Pythagorean Self Awareness Intervention in Caregivers of Patients with Motor Disabilities

Fotini Voulgari, Flora Bacopoulou, Artemios Artemiadis, Ioulia Kokka, Dimitrios Vlachakis, Xanthi Tigani, George P. Chrousos, Christina Darviri


Caregiving for disabled people is a strenuous task often provided by family members, with adverse repercussions on the caregivers’ health. The aim of this study was to evaluate, for the first time, the effects of a novel cognitive-based stress management technique, the Pythagorean Self-Awareness Intervention (PSAI) on the stress levels and other cognitive and psychological characteristics of non-paid caregivers of patients with motor disability. In this quasi-experimental study, 59 caregivers of first-degree relatives with motor disabilities due to chronic neurological diseases, inpatients at a Rehabilitation Center, in Athens, Greece, were assigned to an intervention (PSAI, n=28) and a control group (received unstructured consultation, n=31). Psychological, cognitive, and sleep-related measurements (Zarit Burden Interview tool, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Self-Efficacy Scale, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, California Verbal Learning Test-II, Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised) were held at baseline and after 8 weeks (at completion of PSAI) in both groups. PSAI was found to decrease caregivers’ stress, depressive symptoms and anxiety and improve their sleep quality, visual memory, self-efficacy, and cognitive speed processing. Future randomized controlled studies are needed to investigate the effects of this novel intervention in larger samples of caregivers. 


caregiver; Pythagorean Self-Awareness; disability; stress; depression; anxiety; sleep; visual memory; self-efficacy; cognitive

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