Acta Med. 2014, 57: 68-72


Ali Yavuz Karahana, Sami Kucuksenb, Halim Yilmazc, Ali Sallib, Tayfun Gungorb, Muhammed Sahinb

aThe Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of State Hospital of Konya/Turkey
bThe Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Necmettin Erbakan University Faculty of Medicine Konya/Turkey
cThe Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Konya Education and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

Background: Few data are available on the specific care giving-related problems of stroke patient’s caregivers and factors that influence the burden of these caregivers. Aim: To study the influences of the active rehabilitation process on anxiety, depression, care burden and perceived social support level of stroke patients caregivers. Design: A prospective clinical trial. Setting: Patients and caregivers entering a rehabilitation program at a university hospital in Turkey. Populations: Ninety patients with a first episode of stroke and 90 caregivers responsible for their care were recruited for our study. Methods: Patients and caregivers were assessed before and after the active rehabilitation process. The functional disability level of the patients was assessed by Functional Independence Measure (FIM). The Beck Anxiety Scale (BAS) and the Beck Depression Scale (BDS) were used for anxiety and depression assessment, the Zarit Care Burden Scale (ZCBS) for care burden assessment and the Multi-Dimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MDSPSS) for perceived social support assessment. Results: A statistically significant rise is observed in the special person sub-assessment of MDSPSS in both female and male caregivers. Also, a significant decrease in care burden, anxiety and depression levels of caregivers was noted after the rehabilitation program (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Caregivers accept the rehabilitation period as important social support in addition to the support provided by family and friends. Also, our positive results were associated with an improvement in the patients’ functional level and an increase in the acquisition of knowledge and skill required of caregivers in order to provide care during rehabilitation. Clinical Rehabilitation Impact: The rehabilitation team should be aware of the fact that the perceived care burden may be greater due to the lack of knowledge concerning available resources and due to the inability to cope with stress effectively.


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