JAPAN JOURNAL OF NURSING SCIENCE, vol.16, no.2, pp.202-211, 2019 (SCI-Expanded)
Aim This study aimed to investigate the effect of progressive muscle relaxation on the caregiver burden and level of depression among the caregivers of older patients with a stroke. Methods This randomized, controlled experimental study was conducted between December, 2015 and July, 2017 with the caregivers of older patients with a stroke who had been admitted to the home care unit of a state hospital. The caregivers were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 23) and control (n = 21) groups, based on the study's inclusion criteria. The caregivers in the intervention group practiced progressive muscle relaxation exercises at home 3 days per week for 8 weeks. The control group had no intervention. Results The mean age of the older patients with a stroke was 80.15 +/- 9.86 years and the mean duration of the disease was 39.07 +/- 44.69 months. The mean age of the caregivers was 50.29 +/- 12.62 years, 84.1% of whom were female, 38.6% were elementary school graduates, and 86.4% were married. It was found that there was a statistically significant decrease in the mean Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale and Beck Depression Scale scores of the caregivers in the intervention group after practicing progressive muscle relaxation, but this decrease was not statistically significant when the intervention and control groups were compared. Conclusion This study showed that there was a statistically significant decrease in the caregiver burden and level of depression among the caregivers in the intervention group after progressive muscle relaxation exercises, but that there was no statistically significant difference when the intervention and control groups were compared.