Factors related to caregiving for individuals with spinal cord injury compared to caregiving for individuals with other neurologic conditions

Sherri L. LaVela, Kelsie Landers, Bella Etingen*, Vytas P. Karalius, Scott Miskevics

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context/objective: To compare outcomes among caregivers of adults with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) to caregivers of adults with other neurological conditions, and determine if caregiving for SCI is associated with poor health status and chronic conditions. Design: Secondary data analysis of 2009/2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Participants: Informal caregivers of adults with neurological conditions. Outcome measures: Sociodemographics, caregiving factors (e.g. role, emotional support, life satisfaction), lifestyle behaviors, chronic conditions, and health status. Results: Demographics and lifestyle behaviors did not differ in caregivers of adults with SCI vs. caregivers of adults with other neurological conditions (except younger age of SCI caregivers). Greater proportions of caregivers of adults with SCI had coronary heart disease (CHD) (12% vs. 6%, P = 0.06) and were obese (43% vs. 28%, P = 0.03). Frequent physical distress was reported by 20% of caregivers of persons with SCI (vs. 12% of other caregivers, P = 0.09), but mental health did not differ between caregiver groups. A greater proportion of caregivers of adults with SCI experienced insufficient sleep (47% vs. 30%, P = 0.008) and more days without enough sleep (13 vs. 9 days, P = 0.008). Odds of being younger, caregiver of a spouse, having CHD, and being obese were associated with being a caregiver of an adult with SCI. Conclusion: Caregivers of adults with SCI report similar mental health status, but more poor sleep, and have increased odds of CHD and obesity. Interventions to address physical distress, improve sleep, and address CHD and obesity are needed in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Caregiving
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Sleep
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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