Background: Stroke exposes the patients and the caregivers to the development of burden in terms of health, economic and social costs. Few studies have focused on the relationship between the psychological burden and the level of disability in stroke survivors and caregiver dyads.
Methods: This cross-sectional study aimed at determining the psychological burden of stroke in patients and caregivers in Kinshasa. 85 stroke survivors and caregivers dyads were screened using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Zarit Burden Inventory, and the Rankin’s modified Scale to determine respectively the depression, the anxiety in stroke survivors as well as the caregivers’ psychological burden.
Results: Up to fifty percent of survivors of stroke had a severe disability, associated with a high risk of the occurrence of the psychological burden. Nearly eighty-five percent of caregivers showed a moderate psychological burden. The stroke survivors developed more depression than anxiety. Caregivers developed more likely anxiety and depression than stroke survivors.
Conclusions: There is a positive relationship between the psychological burden in caregivers and the level of disability in stroke survivors far from the acute phase of the stroke. Healthcare providers working with the survivors of stroke should assess for anxiety and depression in caregivers.