Objective: Previous studies on caregivers of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs) have highlighted that their overall burden is not related to disease duration or diagnosis, but mainly to their personal characteristics. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of attachment style and hopelessness on overall burden in caregivers of patients in both vegetative state and minimally conscious state. Methods and procedure: Nineteen caregivers of patients with DOCs, hosted in a long-term care facility, were assessed using the Caregiver Burden Inventory, the Attachment Style Questionnaire, and the Beck Hopelessness Scale. Socio-demographic information was also collected. Data were analysed through descriptive statistics, correlations, one sample t-test and a multiple regression analysis using SPSS. Outcomes and results: Burden was not associated with duration of caregiving and gender had no effect on overall burden. Multiple regression analysis indicated that preoccupied attachment style and hopelessness together predicted 49% of the total variability of burden (R2=0.489; adjusted R=0.43). Conclusions: These data suggest that caregivers need psychological assessment and support in order to keep under control the level of burden and to help themselves be a better resource for their relatives.
Romaniello, C., Farinelli, M., Matera, N., Bertoletti, E., Pedone, V., & Northoff, G. F. J. (2015). Anxious attachment style and hopelessness as predictors of burden in caregivers of patients with disorders of consciousness: A pilot study. Brain Injury, 29(4), 466-472. https://doi.org/10.3109/02699052.2014.989402