Abstract

Design

Validation cross-sectional study.

Objectives

Even though caregiver burden (CB) represents a well-recognised concern among caregivers of people with a spinal cord injury (SCI), there are no specific questionnaires designed for its evaluation. This study aimed to assess the psychometric properties of the Caregiver Burden Inventory in Spinal Cord Injury (CBI-SCI), which was modified from its original version, and specifically its construct and reliability.

Setting

Multicentre study in four urban spinal units across Italy. The CBI-SCI was administered to family caregivers in outpatient clinics.

Methods

CBI-SCI was administered in a toolset composed of a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Family Strain Questionnaire-Short Form (FSQ-SF), the Short Form-36 (SF-36), and the Modified Barthel Index (MBI). The CBI-SCI construct validity was assessed through an exploratory factor analysis. The internal consistency of the questionnaire was examined using Cronbach’s alpha (α) coefficient for the total scale and its subscales. Concurrent validity was evaluated performing Pearson’s correlation coefficient with all instruments included in the toolset.

Results

The CBI-SCI was administered to 176 participants from February 2016 to September 2017. Factor analysis highlighted the five-factored structure of the questionnaire. The total scale Cronbach’s α was 0.91 (p < 0.001). All the five subscales of CBI-SCI showed an acceptable internal consistency, ranging from 0.76 to 0.91 (p < 0.001). Pearson’s correlation coefficients of the CBI-SCI with all the administered instruments were statistically significant (p < 0.001), showing congruent relations.

Conclusion

The CBI-SCI, due to its validity and reliability, may represent a valuable instrument to evaluate the CB longitudinally in SCI.

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Acknowledgements

Authors wish to thank the caregivers and the staff at the Spinal Cord Injury Units of Città della Salute e della Scienza Hospital of Turin, IRRCS Fondazione Santa Lucia of Rome, Cannizzaro Hospital of Catania, and Careggi Hospital of Florence for dedicating their time to this study.

Author contributions

AC was responsible for designing and writing the study protocol, and for submitting the study to the ethical committee. He was also responsible for writing the report, coordinating the recruiting centres, and interpreting results. MC was responsible for the database managing, analysing data, and interpreting results. He contributed to writing the report. PM and SF were responsible for designing and writing the study protocol. They provided feedback on the report. GS, LC, BB, and SM were responsible for recruiting the participants and managing the data. They provided feedback on the report. LG and EV provided feedback on the report.

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Affiliations

  1. A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza Hospital of Turin, Turin, Italy

    • Alessio Conti
    • , Marco Clari
    • , Patrizia Maitan
    • , Silvia Mozzone
    •  & Simona Frigerio
  2. University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

    • Alessio Conti
    • , Marco Clari
    • , Ercole Vellone
    •  & Simona Frigerio
  3. University of Turin, Turin, Italy

    • Lorenza Garrino
  4. IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy

    • Giorgio Scivoletto
  5. A.O. Cannizzaro Hospital, Catania, Italy

    • Lucia Cavallaro
  6. A.O.U. Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy

    • Barbara Bandini

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Alessio Conti.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41393-018-0179-7