Objectives: To assess burden in the caregivers of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) 1 year postinjury, related to caregiver's demographic data and social network, patient's demographic data, injury severity, and functional status.
Design: Prospective national multicenter study. Self-report from caregivers, patient data collected from the national cohort on patients with severe TBI.
Participants: 92 caregivers.
Main outcome measure: The Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS).
Results: Total caregiver burden was reported high in 16% of caregivers and moderate in 34%. The mean total burden index was 2.12, indicating a moderate burden. Caregivers reported highest scores on the General strain index, followed by the Disappointment index. Poor social network, feeling loneliness, and caring for patients with severe disability were significant predictors of higher burden in univariate analyses (P < .01). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that experiencing loneliness and caring for a patient with more severe disability were independent predictors for higher caregiver burden for all CBS indices. Marital status (married) and low frequency of meeting friends were significant results in some indices.
Conclusions: Lack of a social network, feeling loneliness, and patient's functional status are predictors of caregiver burden. General strain, disappointment, and isolation were identified as areas in which caregiver burden is high.