Physical and mental health, anxiety and depressive symptoms in caregivers of patients in vegetative state and minimally conscious state

M. Pagani, A. M. Giovannetti, V. Covelli, D. Sattin, A. Raggi, M. Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Caregivers of patients in vegetative state and minimally conscious state play a crucial role in the process of taking care and, as previous studies reported, they can suffer of high burden and negative health outcomes. The aim of this national cross-sectional study was to assess whether physical and mental health of caregivers, considering gender differences, is related to the presence of depressive symptoms, anxiety, age and patient's disease duration. Four-hundred and eighteen caregivers, 294 women and 124 men, completed the State Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y, Beck Depression Inventory, second version and Short Form-12. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to evaluate to which extent depressive and anxiety symptoms predict physical and mental health. Men reported higher levels of mental health state, whereas physical health was not different across gender. High levels of anxiety symptoms were associated to negative mental health outcomes in both genders, whereas depressive symptoms were found to impact on female's mental and physical health only. A comprehensive and cost-effective screening of anxiety and depressive symptoms may help to identify determinants of health worsening in order to plan, when necessary, caregivers' support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Informal caregivers
  • Persistent vegetative state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

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