May - August 2002: 
Volume 15, Issue 2

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Burden imposed on the families of patients with chronic respiratory failure
SUMMARY. Τhe objective and subjective burden imposed on the families of patients under LTOT and MV, as well as their General Health Score was estimated in 32 family members (56.7% husband /wife, 33.3% child) with mean duration of common life 29.7 years and daily contact rate 96%. A profound objective burden was revealed in the field of social activities in 57.7% of the families, home care managing in 46.7%, financial condition in 43.3%, occupation activities in 30% and satisfaction with medical services in 27.6% of the families. The subjective burden rates were respectively lower. The strategies adopted by the families in order to cope with the imposed burden were: reevaluation of their aims in 90% of the families, resignation 86.1%, passivity in 50%, hopefulness in 50%, guilt in 16.6% and ambivalence in 17% of the families. General Health Score was >4 in 69.7% of the relatives and it was significantly related with the objective burden imposed in social activities (r=0.61, p<0.05) and occupation activities (r=0.70, p<0.01), as well as with the subjective burden on home care managing (r=0.78, p<0.01) and financial condition (r=0.76, p<0.01). The families of patients with CRI seem to face major problems (severe burden) in their social relations and financial condition. On the contrary, they seem to be satisfied (absence of burden) with the provided medical services. Families do not seem to experience subjectively the burden that is objectively recorded and, in their vast majority, they adopt healthy coping strategies. Nevertheless, a high rate of them is estimated to be in great risk of developing mental disorders. Pneumon 2002, (2):183-188