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Domains of quality of life in Alzheimer’s disease vary according to caregiver kinship

Introduction: Compared to other types of caregiver, spouse-caregivers tend to be closer to people with Alzheimer’s disease (PwAD) because of their different position in the relationship. We designed this study to compare the differences in caregivers’ quality of life (QoL) and domains of QoL according to the kinship relationship between the members of caregiving dyads. Methods: We assessed QoL of 98 PwAD and their family caregivers (spouse-caregivers, n = 49; adult children, n = 43; and others, n = 6). The PwAD and their caregivers completed questionnaires about their QoL, awareness of disease, cognition, severity of dementia, depression, and burden of caring. Results: The comparison between caregiver types showed that spouse-caregivers were older, with higher levels of burden and lower scores for cognition. Caregivers’ total QoL scores were not significantly different according to type of kinship. However, there were significant differences in the domains physical health (p = 0.04, Cohen’s d [d] = -0.42), marriage (p = 0.01, d = 1.31), and friends (p = 0.04, d = -0.41), and life as a whole showed a trend to difference (p = 0.08, d = -0.33). When QoL domains were analyzed within dyads, there were significant differences between members of spouse dyads in the domains energy (p = 0.01, d = -0.49), ability to do things for fun (p = 0.01, d = -0.48), and memory (p = 0.000, d = -1.07). For non-spouse dyads, there were significant differences between caregivers and PwAD for the QoL domains memory (p = 0.004, d = -0.63), marriage (p = 0.001, d = -0.72), friends (p = 0.001, d = -0.65), and ability to do chores (p = 0.000, d = -0.76). Conclusions: Differences were only detected between spouse/non-spouse-caregivers when QoL was analyzed by domains. We speculate that spouse and non-spouse caregivers have distinct assessments and perceptions of what is important to their QoL.

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SciELO Brazil
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Trends In Psychiatry And Psychotherapy
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