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Factors Associated with Quality of Life among Caregivers of People with Spinal Cord Injury

Objectives: Often people with spinal cord injury (SCI) require help from their caregivers to carry out activities of daily living. Such assistance may affect caregiver quality of life (QoL). This study investigates the QoL and its associated risk factors among caregivers of people with SCI to find possible ways to increase their QoL. Material and Method: A convenience sample of 135 Iranian caregivers of people with SCI participated in a cross-sectional study from the Brain and Spinal Injury Repair Research Center of Tehran (BASIR), Iran, from June 2018 to October 2019. The World Health Organization's Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQoL-BREF), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS), and a demographic questionnaire were administered. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was then applied to identify risk factors associated with caregiver QoL. Results: Moderate to highly significant negative correlations were observed between all domains of the WHOQoL scale and subscales of the CBS and the BDI-II. After controlling for demographic and clinical variables, depression, burden, and level of injury were found to predict caregiver QoL significantly. Furthermore, QoL was lower in caregivers of people with quadriplegia than paraplegia (p<0.05). Conclusions: The level of injury, self-perceived caregiver burden, and depression are associated with QoL for the caregivers of people with SCI. A holistic approach incorporating caregiver training, psychological interventions, and adequate support may enable better QoL for these caregivers.

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Journal article
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Occupational Therapy International
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