Introduction: Caregiver burden of patients with intracranial tumors has not been adequately studied. Assessment of this can guide in selecting interventions to alleviate caregiver strain, thus improving care-recipients’ health. This study was to assess factors influencing the burden experienced by primary caregivers of patients operated for intracranial tumors.
Methods: Using descriptive cross sectional design and purposive sampling, 50 patient-carer pairs were enrolled for the study. Modified Caregiver Strain Index (MCSI) was used to assess caregiver burden. Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE), Katz index of independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q) were used to assess the status of patients. SPSS21 was used for univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: All the 50 caregivers had experienced some burden, with 34 having mild, 15 moderate, and 1 experiencing severe burden. Number of behavioral changes of patients in NPI-Q had significant correlation with MCSI (p<0.001). However MMSE and Katz ADL of patients did not show significant association with caregiver burden. In NPI-Q, irritability (p<0.001), agitation (p=0.004), anxiety (p=0.01), depression (p=0.006), and sleep disturbances (p=0.02) had significant impact on caregiver burden. Among caregiver factors, unemployment (p=0.03), low per capita income (p=0.01), time spent on caring (p=0.01), inability to meet house hold needs (p<0.001), quitting job (p=0.01) and own health problems (p=0.004) had significant impact on their burden. In separate multivariate analyses, irritability component (p=0.004) among behavioral changes of patients and caregivers’ perception of inability to meet household needs (p<0.001) had significant association with caregiver burden independent of other factors.
Conclusions: Within caregiving dyad, burden is related to characteristics of both caregivers and care-recipients. Among patient related factors, behavioral changes had significant impact on caregiver burden, while cognitive and functional status did not show significant association. Identifying and managing behavioral symptoms in these patients is paramount for decreasing caregiver burden, in addition to community support.
Patient Care: Identifying and managing factors influencing caregiver burden is likely to impact patient care significantly.
Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: 1) Describe the importance of caregiver burden of patients with intracranial tumors 2) Identify patient and caregiver factors influencing caregiver burden