Survey on caregivers' burden of care patients with chronic stroke and considerations on the role of the physiotherapist

  • Roberto Materia Department of Physical And Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, 1, 98100 Messina, Italy
  • Ankita Mathur Department of Dental Cell Research, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, 411018 Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Alessandra Cuffaro Private Practice, Agrigento, Italy
  • Rosario La Bruna Private Practice, Reggio di Calabria, Italy
  • Mariana Pastore Private Practice, Trieste, Italy
  • Antonio Moschella Azienda Ospedaliera Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, 89100 Reggio Calabria, RC, Ital
  • Vincenzo Ronsivalle Department of General Surgery and Surgical Medical Specialties, School of Dentistry, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
  • Marco Cicciù Department of General Surgery and Surgical Medical Specialties, School of Dentistry, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
  • Cesare D’Amico Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences, Morphological and Functional Images, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, 1, 98100 Messina, Italy
  • Luca Fiorillo Multidisciplinary Department of Medical-Surgical and Odontostomatological Specialties, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli,” Naples, Italy

Abstract

Introduction: Stroke is a leading cause of disability and poses significant challenges not only to patients but also to their caregivers, who often experience considerable psycho-physical burdens. The role of caregivers in the rehabilitation process is crucial, yet the impact of caregiving on their well-being is not fully understood. This study aims to analyze the psycho-physical load on caregivers of chronic stroke patients, evaluate the variables affecting their health, and assess the significance of physiotherapists in improving patient rehabilitation outcomes. Materials: A sample of 30 chronic stroke patients and their caregivers involving home-based rehabilitation services was examined over an eight-week period. The study utilized various scales such as the Short Form Health Survey 36 (SF-36), Barthel Index, Stroke Impact Scale 3.0, Modified Rankin Scale, and Caregiver Burden Inventory to assess the health status of patients and the burden on caregivers before and after the intervention. Results: The study found significant improvements in patient health metrics (SF-36, Barthel Index, Stroke Impact Scale, Modified Rankin Scale) post-rehabilitation. Similarly, a notable reduction in caregiver burden was observed, highlighting the effectiveness of targeted physiotherapy interventions in alleviating the psycho-physical stress on caregivers. Conclusion: Physiotherapists play a critical role in stroke rehabilitation, reducing caregiver burden. Early identification of exhaustion, timely physiotherapy, and multidisciplinary rehabilitation can improve patient independence and quality of life for both patients and caregivers.
Published
2024-05-11