alexa [Burden of caregivers of aged patients at a hospital acute care unit and role of the psychologist in the management of the "fragile" caregiver].


Journal of Psychiatry

Author(s): Luchetti L, Porcu N, Dordoni G, Gobbi G, Lorido A

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Abstract INTRODUCTION: the purpose was to investigate and describe the subjective burden perceived by caregivers of elderly patients affected by multiple pathologies admitted to an acute ward and to consider the necessity of intervention with special reference to the analysis of psychological support need. METHODS: a sample of 100 caregivers of elderly patients admitted to Geriatrics ward was interviewed using two instruments assessing care burden: the Family Strain Questionnaire--Short Form (FSQ-SF) and the Anxiety and Depression Short Scale (AD-R). RESULTS: the FSQ-SF highlighted that 7\% of caregivers showed adequate coping abilities to face the stress related to illness; 21\% of caregivers could require psychological counselling intervention; for 48\% an intervention of psychological evaluation and support was recommended; for 24\% the psychological intervention became urgent. Results from the AD-R showed that 36\% and 10.5\% of interviewed caregivers felt clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression. Despite psychological support need was widely spread (93\%), only 35\% of caregivers would like to go to a specialist, 18\% would like to have more information about how to receive individual psychological support. CONCLUSIONS: results from caregiver burden analysis highlight a paradox which can be defined as an unexpressed need by family members: needing more support from health care services doesn't turn into a tangible demand for intervention. This remark raises some questions: understanding the reasons of such refusing behaviour towards the opportunity of applying specialists in psychological support and identifying which health services could be improved in order to satisfy caregivers needs.
This article was published in G Ital Med Lav Ergon and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry

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