Predictors of psychological distress and sleep deprivation in caregivers of stroke survivors

  • Norio Sugawara
    Corresponding author at: Department of Psychiatry, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
    Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Clinical Research and Education Premotion Division, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawahigashi-cho, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan

    Department of Psychiatry, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
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  • Norio Yasui-Furukori
    Department of Psychiatry, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
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  • Kazushi Maruo
    Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Clinical Research and Education Premotion Division, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawahigashi-cho, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan

    Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan
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  • Kazutaka Shimoda
    Department of Psychiatry, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
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  • Tomiki Sumiyoshi
    Department of Preventive Intervention for Psychiatric Disorders, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawahigashi-cho, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan
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      Caregivers for stroke survivors (CSS) suffer from long hours of care, limited support, and financial difficulties, which often affect their mental health.


      This study sought to determine the factors affecting psychological distress and sleep duration among CSS.


      We analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2013 Comprehensive Survey of the Living Conditions for Stroke Survivors and CSS. Linked data from 841 pairs of stroke survivors and CSS were extracted. Kessler's Psychological Distress scale (K6) was used to evaluate psychological distress. CSS who slept less than 5 hours per day were classified as having short sleep duration. Factors predictive of psychological distress and short sleep duration were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression analysis with the forward selection method.


      The mean (SD) age of the CSS was 65.4 (12.5) years. A total of 5.6% of these caregivers presented with serious psychological distress, and 12.0% were sleep deprived. Serious psychological distress was associated with not having someone to consult with, having subjective symptoms within a few days, and having short sleep duration, while having their own houses reduced the risk of serious psychological distress. Furthermore, short sleep duration was associated with stroke survivors in long-term care levels 4 or 5, not having someone to consult with, participation in sponge baths as part of nursing care activities, and having serious psychological distress.


      This nationwide survey identified several risk factors for psychological stress and sleep deprivation among CSS and suggests the need for multidimensional approaches to reduce their distress.

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