Psychological distress of family members of vegetative and minimally conscious state patients

Francesco Corallo, Lilla Bonanno, Viviana Lo Buono, Simona De Salvo, Carmela Rifici, Placido Bramanti, Silvia Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Family members of disorders of consciousness (DOC) patients have reported to show relatively high rates of anxiety and distress. This exploratory and observational study describes the psychopathological disorders of family members of DOC patients and the assistance their needs. Materials: The sample of family member consisted of fifty subjects (24 males and 26 females) with mean age of 52.88 ± 11.61 years. Methods: All subjects underwent to evaluation using validated clinical and behavioural scales such as, Family Strain Questionnaire (FSQ) and Symptom Check List-90-R (SCL-90-R). The difference between the family members of patients in Vegetative State (VS) and Minimally Conscious State (MCS) were analysed. Statistical analysis was performed using the R 3.0 software package (open source). Results: Chi-square test showed a significant difference relatively to the needs of caregivers: in particular, a) family members of MCS patients needed of more precisely information about the treatment and the clinical condition of patients (p=0.002); b) they would like to receive assistance from the territorial service of the place of residence (p=0.005); c) the MCS caregivers suffered from the absence of compliance related to own burden (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalActa Medica Mediterranea
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Caregivers
  • Disorders of consciousness
  • Distress
  • Minimally conscious state
  • Psychological counseling
  • Vegetative state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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