A study of the psychological distress in family caregivers of patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness during in-hospital rehabilitation

Pasquale Moretta, Anna Estraneo, Lucia De Lucia, Viviana Cardinale, Vincenzo Loreto, Luigi Trojano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To study psychological distress in a sample of caregivers of patients affected by prolonged disorders of consciousness during hospital stay in the Neurorehabilitation Unit. Materials and methods: Twenty-four caregivers of 22 patients affected by prolonged disorders of consciousness admitted to postacute rehabilitation center, completed self-reported questionnaires for assessment of depressive symptoms, state and trait anxiety, psychophysiological disturbances, prolonged grief disorder, psychological coping strategies, quality of perceived needs, perceived social support, and caregiver burden; at admission, and after four and eight months. Results: At admission depressive symptoms were found in 20/24 aregivers, high levels of anxiety in 16, and relevant psychophysiological disturbances in 10 participants; eight caregivers (32%) met criteria for prolonged grief disorder. The scores on questionnaires did not differ as a function of relatives diagnosis (vegetative state vs. minimally conscious state). The longitudinal study (n = 18) showed a progressive and statistically significant increase of emotional burden during the hospital stay, whereas the remaining variables did not change significantly. Conclusions: Data confirmed the presence of severe psychological problems in caregivers of patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness. The levels of psychological distress tend to be constant over time, while the emotional burden increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-725
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Caregivers' burden
  • disorders of consciousness
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A study of the psychological distress in family caregivers of patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness during in-hospital rehabilitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this