Advances in medical science have resulted in a concomitant increase in the life span of persons with disabilities. The prevalence of chronic disease, an aging population and the ongoing shift of the site of care from institutions to the community, have resulted in a significant increase in the informal care provided by family members and friends of those living with chronic illnesses. This in turn increases the burden on the family, by way of physical and psychological stressors. The objectives of this study were to identify the burden perceived by caregivers of individuals with functional disability, and to evaluate the effects of a tailored physical therapy intervention, or caregiver education, on the caregivers' burden. Ninety seven persons were deliberately assigned, based on their accessibility, to the control group, caregiver education group and intervention group. Although there was no statistically significant difference between the groups, among caregivers of persons affected by moderate to severe disability, there were trends showing greater reduction in caregiver stress and burden in the intervention group. These trends and comments from individual participants point to an improvement in caregiver burden with physiotherapy intervention. Hence, it can be suggested that physiotherapy management of persons with disabilities must also include caregiver health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Research and Theory
- Fundamentals and skills
- Community and Home Care