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The relationship between the spiritual attitude of the family caregivers of older patients with stroke and their burden

Authors Torabi Chafjiri R, Navabi N, Shamsalinia A, Ghaffari F

Received 1 September 2016

Accepted for publication 22 November 2016

Published 1 March 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 453—458


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Razieh Torabi Chafjiri,1 Nasrin Navabi,2 Abbas Shamsalinia,2 Fatemeh Ghaffari2

1Gilan University of Medical Sciences, Rudsar Shahid Ansari Hospital, Rudsar, Gilan, Iran; 2Ramsar Nursing Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Mazandaran, Iran

Introduction: Stroke is a chronic condition that necessitates multidimensional and overwhelming care. The caregivers of stroke patients are faced with various stressors that can threaten different aspects of their health, especially their mental health. Spiritual attitude and being spiritually oriented contribute significantly to mental health and can be used as a strategy for adapting to the stressful events that are part of the role of caregiving. This study was therefore conducted to investigate the relationship between the spiritual attitude of the family caregivers of older patients with stroke and their burden.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016. The study population consisted of all the family caregivers of older patients with stroke presenting to health care centers and nursing service companies of Gilan Province in Iran. The participants were selected through convenience sampling and consisted of 407 participants. Data were collected using the Spiritual Attitude Scale and the Caregiver Burden Inventory and were then analyzed in SPSS-18 using Pearson’s correlation coefficient at a significance level of 0.05.
Results: The results showed that 88.9% of the caregivers were females. The mean age of the participants was 38.3±8.8 years. The duration of caregiving was <5 years in 84.4% of the participants, while its mean was 4.2±2.5 years. The mean score of spiritual attitude was 108.77±6.20. The majority of the participants (49.3%) had moderate and relatively favorable spiritual attitude (a score of 72–120), 27.8% had high or favorable spiritual attitude; 8.7% had mild burden, 54.4% had moderate burden and 37% had favorable burden. The mean score of burden was 28±12.75. A statistically significant positive relationship was observed in this study between the mean score of spiritual atti­tude and the total score of burden in all its dimensions, namely, time dependence, as well as the developmental, physical, social and emotional dimensions.
Conclusion: Providing strategies for improving spirituality, such as teaching spiritual self-care, can improve their burden. Given that such strategies are psychologically approved and pose no side effects, they can be used as an effective, low-cost and risk-free approach for all caregivers, so that they can acquire the necessary spiritual support for overcoming the stress caused by caring for family members through the reinforcement of their spiritual beliefs in the ultimate effort to provide effective care to older patients while maintaining their own health and quality of life.

Keywords: spiritual attitude, burden, family caregivers, older patients, stroke

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