Bergai Parthsarathy Nirmala, Janardhana Navaneetham
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Background: Persons with neurological conditions predominantly receive their care from informal caregivers in India. The day-to-day caring of these persons requires tireless effort, energy, and empathy, and can often impact the quality of life of caregivers. In this study, we assess the impact of caregiving on the quality of life of informal caregivers. Materials and Methods: Fifty caregivers of patients with neuro-rehabilitation needs admitted in the neuro-rehabilitation ward of our hospital were recruited for this study. A descriptive research design, burden assessment schedule, and a self-reporting questionnaire were used to assess the distress level. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive, parametric, and nonparametric statistics. Results: Of the 50 caregivers recruited, 32 were female and 28 were male. The caregivers in our cohort were predominantly over 40 years of age. Thirty caregivers were from nuclear family and 36 families had below poverty line card. Majority of the caregivers reported physical and mental health burden due to their caregiving role. This was followed by need for external support to facilitate their caregiving role. Overall, the burden perceived by the caregivers ranged from moderate to severe. Conclusion: The caregivers come from diverse backgrounds, but nonetheless, they experienced significant physical and emotional burden while caring for the ill person at home. Providing adequate training and socioeconomic support to the caregivers may be helpful in reducing their burden.
Keywords: Burden, caregiver, disability, neuro-rehabilitation.