International Journal of Mental Health & PsychiatryISSN: 2471-4372

The Quality of Sleep, Burden of Care and Psychological Distress in Caregivers of Patients with Stroke

Caring for patients with chronic medical disorders such as stroke is a very demanding task. Family caregivers suffer various negative health consequences in the course of rendering care for patients with stroke. There is paucity of research on the impact of caregiving on the quality of sleep of these caregivers.

Aim: To assess the quality of sleep in caregivers of patients with stroke attending a tertiary teaching hospital in Lagos Nigeria. Also, to determine the factors associated with poor quality of sleep in the caregivers. The study also determined the relationship between quality of sleep, burden of care and psychological distress among the caregivers.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Methodology: Sixty-four informal caregivers of randomly selected patients with stroke attending the Medical Out-patients clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Idi-Araba, Lagos, South-Western, Nigeria. The quality of sleep of the participants was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Caregivers’ burden and psychological distress were assessed with Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) respectively. Data were obtained from all the participants via a face to face interview conducted by the researchers; additional clinical variables pertaining to the illness in the patients were obtained from the patients’ case files.

Results: About 31.3% of the caregivers of patients with stroke had poor quality of sleep (global PSQI score > 5). On regression analysis, caregivers’ burden (p=0.004) and psychological distress in the caregivers (p=0.004) are the only factors that were independently associated with poor quality of sleep among the caregivers.

Conclusion: Our findings bring to the fore the need to screen caregivers of patients with stroke for sleep problems and facilitate their access to relevant interventions.

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