Objective: To test the ability of a previously generated logistic regression model to predict caregiver strain from carer mood, negative affectivity and perceived patient functional ability.
Design: Postal prospective survey.
Setting: Spouses of community-residing patients identified from hospital stroke registers.
Method: Spouses were assessed at three and six months after stroke. A previously derived equation was used to make predictions at three months of their level of strain at six months, which were compared with observed outcomes.
Measures: Spouses were asked to complete the Caregiver Strain Index (CSI), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), the Positive and Negative Affectivity Schedule (PANAS) and to assess patients' independence in activities of daily living on the Extended Activities of Daily Living Scale (EADL).
Results: Of 409 stroke patients, 276 had an identifiable co-resident spouse and 116 (42%) completed the measures. At three months after stroke, 39 carers (34%) were under significant strain with 40 (35%) under strain at six months. The predictive model using the GHQ-12, PANAS and EADL at three months was 78% accurate in predicting levels of caregiver strain at six months.
Conclusion: Carers at risk of later strain could be identified for further followup. Services to provide emotional support to carers might be effective in the reduction of carer strain.
Blake, H., Lincoln, N. B., & Clarke, D. D. (2003). Caregiver strain in spouses of stroke patients. Clinical Rehabilitation, 17(3), 312-317. doi:10.1191/0269215503cr613oa