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Malawi Medical Journal

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Burden of family caregivers of ophthalmic patients in a university teaching hospital in south-west Nigeria

Samuel Olowookere

Abstract


Background
The family provides support in the care of their ill members and suffers some burden during caregiving. This study assessed the burden of family caregivers and associated factors in an ophthalmic clinic situated in a university teaching hospital in southwest Nigeria.
Methods
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study where consenting family caregivers of ophthalmic patients completed a semi-structured questionnaire containing information on their socio-demographic characteristics and caregiving burden using the Zarit burden interview. Descriptive and inferential statistics analyses were done.
Results
A total of 273 caregivers completed the study. The caregivers were parents (23.5%), spouses (20.1%), siblings (3.3%), children (35.9%) and other relatives (14.2%) with mean age (SD) of 38.9 (14.9) years (range 8-79 years). Majority (81.2%) experienced caregiver burden with prayer (89%) as a coping strategy. Financial support (56%) was a major caregiver need with majority (59.3%) satisfied with their relatives’ hospital care. Neither the patients nor their caregivers were on health insurance scheme. Statistical significant factors associated with caregivers’ burden included young age (AOR=4.63, 95%CI=1.55-13.90; p=0.01), higher education (AOR=5.51, 95%CI=2.30-13.2, p=0.01), being employed (AOR=1.72, 95CI=1.30-4.76, p=0.04), longer caregiving (AOR=3.37, 95%CI=1.27-7.02, p=0.02), and having patient on hospital admission (AOR=1.90, 95%CI=1.26-3.09, p=0.02).
Conclusion
Family caregivers of ophthalmic patients experienced significant burden. Hence, they need more assistance from the health care institutions and community, including policy makers, so that they can cope with their caregiving activities. Enrollment in the social health insurance scheme will reduce out of pocket payment of hospital bills.




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