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Burden and Depression among Caregivers of Visually Impaired Patients in a Canadian Population
Purpose/Background: This study reports the degree of burden and the proportion at risk for depression among individuals who provide care to visually impaired patients. Study Design: This is clinic-based, cross-sectional survey in a tertiary care hospital. Methods: Caregivers were considered unpaid family members for patients whose sole impairment was visual. Patients were stratified by vision in their better seeing eye into two groups: Group 1 had visual acuity between 6/18 and 6/60 and Group 2 were those who had 6/60 or worse. Burden was evaluated by the Burden Index of Caregivers and the prevalence of being at risk for depression was determined by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Results: 236 caregivers of 236 patients were included. Total mean BIC scores were higher in Group 2. Female caregivers, caregivers providing greater hours of care, and caregivers of patients who have not completed vision rehabilitation programs are at higher risk for depression.
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