitation and discharge of survivors of stroke from private rehabilitation services in South Africa is often challenging. After the stroke survivor is discharged, caregivers have an important role as an extension of rehabilitation, although the occupation of caregiving is often unplanned. This study investigated the factors associated with the burden of care experienced by patients' caregivers.

Methods: A quantitative descriptive study was conducted with 63 patients and 63 caregivers, using a consecutive, non-randomised sampling method. Patients' Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores upon discharge were obtained. Telephonic interviews were conducted with the caregivers two months after the patients' discharge, using the Modified Caregiver Strain Index (MCSI) and a demographic data questionnaire to obtain their perceived burden of care.

Results. Patients' median FIM score at discharge was 86, indicating that they needed minimal assistance. After discharge, caregivers experienced minimal to moderate strain (burden of care) according to the MCSI score. The associated factors that were identified included financial, physical, psychological and social aspects, of which financial strain was encountered most regularly. Caregivers also seemed to have unbalanced occupational profiles.

Conclusions: Better caregiver training and support should be provided by private rehabilitation services for better integration of stroke survivors into the community.

Key words: cerebrovascular accident; stroke; caregivers; burden of care; private inpatient rehabilitation



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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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