Caregivers of patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) often provide important support in the pre- and postoperative phase of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). DBS-associated changes of patient-functioning may affect caregiver wellbeing and impact the support system. Factors influencing caregiver-wellbeing under these circumstances are incompletely known.
to systematically review studies of sufficient methodological quality on the impact of DBS on caregivers of PD patients.
using PRISMA guidelines, major databases were searched up to May 2020. Five subcategories were identified: Caregiver burden, Caregiver cognitive and psychiatric functioning, Caregiver Quality of Life (QoL), Marital Satisfaction/Conflicts, and Caregiver Satisfaction. Quality was assessed using an in-house checklist.
293 studies were identified; 12 were ultimately included. Caregiver burden, psychiatric and cognitive functioning and QoL remained relatively unchanged. Results on marital satisfaction/conflicts were contrasting: an increase in marital conflicts despite improved relationship quality scores DBS. Caregiver satisfaction with surgery was low with 50-58% of caregivers being disappointed with DBS outcomes. Concerning caregiver related factors: a higher preoperative caregiver QoL, younger age, lower scores on psychiatric rating scales, and more favourable preoperative relationship quality scores, were associated with better caregiver wellbeing. A favourable patient-profile includes younger age and age-at-onset, shorter disease duration, lower medication requirements, and lower scores on psychiatric rating scales.
Although most patient- and caregiver-related subdomains remained unchanged after DBS, dissatisfaction among caregivers and marital problems may constitute a large risk for a well-functioning patient-caregiver dyad. Early recognition of potential problem situations may improve post-DBS care for both patients and caregivers.

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