Feelings of burden among family caregivers of people with spinal cord injury in Turkey
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CitationSeçinti, E., Yavuz, H. M., & Selçuk, B. (February 07, 2017). Feelings of burden among family caregivers of people with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 55, 782-787. doi:10.1038/sc.2017.6
Study design: The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to examine the level of feelings of burden in family caregivers of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) in Turkey, and to explore its predictors. Setting: Turkey. Methods: One hundred family caregivers of people with SCI completed measures of burden of caregiving, depression, social support and physical health. The SCI participants completed a measure of functional independence. Multivariate statistics and structural equation modeling (SEM) were conducted to identify significant predictors of caregiver burden. Results: Caregiver burden was significantly related to caregivers’ feelings of depression. SEM analysis showed that social support from family and from friends predicted caregiver burden via depression. Caregivers’ age, sex, educational level, physical health and household income did not significantly predict their feelings of depression or burden. Conclusions: Our findings revealed that support received from both families and friends is an important source for alleviating the depressive feelings of caregivers and, in return, their burden in the caregiving. In Turkey, high support from family members is expected and is important for psychological well-being, yet the current study showed that the support received from friends also has unique contribution to the well-being of the caregivers of persons with SCI. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of supportive relationships between family as well as friends for the caregivers who may have to provide lifetime care for their family member with special needs.