Author(s): Hacer GÃK U?UR Oya Sevcan ORAK Funda BA?KÃY Sevcan SERDARO?LU Ãzlem KÃÃÃKÃNER
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the levels of loneliness and social support perceived by caregivers of bedridden patients. The study population of this descriptive study consisted of 120 caregivers of bedridden patients registered in the home care unit of Ministry of Health-Ordu University, Training and Research Hospital as of May 31, 2013. The whole study population was studied without performing any sampling in the study. The study was completed with 106 caregivers who agreed to participate in the research and who have patients alive during the study period. Data were collected through home visits and face-to-face interview method between June 1 and August 31, 2013. "Patient and Caregiver Introductory Information Form", "Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support" and "UCLA Loneliness Scale" were used for data collection. The data were analyzed using the percentage distribution, arithmetic mean, MannWhitney U test, Kruskal Wallis test and Spearman correlation coefficient. A statistically significant difference was found between mean social support scores and caregivers' age, family type, degree of relatedness and ability to obtain support (p<0.05). A statistically significant difference was found also between mean loneliness scores and caregivers' family type, educational status and duration of care (p<0.05). A statistically significant negative relationship was found between mean perceived social support scores and loneliness scores of the caregivers (p<0.01). The levels of loneliness were decreased as the social support perceived by caregivers increased.