The Influence of Demographic Factors, Resilience, and Other Psychological Factors in Predicting Caregiver Burden in Trauma ICU Populations




Patel, Sarita

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Although only a small number of studies specifically focus on caregivers of ICU patients, findings suggest that these caregivers can experience a substantial burden. Although negative psychological states, including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are gaining attention in the literature following the injury of a family member, less attention has been paid to the role that potentially protective psychological factors, such as resilience, may have in one's response to injury or critical illness in a family member. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of specific demographics factors and resilience in predicting caregiver burden, depression, and PTSD symptoms in caregivers of trauma patients. Eligible individuals were identified based on their family member's medical diagnosis through the trauma service admission list at Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC), a Level I trauma center and part of the Baylor Scott & White Healthcare system. Participants (aged 18-82, N=91, 73.6% female) completed brief self-report measures assessing depression, PTSD and resilience at baseline, and completed brief self-report measures assessing depression, PTSD, and caregiver burden at three-month follow-up. Regression analyses were used to determine the association between resilience and each outcome (caregiver burden, depression, and PTSD). Results illustrated significant associations between resilience and depression and PTSD separately. Exploratory analyses were conducted to determine the role of demographic factors in predicting caregiver burden, depression, and PTSD over time. A series of linear and logistic regressions were conducted to evaluate the intersectionality of the demographic factors and each outcome. Findings suggest that higher levels of resilience may significantly be associated with lower rates of depression and PTSD. Additionally, the interaction of several demographic factors may significantly be associated with higher rates of depression and PTSD. Current study findings suggest that certain demographic factors are associated with higher levels of depression and PTSD in caregivers. Although further exploration is warranted before drawing firm conclusions, this novel information may be used to direct future research, educate caregivers, clinicians and researchers, and inform the development of interventions specific to this population.

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