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Informal Caregivers' Roles in Dementia: The Impact on Their Quality of Life

The constantly changing process of caring for a person with dementia affects the informal caregivers' role due to its psychosocial impact. This cross-sectional study aimed to analyze the impact of the Person with Dementia informal caregiver's role caregiver to a person with dementia on the self-perceived quality of life (QoL) of the caregiver. In total, 160 informal caregivers were recruited between January and December 2019. Informal caregivers' quality of life was assessed using the European Quality of Life 5-Dimension scale, burden with the Zarit Burden Scale, emotional wellbeing using the General Health Questionnaire, and caregiver reactions using Caregiver Reaction Aspects. Patients' cognitive impairment was assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination, their quality of life using Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease, and neuropsychiatric symptoms using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Outcomes were studied using the Pearson correlation coefficient and ANOVA test. Most informal caregivers' outcomes were significantly associated with their quality of life. Male informal caregivers have a slightly better quality of life than female caregivers ( p < 0.001). Caregiver burden ( p < 0.001), psychological wellbeing ( p < 0.001) and negative aspects of caregiving on health ( p < 0.001) correlated moderately with informal caregivers' quality of life. Factors associated with dementia, including the course of the illness and its severity with the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms can negatively affect the informal caregiver's role and produce a low self-perception of quality of life; thus, social and professional support for informal caregivers is essential.

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