Objective: This study sought to determine the level of caregiver burden present in Jamaican stroke caregivers and to investigate the relationship between caregiver burden and selected sociodemographic variables.
Method: The Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale and a demographic sheet were administered to the caregivers. The stroke survivors completed the Barthel Index and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Interview administration was used for all tools.
Results: A total of 48 caregivers with their stroke survivors participated in this study. Preliminary findings showed that caregivers of stroke survivors in Jamaica are experiencing some level of burden with scores ranging from 21 to 62 (mean = 43.64 ± 8.73). Lower burden scores indicate greater burden. Caregivers of female stroke survivors had significantly greater levels of burden (43.5 ± 8.87) than those caring for male survivors [44.4 ± 8.3] (p = 0.03). There were no significant correlations between caregiver burden and age of the stroke survivor; however, a low correlation was found between depression and caregiver burden (r = -0.33, p = 0.02). Female survivors were found to have significantly higher levels of depression than males (16.72 ± 6.21 and 11.34 ± 7.31, p < 0.01) and caregivers of survivors who had higher depression scores experienced more burden.
Conclusion: Preliminary findings point to depressive symptoms and functional status in the stroke survivor as being a significant contributor to caregiver burden; however, further data collection and analysis need to be completed before more definitive conclusions can be made.