Caregivers of patients with disorders of consciousness: coping and prolonged grief
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
Volume 127, Issue 6, pages 413–418, June 2013
How to Cite
Caregivers of patients with disorders of consciousness: coping and prolonged grief. Acta Neurol Scand: DOI: 10.1111/ane.12061.© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S., .
- Issue published online: 14 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 31 OCT 2012
- Palliative Care and Brain Injury Units of Fundación Instituto San José de Madrid and the Orden Hospitalaria de San Juan de Dios
- disorders of consciousness;
- minimally conscious state;
- prolonged grief disorder;
- vegetative state
To study the relationship between coping strategies and prolonged grief disorder (PGD) in caregivers of patients with disorders of consciousness: vegetative state (VS) or minimally conscious state (MCS).
Materials and methods
Fifty-three caregivers of 43 patients with VS or MCS were assessed using PG-12 and Brief COPE-28. Mean differences for each coping strategy between caregivers of patients with/without PGD were compared using Bonferroni-adjusted t-tests, and the size effect was calculated (Cohen′s d).
The frequency of PGD was very high (n = 32; 60.40%). The most common coping strategies were problem-focused: active coping (mean = 6.41; SD = 1.02), Instrumental support (mean = 6.41; SD = 1.06), Planning (mean = 6.32; SD = 1.01) and Acceptance (mean = 6.20; SD = 1.29). Acceptance predicted a lower presence of PGD (P = 0.001; Cohen′s d = 1.02), while Denial (P = 0.003; Cohen′s d = 0.98) and Self-blame (P = 0.004, Cohen′s d = 0.91) increased the presence of PGD.
The caregivers of patients with VS or MCS show a high risk of PGD. Problem-focused coping strategies are the most used. Acceptance is highly protective of PGD, and Denial and Self-blame are associated with an increased presence of PGD. PGD in caregivers of patients in VS or MCS should be evaluated, Acceptance and problem-focused strategies should be promoted, and Denial and Self-blame should be diminished.