Document Type

Original Article


ABSTRACT Background and Objective: Caregivers of patients with chronic debilitating illnesses are at risk of developing mental health problems. The objective of this study is to determine the frequency of depression in caregivers of stroke patients at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among caregivers of stroke, who were recruited from the Aga Khan University Hospital between January 2018 to October 2018. Data was collected through the Urdu Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAM-D-U) and it was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: A total of 136 caregivers participated in the study. Among them, 44.1 % were male and 55.9% were female. The mean age of caregivers was 45.38 ± 10.33 years. Using the HAM-D-U scale, depression was present in 64 (47.1%) of caregivers. Out of them (n=64), 46 (33.8%) had mild depression whereas 18 (13.2%) had moderate depression. Depression was found to have a significant relationship with the age of the patient (p=0.002), education level of caregiver (p= 0.012), employment status of caregiver (p=0.012), being a sole caregiver (p=0.039), and monthly family income (p=0.016). Conclusion: Caring for patients with neurological disorders is highly challenging and demanding. The need for this role may arise unexpectedly in one’s life leaving little space for adjustment and coping. Caregiver depression can be debilitating especially if moderate to severe in intensity. Depression in stroke caregivers can be missed as patients are the center of management . Hence, strategies should be designed and reinforced to screen caregivers for depression with a pathway for easy and timely referral.

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