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Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2012 Sep-Oct;20(5):944-53.

Burden and modifications in life from the perspective of caregivers for patients after stroke.

[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]

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  • 1Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.



to analyze the impact that caring has on a member of the family caring for a patient after a cerebrovascular accident, correlating life modifications and mental suffering with the perceived burden.


a cross-sectional, quantitative study, undertaken in January-April 2010 in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.


61 individuals were investigated, monitored by three hospitals' Home Care Program. Data collection was through interviews for identifying life changes, and through the application of three scales for investigating perceived burden, mental state and mental suffering. Respectively these were the Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Self Reported Questionnaire (SRQ). The majority of the carers were female, married, and the children of the stroke patients. The average age was 48.2 years (±12.4). The most-cited life modifications referred to the daily routine, to leisure activities, and to exhaustion or tiredness. Regarding burden, the dimensions of General tension, Isolation and Disappointment stood out. It was ascertained that overload was more severe when the carer presented more symptoms of psychological distress, in the absence of a secondary carer, and when the principal carers reported perceiving changes in their bodies and health.


an association between burden and the carer's mental state was not observed. Understanding the care, through analysis of the burden and of the knowledge of the biopsychosocial situation will provide support for the nurse's work in reducing the overload for family caregivers.

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