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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-9

Evaluation of heart rate variability among caregivers of geriatric patients undergoing surgery

1 Department of Physiology, Peoples Education Society Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Physiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Anesthesiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Amrith Pakkala
40, SM Road 1st cross, T. Dasarahalli, Bangalore 560 057
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DOI: 10.4103/1119-0388.130174

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Background: Caregivers of geriatric patients undergoing surgery are likely to suffer from mental and physical exhaustion leading to stress. This is important in view of the prevailing socioeconomic and the healthcare system available in a developing country like India. Therefore, the present study is designed to measure heart rate variability (HRV) among this special group of population who give care to geriatric patients undergoing surgery. Materials and Methods: In all, 15 female subjects were enrolled from among attendants of patients admitted with an immediate indication of surgery, who required constant care. They were free from any type of physical and mental health issues, nonsmokers and nonaddicts. Each caregiver was subjected to HRV analysis on three occasions: The first record was performed on the first day of their arrival in the hospital as caregivers. The second observation was recorded after 3 days of caregiving. The final HRV analysis was done after 1 month of caregiving. Two types of parameters were analyzed: Time domain and frequency domain. Statistical analysis was done using paired t-test. Results: Both the HRV parameters, time and frequency domain, showed decreased values during the third day and 1 month recording as compared with the first day recording. The decrease is much more during the 1 month recording as compared with the third day recording. Statistically significant decrease is observed in mean RR interval, heart rate, very low frequency (VLF), and low frequency (LF) only when the first day recording is compared with the third day recording, but when the first day recording was compared with the 1 month recording, significant decrease was found in mean RR interval and heart rate. Conclusion: Subjects involved in taking care of geriatric patients are likely to undergo a lot of physical and mental stress, thus affecting their autonomic status. HRV analysis using short term electrocardiography (ECG) recording was used to detect changes consequent to this stress. It was found that almost all HRV parameters measuring heart rate complexity were decreased in the period of caregiving.

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