Investigation of the factors affecting the burden on caregivers of elderly patients with urinary incontinence: a cross-sectional study in Greece

Athanasios Zachariou, Μaria Filiponi


Purpose: Population ageing is directly associated with the occurrence of diseases related to old age, such as urinary incontinence. This does not only aggravate the quality of life of elderly patients, but is also an important element that affects the mental health and quality of life of their caregivers. The purpose of the study is to assess the degree of burden experienced by caregivers of elderly patients with incontinence in a Greek community of the prefecture of Magnesia.

Methodology: During the period 02/2013-04/2014, we selected 300 caregivers, who were divided into three groups. Group I consisted of 100 caregivers of elderly patients with various diseases besides urinary incontinence, Group II of 100 caregivers of elderly patients who had urinary incontinence effectively treated with medication, and group III of 100 caregivers of elderly patients with severe untreated incontinence. The survey used the Zarit questionnaire. 

Results: In groups I and II, about half of the sample experienced a “moderate to severe burden”. In group III, the majority of caregivers experienced a severe burden (37%). The mean values of the total degree of burden differ significantly among the three groups (p = 0.024).

Conclusion: The study highlighted the need for psychosocial and financial support for caregivers of patients with incontinence, to reduce the burden they experience.


Σκοπός: Η πληθυσμιακή γήρανση συνδέεται άμεσα με την εμφάνιση ασθενειών που συνδέονται με την τρίτη ηλικία, όπως η ακράτεια ούρων. Αυτή δεν επιβαρύνει μόνο την ποιότητα ζωής των ηλικιωμένων ασθενών, αλλά ταυτόχρονα αποτελεί σημαντικό στοιχείο που επιδρά στην ψυχική υγεία και την ποιότητα ζωής των φροντιστών των ασθενών αυτών. Σκοπός της μελέτης είναι η εκτίμηση του βαθμού επιβάρυνσης που βιώνουν οι φροντιστές ηλικιωμένων ασθενών με ακράτεια σε μία ελληνική κοινότητα του νομού Μαγνησίας.

Μεθοδολογία: Κατά το χρονικό διάστημα 02/2013 - 04/2014 επιλέχθηκαν 300 φροντιστές οι οποίοι χωρίσθηκαν σε τρεις ομάδες. Η ομάδα Ι περιελάμβανε 100 φροντιστές ηλικιωμένων με διάφορες παθήσεις εκτός ακράτειας ούρων, η ομάδα ΙΙ 100 φροντιστές ηλικιωμένων που παρουσίαζαν ακράτεια ούρων η οποία αντιμετωπιζόταν αποτελεσματικά με φαρμακευτική θεραπεία, και στην ομάδα ΙΙΙ φροντιστές 100 ηλικιωμένων με σοβαρού βαθμού ακράτεια που δεν αντιμετωπιζόταν. Στην έρευνα χρησιμοποιήθηκε το ερωτηματολόγιο Zarit. 

Αποτελέσματα: Στις ομάδες Ι και ΙΙ περίπου οι μισοί βίωσαν «μέτρια έως σοβαρή επιβάρυνση». Στην ομάδα ΙΙΙ το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό των φροντιστών παρουσίασε  υψηλού βαθμού επιβάρυνση (37%). Οι μέσες τιμές ως προς το συνολικό βαθμό επιβάρυνσης στις τρεις ομάδες διαφέρουν στατιστικά σημαντικά μεταξύ τους (p= 0,024).

Συμπέρασμα: Η μελέτη ανέδειξε την ανάγκη ψυχοκοινωνικής  και οικονομικής στήριξης των φροντιστών ασθενών με ακράτεια, ώστε να μειωθεί η επιβάρυνση που υφίστανται.


ageing; urinary incontinence; caregivers; burden; Zarit questionnaire; γήρανση; ακράτεια ούρων; φροντιστές; επιβάρυνση; ερωτηματολόγιο Zarit

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