The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between stress and suicidal ideation in family members who care for a patient with acquired brain injury (ABI). The sample consisted of 80 family carers who are members of Headway Gauteng (the brain injury association) located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Most of the research participants were primary caregivers (72.5%) with secondary caregivers making up a smaller percentage (27.5%). Secondary caregivers tend to perform the role of assisting and supporting the primary caregiver. Stress levels were measured, and a global stress score was obtained for each research participant. This global stress score included individual scores for physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms of stress for each participant. Both global and individual stress scores were correlated with answers to Question nine of the Beck’s depression inventory. The correlation between stress and suicidal ideation was significant, with data showing that suicidal ideation directly increased with increasing levels of stress.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.