The Burden of Caregiving: Musculoskeletal Disorders in Caregivers of Children with Cerebral Palsy
While caring for the child with cerebral palsy (CP), the caregivers may be exposed to stress and physical load leading to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A longitudinal survey was conducted among 405 (mean age: 37.5 ± 4.4 years) caregivers of children with CP who underwent SEMLS. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the relevant data, which included the Borg CR-10 scale and modified Caregivers Strain Index. About 90% of the primary caregivers reported one or more musculoskeletal symptom. Pain was the most common musculoskeletal symptom reported by 94% of the caregivers studied. Over the year after the child underwent SEMLS, nearly 40% of the caregivers reported that their health had worsened further, and this may be due to increased physical stress and strain along with psychosocial energy depletion. Lower back pain was the commonest reported musculoskeletal symptom (65%) followed by knee pain (46%), neck pain (40%) and shoulder pain (36%). Musculoskeletal problems increased the fatigue levels as recorded by Borg CR-10 scale.