Background Caregivers of patients with chronic illnesses may experience depression and anxiety. The psychological and emotional impact to caregivers of patients with rheumatologic conditions, especially those caring for patients with disability, may lead to increased morbidity and mortality.
Objectives Our primary objective was to determine the prevalence of anxiety in caregivers of patients with SLE, RA, and OA, seen at the Philippine General Hospital.
Methods Demographic data was collected. The HADS-P, a 14-item rating scale with independent subscales for anxiety and depression, was administered to each patient. A score of 11 or higher indicated probable depression or anxiety.
Results A total of 438 patients were included in this study. All patients included were acting as the caregiver of an individual with a rheumatologic condition, with 182, 151, and 107 caring for patients with SLE, RA, and OA, respectively. The prevalence of probable depression among caregivers of patients with SLE, RA, and OA were 2.2±10%, 0±0%, and 1.9±10%, respectively with a 95% CI. The prevalence of probable anxiety among caregivers of patients with SLE (17.58±10%) was significantly higher than, RA and OA (9.93±10% p =0.05, and 8.57±10% p =0.04, respectively). Other variables, such as low income, presence of comorbid illnesses, or the number of hours per day spent caring for the patient were not found to be significant factors.
Conclusions The prevalence of anxiety among caregivers of patients with SLE were found to be significantly higher than those of other rheumatologic conditions, implying that the illness of the patient they are caring for impacts their risk for anxiety. More studies are needed to determine risk factors for anxiety among caregivers of patients with SLE, and the impact this may have on patient care.
Disclosure of Interest None declared