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The lot of caregivers

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submitted on 2023-08-13, 07:43 and posted on 2023-09-26, 12:03 authored by Nature Research

Psychiatric symptoms are highly prevalent among caregivers of patients in Saudi Arabian hospitals, according to new research published in the Qatar Medical Journal . Caregivers devote huge amounts of time to helping family members, friends and others, but research into the psychological impact among caregivers in the Saudi Arabian population is still lacking. Anwar Ahmed of the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh and his colleagues therefore performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of psychological symptoms in this population. They recruited 353 Arabic-speaking caregivers from King Abdulaziz Medical City, one of the largest tertiary hospitals in the Middle East, collected their demographic data, and used an Arabic version of a standardized psychiatric test called the DASS-12 to measure symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. All of the participants were between 14 and 80 years of age, and had made at least one overnight stay at a hospital with a family member or friend. The sample included family caregivers, such as a spouse, sibling, and parent, as well as unrelated ones, but excluded paid caregivers. Of the caregivers sampled in the study, 53.8% were female, 53% were unemployed, and less than 8% were younger than 20 years of age. Approximately half (46.2%) were a son or daughter, 7.1% were a husband or wife, 10.5% were a parent, and 9.1% were non-family caregivers. The researchers found that almost three-quarters of the participants reported symptoms of depression, and that, for more than half of these, the symptoms were extremely severe. Approximately three-quarters also reported experiencing anxiety, and the symptoms were extremely severe for the majority of these. The prevalence of stress was also high — 61.5% of participants reported symptoms of stress, with nearly half experiencing extremely severe stress levels. Their findings also suggest that the longer a patient's hospital stay, the higher was the level of stress and depression in their caregiver. Anxiety, stress and depression were also found to be threefold higher among family than unrelated caregivers, and twofold higher among well-educated than uneducated ones. Those with a low monthly income also reported significantly higher levels all three illnesses than those with higher incomes. Depression and stress levels were also three times higher in caregivers older than 20 years of age.

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Published in: Highlights, Published by Nature Research for Hamad bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press)



  • English


Nature Research

Publication Year

  • 2015

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University

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