J Caring Sci. 2018;7(2):59-66.
doi: 10.15171/jcs.2018.010
  Abstract View: 142
  PDF Download: 344

Original Research

Musculoskeletal Symptoms among Family Caregivers of Community-Dwelling Stroke Survivors in Nigeria

Grace Vincent-Onabajo 1 * , Helen Daniel 1, Aliyu Lawan 1, Muhammad Usman Ali 1, Mamman Ali Masta 1, Ali Modu 1

1 Department of Medical Rehabilitation (Physiotherapy), College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria


Introduction: Caring for stroke survivors may be burdensome with adverse consequences on caregivers’ physical health. This study examined the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and associated factors among family caregivers of stroke survivors in Nigeria. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study involving 90 stroke caregiver and stroke survivor dyads was conducted. Data on the participants’ demographics and post-stroke duration were obtained. Seven-day prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among the caregivers and level of stroke survivors’ disability were respectively assessed using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and Modified Rankin Scale. Prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms was presented as percentages while participants’ characteristics associated with prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms were examined using inferential statistics. Results: Mean (SD) age of caregivers and stroke survivors was 33.2 (10.7) years and 58.9 (9.7) years respectively. Majority of the caregivers were females (61.1%), and children of the stroke survivors (58.9%). Prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms was 82.2%. The low back was the most affected body region (72.2%) followed by the upper back (40%) while musculoskeletal symptoms in the wrist was least prevalent (3.3%). Female caregivers, caregivers of female stroke survivors and spousal caregivers had significantly higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms compared to other categories of caregivers. Only 5 (5.6%) caregivers had however received any training on safe care giving methods while only 21 (28.4%) caregivers with musculoskeletal symptoms had received treatment. Conclusion: With the high prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among family caregivers of stroke survivors, effective preventive strategies including training and education as well as timely access to treatment would be required.
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Submitted: 24 Sep 2017
Revised: 16 Feb 2018
Accepted: 17 Mar 2018
First published online: 17 Mar 2018
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