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Colombia Médica

On-line version ISSN 1657-9534


DUENAS, Eliana et al. Syndrome of the caregiver in disability old patients and the psychosocial implications. Valle del Cauca, Colombia 2003-2004. Colomb. Med. [online]. 2006, vol.37, n.2, suppl.1, pp.31-38. ISSN 1657-9534.

Objective: To determine the profile of caregivers for disability old patients in home care and to investigate the psychosocial characteristics of caregivers. Materials and methods: A pilot case-control study was performed in the state of Valle del Cauca, Colombia during 2003-2004. Family function (family APGAR), anxiety and depression (Goldberg Scale), morbidity, and the prevalence of the syndrome of family caregivers (Zarit Scale) were assessed. Results: 102 families from low and middle socioeconomic status were studied. Median disability average was 4 years (range 1-60 years). A high proportion of depression (81.3% vs. 53.9%, p<0.01), anxiety (85.2% vs. 45%, p<0.001), and family dysfunction (26.5% vs. 10.8%) (p=0.004) was observed in caregivers; 48 (47%) caregivers had the syndrome and had high levels of anxiety (96%, p=0.01) as well as high levels of depression (100%, p<0.0001); 87 (85.3%) caregivers have had different pathologies in the precedent year in comparison with 65 (63.7%) not caregivers (p=0.0004). Conclusion: A caregivers syndrome was observed in 48 (47%) family members. The caregivers had high levels of anxiety, depression and family dysfunction associated to the syndrome and its morbidity. This study identified the caregivers of old disability people as a vulnerable group with high preventive and therapeutic necessities.

Keywords : Disability; Psychosocial stress; Anxiety; Depression; Family dysfunction; Caregivers.

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