Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Impact of care
  3. Quality of life

Quality of life

The following resources examine the quality of life of carers and those they care for – the positive and negative effects of caring.

Click on the title of any resource to find out more about the source of the information such as the type of reference, ISBN/ISSN, publication year, keywords. A number of these fields can be used to find further resources i.e. with the same keywords, or by the same author using the links on the right-hand side and within the Key Information box.

You can also click on an author's name in the list below to find further resources by that author, and use the DOI and other links to access the original source material (note: some source materials require subscription or permission to access).
 

The impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on people with dementia and their carers (Findings from studies and key messages)

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent local, regional, and national lockdowns have led to significant disruption to health and social care services. For people with dementia and their family carers this is problematic. People with dementia rely upon timely and responsive services to live well. The abrupt closure and reduction of many health and community support services arising from the pandemic is of concern. Our two studies explored the impact of COVID-19 on the life quality of people with dementia and their carers. The purpose of this document is to share these findings and provide key messages for services and commissioners. The key messages have been developed in conjunction with people with dementia, their carers and researchers. The Time for Dementia (TfD) study followed a group of 245 family carers during COVID lockdown who provided information on their quality of life and other factors affecting wellbeing before and during the pandemic. In-depth interviews about the impact of the pandemic on their quality of life were also undertaken with 16 carers. The DETERMIND-C19 study compared information collected from 93 people newly diagnosed with dementia and 113 carers before the pandemic to that gathered during the pandemic. Changes in people’s mental, physical and social well-being were explored as well as their use of services over this time period. In-depth interviews with 21 people with dementia and 42 carers were undertaken in order to better understand experiences and quality of life during the pandemic.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

A validation study of the CarerQol instrument in informal caregivers of people with dementia from eight European countries

Purpose: Informal care constitutes an important part of the total care for people with dementia. Therefore, the impact of the syndrome on their caregivers as well as that of health and social care services for people with dementia should be considered. This study investigated the convergent and clinical validity of the CarerQol instrument, which measures and values the impact of providing informal care, in a multi-country sample of caregivers for people with dementia.; Methods: Cross-sectional data from a sample of 451 respondents in eight European countries, collected by the Actifcare project, were evaluated. Convergent validity was analysed with Spearman's correlation coefficients and multivariate correlations between the CarerQol-7D utility score and dimension scores, and other similar quality of life measures such as CarerQol-VAS, ICECAP-O, and EQ-5D. Clinical validity was evaluated by bivariate and multivariate analyses of the degree to which the CarerQol instrument can differentiate between characteristics of caregivers, care receivers and caregiving situation. Country dummies were added to test CarerQol score differences between countries.; Results: The mean CarerQol utility score was 77.6 and varied across countries from 74.3 (Italy) to 82.3 (Norway). The scores showed moderate to strong positive correlations with the CarerQol-VAS, ICECAP-O, and EQ-5D health problems score of the caregiver. Multivariate regression analysis showed that various characteristics of the caregiver, care receiver and caregiving situation were associated with caregiver outcomes, but there was no evidence of a country-level effect.; Conclusion: This study demonstrates the convergent and clinical validity of the CarerQol instrument to evaluate the impact of providing informal care for people with dementia.

Access source material through DOI

Informal carers' experiences of caring for someone with Multiple Sclerosis: A photovoice investigation

Objectives: This study explores the lived experiences of carers of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), specifically in relation to their quality of life (QoL), through the use of images and narratives, with the aim of gaining a nuanced insight into the complex nature of QoL in the MS caregiving context.; Design: Real-time qualitative design using the photovoice method.; Methods: Twelve MS carers (aged 30-73 years) took photographs of objects/places/events that represented enhancement or compromise to their QoL and composed written narratives for each photograph based on their experiences of caregiving. In total, 126 photographs and their corresponding narratives were analysed using content analysis.; Results: Seven inter-related themes were identified. MS caregiving-related challenges, sense of loss (e.g., loss of activities), emotional impact (e.g., feeling lonely), urge to escape, and sense of anxiety over the unpredictability of MS carer role were discussed in relation to the negative experiences that compromised their QoL. The themes precious moments (e.g., time spent with loved ones or hobbies) and helpful support (e.g., family and pets) encompassed participants' positive experiences that enhanced their QoL.; Conclusions: Findings demonstrated the multi-faceted and complex nature of MS caregiver's QoL and highlighted that although the experiences of MS carers were mostly negative, there were also some positive aspects to caregiving, that helped enhance carers' QoL by ameliorating these negative experiences. These findings can be used to inform support programmes and enhance service provision for MS carers. 

Access source material through DOI

"Home wasn't really home anymore": Understanding caregivers' perspectives of the impact of blood cancer caregiving on the family system

Purpose Research on the impact of family cancer caregiving is primarily dyadic in focus. How caregiving affects the larger family system is less understood, yet knowing this is vital to developing supportive resources for caregivers, patients, and their families. To better understand how blood cancer caregiving impacts the family system, we explored the experiences of adult child caregivers of diagnosed parents and parent caregivers of diagnosed children. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 39 midlife parent and adult child caregivers of patients with leukemia or lymphoma. Using a family systems theory lens, we conducted a thematic analysis using the constant comparative method to identify how caregiving impacts the larger family system. Results Caregivers ranged from age 30 to 64 (M= 43). They described four ways that caregiving impacted themselves and the larger family system: (1)disruption of home life, (2)emotional (dis)connection, (3)juggling competing roles, and (4)developing resiliency and intimacy. Perspectives within each category differed based on their relational role to the patient or in the broader family. Conclusions Themes identify ways to provide support to both caregiver types. Support care resources could help families navigate gains and losses impacting the family system after a blood cancer diagnosis. Both caregiver types described experiencing (and/or their family experiencing) a loss in relational connection, feeling alone, and members distancing themselves. Both caregiver types also described gains in family functioning, like strengthened bonds and togetherness. Findings validate the need for family-centered support with key areas to address for healthy family functioning.

Access source material through DOI

Validation of the Hungarian version of the CarerQol instrument in informal caregivers: results from a cross-sectional survey among the general population in Hungary

Purpose: The CarerQol instrument has been designed and validated as an instrument able to measure both the positive and the negative impacts of caregiving on the quality of life of informal caregivers (CarerQol-7D), as well as their general happiness (CarerQol-VAS). The aim of this study was to assess the construct validity of the CarerQol in the Hungarian context.; Methods: The CarerQol was translated into Hungarian. Subsequently, in a cross-sectional online survey, representative for the general Hungarian population (N = 1000), informal caregivers were identified (N = 149, female 51.2%, mean age 53.2). Clinical, convergent and discriminant validity of the CarerQol were evaluated in relation to the caregivers' and care recipients' EQ-5D-5L health status, and caregiving situation characteristics.; Results: Average CarerQol-7D and CarerQol-VAS scores were 76.0 (SD 16.2) and 6.8 (SD 2.3), respectively. CarerQol-7D and CarerQol-VAS scores were significantly correlated with caregiving time (r = - 0.257; - 0.212), caregivers' EQ-5D-5L scores (r = 0.453; 0.326) and the CarerQol-7D also with care recipients' EQ-5D-5L scores (r = 0.247). CarerQol-7D scores differed significantly with relevant caregiving characteristics (e.g. nature and severity of care recipients' health status, sharing household) and both the CarerQol-7D and CarerQol-VAS with the overall care experience.; Conclusion: Our findings confirmed the validity of the Hungarian language version of the CarerQol and support the cross-cultural validity of the instrument. CarerQol-7D scores performed better in distinguishing caregiving situation characteristics than the general happiness measure CarerQol-VAS. Care recipients' health status was only weakly associated with informal caregivers' care-related quality of life and happiness. Caregivers' own health and caregiving circumstances were more strongly associated with these scores.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life and Well-being of Carers of People With Dementia: Are There Differences Between Working and Nonworking Carers? Results From the IDEAL Program

The aim of this study was to identify the differences in quality of life (QoL) and well-being between working and nonworking dementia carers and the relative contribution of psychological characteristics, caregiving experience, and social support. Multiple regressions modeled the contribution of working status, caregiver experiences, and psychological and social resources to carer QoL (EQ-5D) and well-being (WHO-5). After controlling for age, gender, carer–dyad relationship, and severity of dementia, working status contributed significant variance to EQ-5D (2%) but not to WHO-5 scores. Independent of working status, higher self-esteem and reduced stress contributed to variance in both models. Self-efficacy, social support, and positive perceptions of caregiving additionally contributed to higher WHO-5 scores. Working status associated with higher EQ-5D QoL; this may reflect the sustained sense of independence associated with supported work opportunities for carers. Outside of working status, the findings support the importance of psychological and social factors as targets to improved mental health for dementia carers.

Access source material through DOI

Types of stroke-related deficits and their impact on family caregiver's depressive symptoms, burden, and quality of life

Background: Stroke caregiving has been associated with higher rates of caregiver burden, depression, and lower quality of life compared to non-caregivers. Little is known about relationships between stroke survivors' Cognitive/Emotional and Motor/Functional deficits and caregivers' outcomes.; Objective: To determine the relationship between stroke survivors' Cognitive/Emotional deficits and Motor/Functional deficits and caregivers' depression, burden, and quality of life.; Method: This is a retrospective secondary data analysis. The sample consisted of 109 caregivers of stroke survivors. Step-wise linear multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine if Cognitive/Emotional deficits and/or Motor/Functional deficits, were predictive of caregivers' depressive symptoms, burden, physical quality of life, and mental quality of life.; Results: The Cognitive/Emotional deficits category was a better predictor than the Motor/Functional deficit of caregivers' depressive symptoms, burden, and mental quality of life. The Cognitive/Emotional deficit score positively predicted both depression (β = .49, p < .001) and burden (β = 0.39, p < .001) and negatively predicted mental quality of life (β = -0.42, p < .001), though it did not significantly predict physical quality of life (β = -0.01, p = .90). The motor/functional deficits failed to significantly predict any of the caregiver outcomes (all p-values >.05).; Conclusions: The Cognitive/Emotional deficits appear to impact caregiver well-being more than the Motor/Functional deficits. Understanding the impact of Cognitive/Emotional and Motor/Functional deficits on caregivers can help clinicians identify caregivers at the highest risk for negative outcomes. 

Access source material through DOI

TBI-CareQOL Family Disruption: Family Disruption in Caregivers of Persons With TBI

Purpose: Family disruption is often an indirect consequence of providing care for a person with traumatic brain injury (TBI). This article describes the development and preliminary validation of a Family Disruption scale designed for inclusion within the TBI-CareQOL, measurement system. Method/Design: Five hundred thirty-four caregivers of persons with TBI (service member/veteran n = 316; civilian n = 218) completed the Family Disruption scale, alongside several other measures of caregiver strain and health-related quality of life. Classical test theory and item response theory (IRT)-based analyses were conducted to develop, and establish reliability and validity of, this scale. Results: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, as well as Samejima's graded response model-related IRT fit analyses. supported the development of a 3-item scale. This final scale is scored on a T score metric (M = 50; SD = 10); higher scores are indicative of more family disruption. Reliability (internal consistency; test-retest stability) was supported for both caregiver groups, and average administration times were under 10 s. Convergent and discriminant validity were supported by strong correlations between Family Disruption and measures of caregiver burden, and smaller correlations with positive aspects of caregiving. As evidence of known-groups validity, caregivers of lower-functioning persons with TBI experienced more family disruption than caregivers of higher functioning individuals. Conclusions: The TBI-CareQOL Family Disruption scale is a brief, reliable, and valid assessment of caregiver perceptions of how caring for an individual with a TBI interferes with family life. This measure is well-suited for inclusion in studies seeking to support family functioning in persons with TBI.

Access source material through DOI

The relationship between the burden on caregivers in caring for older people and their quality of life

Older people have decreased functions, which lead to increased dependence on others, especially their families. This dependence can impose a burden on the caregivers who help with the daily needs of older people, and any resulting inability to provide care has an impact on their quality of life. This study aims to identify relationship between the burden on caregivers in caring for older people and their quality of life. The research method is a cross-sectional design based on 135 respondents; the inclusion criteria for the study are families and the older people who live in the same house. The results of the statistical tests, there is a relationship between the burden on caregivers in caring for older people and the quality of life of the latter (p<0.05). The analysis also obtained the result OR=2.382 (95% CI=1.193; 4.757). Based on the results of the study, various efforts are needed to reduce the burden on caregivers, in order to increase their ability to care for older people and improve the quality of those in need. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life of Informal Caregivers behind the Scene of the COVID-19 Epidemic in Serbia

Background and objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented reliance on informal caregivers as one of the pillars of healthcare systems. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life of informal caregivers during the COVID-19 epidemic in Serbia. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among informal caregivers during the COVID-19 epidemic in Serbia. Physical and mental quality of life was measured by the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Additional data included sociodemographic characteristics, caregiver and care recipient characteristics, and COVID-19 related concerns. The qualitative component was performed using focus groups and individual in-depth interviews. Results: Out of 112 informal caregivers enrolled, most were female (80%), and the average age was 51.1 +/- 12.3 years. The majority was delivering care to one person, who was a family member, on a daily basis (86.4%, 92%, and 91.1%, respectively). In multiple regression models, significant predictors of caregivers' physical health were delivering care to a family member and a higher level of care complexity, while significant predictors of caregivers' mental health were a higher level of care complexity and increased concerns about self-health and the health of the person being cared for due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Conclusions: Informal caregivers are experiencing negative physical and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 epidemic in Serbia.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life of family caregivers of patients with a stoma: a cross-sectional study from Iran

Aim: The family plays a key role in supporting and caring for patients who have a gastrointestinal stoma because of cancer. This study investigated the quality of life of family members caring for such patients. Methods: A descriptive study was conducted in 2020 in Iran. The study sample consisted of 250 family members caring for cancer patients with an intestinal stoma. The Caregiver Quality of Life Index–Cancer scale was used to measure quality of life. This scale has 35 questions, which are categorised into four subscales: mental/ emotional burden; lifestyle disruption; positive adaptation; and financial concerns. The highest possible total score is 140 (35 in each subscale), and a high score indicates a poor quality of life. Results: A total of 250 carers took part in the study. Of these, 143 (57.2%) were men and the average age was 35.1 years. Mean scores of mental/emotional burden, lifestyle disruption, positive adaptation, and financial concerns were 28.4±41, 17.3±3.2, 19.8±28, and 8.6±1.2 respectively. No significant relationship was found between participants’ quality of life and demographic variables. Conclusion: Carers’ quality of life is relatively poor. Carers’ quality of life need to be improved and support programmes, devised and delivered by nurses, could have a role in this. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life and the associated factors among family caregivers of older people with dementia in Thailand

Long-term care for older people with dementia can adversely impact a family caregiver's life. A decrease in their quality of life may compromise the quality of care they provide to older people and their own quality of life. The samples include 76 family caregivers of older people with dementia in Thailand. Six questionnaires and the EuroQoL Five Dimensions Questionnaire were used in data collection. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. The findings revealed that quality of life of family caregivers was at a high level. Experiences of close relationships between care dyads and perceived social support were positively related to family caregiver's quality of life, whereas perceived stress and burden were negatively related. Perceived social support and experiences of close relationships might be predictors of family caregiver's quality of life. High quality of life levels among Thai family caregivers of older people with dementia were influenced by high perceived social support and high experiences of close relationships. An intervention focusing on modifying such predicting factors may effectively help maintain quality of life of these family caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life and Needs of Deaf Informal Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer's and Related Dementia

No studies have included the experiences and needs of informal caregivers who are deaf, use American Sign Language (ASL), and care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias (ADRD). The CDC's BRFSS Caregiver Module and PROMIS-Deaf Profile measures were administered via an online bilingual English/ASL platform between October 2019 and March 2020. Out of 194 deaf adult signers who completed an online survey, 42 respondents (mean age = 66; SD = 12; 74% White) endorsed informally caring for someone with a medical condition. In this survey subsample of informal caregivers, more years of education was significantly associated with higher generic quality of life and higher deaf-specific quality of life. A smaller subset of informal deaf informal caregivers who were currently taking care of loved ones with ADRD were then invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. Among the 22 informal caregivers who were interviewed, there was a strong agreement among the participants who felt that their quality of life as informal caregivers was worse than hearing informal caregivers who took care of loved ones with ADRD. Findings highlight the importance of a call to action to address the needs of deaf informal ADRD caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Promoting Health and Well-Being Through Mobile Health Technology (Roadmap 2.0) in Family Caregivers and Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Protocol for the Development of a Mobile Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Cancer patients who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation are among the most medically fragile patient populations with extreme demands for caregivers. Indeed, with earlier hospital discharges, the demands placed on caregivers continue to intensify. Moreover, an increased number of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantations are being performed worldwide, and this expensive procedure has significant economic consequences. Thus, the health and well-being of family caregivers have attracted widespread attention. Mobile health technology has been shown to deliver flexible, and time- and cost-sparing interventions to support family caregivers across the care trajectory. Objective: This protocol aims to leverage technology to deliver a novel caregiver-facing mobile health intervention named Roadmap 2.0. We will evaluate the effectiveness of Roadmap 2.0 in family caregivers of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Methods: The Roadmap 2.0 intervention will consist of a mobile randomized trial comparing a positive psychology intervention arm with a control arm in family caregiver-patient dyads. The primary outcome will be caregiver health-related quality of life, as assessed by the PROMIS Global Health scale at day 120 post-transplant. Secondary outcomes will include other PROMIS caregiver- and patient-reported outcomes, including companionship, self-efficacy for managing symptoms, self-efficacy for managing daily activities, positive affect and well-being, sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety. Semistructured qualitative interviews will be conducted among participants at the completion of the study. We will also measure objective physiological markers (eg, sleep, activity, heart rate) through wearable wrist sensors and health care utilization data through electronic health records. Results: We plan to enroll 166 family caregiver-patient dyads for the full data analysis. The study has received Institutional Review Board approval as well as Code Review and Information Assurance approval from our health information technology services. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study has been briefly put on hold. However, recruitment began in August 2020. We have converted all recruitment, enrollment, and onboarding processes to be conducted remotely through video telehealth. Consent will be obtained electronically through the Roadmap 2.0 app. Conclusions: This mobile randomized trial will determine if positive psychology-based activities delivered through mobile health technology can improve caregiver health-related quality of life over a 16-week study period. This study will provide additional data on the effects of wearable wrist sensors on caregiver and patient self-report outcomes.

Access source material through DOI

Prevalence of dementia and quality of life of caregivers of people living with dementia in Malaysia

Aim: Dementia is the major cause of disability among older persons and leading physical and psychological sequelae for both the person living with dementia (PLwD) and their caregivers. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dementia in Malaysia and identify the factors influencing quality of life (QoL) of caregivers of PLwD.; Methods: A nationwide survey was conducted among individuals aged ≥60 years. Cognition was assessed with the Identification and Intervention for Dementia in Elderly Africans (IDEA) tool. QoL of older caregivers was assessed using the Control, Autonomy, Self-Realization and Pleasure (CASP-19) questionnaire.; Results: The prevalence of dementia among older adults aged ≥60 years in Malaysia was found to be 8.5%. The prevalence was found to be higher among females, those with no formal education and those in rural areas in Malaysia. The mean QoL of family caregivers of PLwD was significantly lower than the caregivers of older adults without dementia were (P < 0.001). Multivariable linear regression analysis on the subpopulation of PLwD showed that inability to carry out activities of daily living among PLwD (P = 0.014) and low to fair social support for the caregivers (P < 0.001) were negatively associated with QoL of caregivers of PLwD.; Conclusions: The high prevalence of dementia among older adults in Malaysia emphasizes the need for affirmative action in Malaysia. The functional capacity of the PLwD and social support determines the QoL of caregivers of PLwD in Malaysia. Thus, the community as a whole needs to provide support to PLwD and their caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Perception and Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of Cancer Patients

Introduction: Cancer has been most feared among all the significantly increasing chronic diseases, and is widely assumed to be fatal. The quality of life (QOL) of the patient pertaining to physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being is altered, which ultimately affects the QOL of the family caregivers. The study was conducted to assess the QOL among family caregivers of cancer patients and how cancer changes and alters the vision about life for the patient as well as the family caregivers. Objective: The objective was to assess the QOL among family caregivers of the cancer patients. Methodology: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted after the protocol was approved by the institutional ethics committee and obtaining written informed consent from the participants. Two sets of validated questionnaire were used to assess the awareness and QOL of the family caregivers of the cancer patients. The filled questionnaires were received from the participants, and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: Nearly 74% (148/200) of the participants responded, with majority of the caregivers being females (71.62%). Majority (72.9%) expressed that cancer cannot spread from one person to another and were positive (70.9%) toward cancer cure. The caregivers (76.3%) opined that the diagnosis of cancer should be informed to the family members. Approximately 50% of the participants were aware that environmental toxins and tobacco would predispose to cancer. Although most of them (87.8%) believed that the cancer treatment cause ill effects, they (93.2%) were satisfied with the hospital facilities. Among the QOL parameters, most of the participants had complaint of decreased general physical health, difficulty to cope, reduced concentration, anguish over the first treatment, disease, and interference in household activities. Among the spiritual parameters, the participants expressed sufficient support from religious activities, prayer, and general spiritual well-being. Conclusion: Majority of the caregivers had awareness regarding the cancer and carcinogens from the environmental toxins. The QOL among caregivers of cancer patients is affected in all dimensions of life, with more emphasis on the social and psychological dimensions.

Access source material through DOI

The mutual impact and moderating factors of quality of life between advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers

Purpose: Cancer and its treatment can affect quality of life (QOL) in cancer patient and family caregiver dyads. However, the factors influencing dyad QOL remain inconclusive. Our study was designed to (i) assess dyads’ QOL, and examine the relationship between the QOL of cancer patients and that of their family caregivers, and (ii) investigate factors that may modify this relationship. Methods: Participants comprised 641 cancer patient-family caregiver dyads. Four types of variables were collected as potential influencing factors, including cancer patient–related variables, family caregiver–related variables, family-related variables, and symptom distress–related variables. Results: Generally, family caregivers reported better QOL than cancer patients did. The effect sizes of the correlation (r) between cancer patients’ QOL and those of their family caregivers ranged from 0.08 to 0.27. Various variables influencing the QOL correlations between cancer patients and family caregivers were identified, including cancer patient–related variables (e.g., age, gender, marital status, understanding of the disease, cancer type and treatment); family caregiver–related variables (e.g., being the spouse or offspring of a patient, duration in their role as a family caregiver, understanding of the disease, and amount of time spent on caregiving each day); family-related variables (e.g., cancer patient enjoyed a good relationship with family pre-cancer diagnosis, family was experiencing serious or mild financial burden due to cancer treatment); and symptom stress–related variables (anxiety and depression). Conclusions: Study findings draw attention to QOL and its related factors in cancer patient-family caregiver dyads. This will benefit the development of interventions to improve dyad QOL.

Access source material through DOI

Knowledge and Behaviors Toward Health Care for Elderly Patients with Hypertension, and Quality of Life Among Informal Caregivers in Northern Thailand

Background: Informal caregivers play an important role in caring for patients with chronic conditions. Little is known about the quality of life among caregivers of patients with chronic illnesses in Thailand. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among knowledge and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension, and the quality of life among informal caregivers. Methods: A total of 402 informal caregivers for their elderly co-habitants suffering from hypertension were randomly selected to participate in this cross-sectional study. Data collection was performed in rural areas of Phayao province, located in the northern part of Thailand. Self-administered questionnaires were employed, which covered knowledge and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension, and the Thai version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire. Results: The scores of knowledge and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension, and the quality of life were at low and fair levels. In the multivariable linear regression model, the results showed that four variables - age, caregiver's relationship to the patient, knowledge, and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension - were significantly related to quality of life among caregivers (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Knowledge and behaviors toward health care for hypertensive patients influence the quality of life among informal caregivers. The caregivers in rural communities should be encouraged to become educated on the stages of hypertension, preparation for taking care of the elderly with high blood pressure, and effective behavioral care for patients, in order to improve the quality of life of both caregiver and patient. In addition, health care providers should have clear guidelines for development of the health care system to enhance the potential care and quality of life among informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

International Development of the Alzheimer's Patient Partners Life Impact Questionnaire (APPLIQue)

Aim: Informal caregivers play a vital role in the care of people with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), yet caregiving is associated with caregivers' burden. The initial objective of the study was to develop a new outcome measure to assess quality of life (QoL) in AD caregivers. Methods: Informal (non-professional) caregivers providing 75% or more of the care activities for, and living in the same household as, a person with AD were invited to take part in the study. Qualitative interviews (N = 40) were conducted with AD caregivers in the UK and thematic analyses were applied to generate a pool of potential items. A draft questionnaire was produced and adapted for use in Italy, Spain, Germany and the US. In each of the 5 countries, cognitive debriefing interviews (N = 76) were conducted to determine the questionnaire's face and content validity, followed by a postal validation survey (N = 268). The data from these surveys were combined to reduce the number of items and assess the new questionnaire's psychometric properties. Results: Thematic analysis of the UK interview transcripts generated a draft questionnaire, which was successfully translated into each additional language. The items were well accepted and easy to complete. However, reanalysis of the qualitative interview data revealed that spousal and non-spousal caregivers identified different experiences of caregiving. A review of the item pool indicated that items were primarily targeted at spousal caregivers. Therefore, further analyses of the postal survey data included spousal caregivers only (n = 116). The results supported scaling assumptions (e.g., corrected item-total correlations >= 0.32), targeting (e.g., floor/ceiling effects <2.5%), internal consistency (alpha >= 0.93) and test-retest reliability (r(s) = 0.88) of the new questionnaire, according to classical test theory. Assessment of external construct validity yielded results in accordance with a priori expectations. QoL scores were most strongly related to scores on the emotional reactions sections of the Nottingham Health Profile and the General Well-Being Index. The new questionnaire was found to be capable of detecting meaningful differences between respondents; spousal caregivers had worse QoL when the person with AD was confused (p < .001), could not be left alone (p < .001), did not recognize the caregiver (p < .001), was incontinent (p < .05), and wandered around the house (p = .01). Conclusions: The Alzheimer's Disease Patient Partners Life Impact Questionnaire (APPLIQue) is a questionnaire specific to spousal caregivers of people with AD. Data support its scaling assumptions and it exhibits excellent psychometric properties according to classical test theory. The questionnaire is recommended for use in intervention studies where the QoL of spousal caregivers is of interest.

Access source material through DOI

Individual quality of life in spousal ALS patient-caregiver dyads

Background: Quality of life is a basic goal of health and social care. The majority of people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are cared for at home by family caregivers. It is important to recognize the factors that contribute to quality of life for individuals to better understand the lived experiences in a condition for which there is currently no curative treatment. Aim: To explore individual quality of life of people with ALS and their informal caregivers over time. Methods: Over three semi-structured home interviews, 28 patient-caregiver dyads provided information on a range of demographic and clinical features, psychological distress, caregiver burden, and individual quality of life. Quality of life data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods with integration at the analysis and interpretation phases. Results: Individual Quality of Life was high for patients and caregivers across the interviews series, and higher among patients than their care partners at each time point. Family, hobbies and social activities were the main self-defined contributors to quality of life. The importance of health declined relative to other areas over time. Friends and finances became less important for patients, but were assigned greater importance by caregivers across the illness trajectory. Psychological distress was higher among caregivers. Caregiver burden consistently increased. Conclusion: The findings from this study point to the importance of exploring and monitoring quality of life at an individual level. Self-defined contributory factors are relevant to the individual within his/her context. As an integrated outcome measure individual quality of life should be assessed and monitored as part of routine clinical care during the clinical encounter. This can facilitate conversations between health care providers, patients and families, and inform interventions and contribute to decision support mechanisms. The ascertainment of self-defined life quality, especially in progressive neurodegenerative conditions, mean health care professionals are in a better position to provide person-centred care.

Access source material through DOI

Impact of Supporting People with Advanced Parkinson's Disease on Carer's Quality of Life and Burden

Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the burden and the quality of life (QoL) perceived by caregivers assisting advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) patients.; Patients and Methods: Consecutive advanced PD patients treated with levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) or continuous subcutaneous apomorphine infusion (CSAI) or care as usual (CU) and their care partners were recruited during routine visits according to a cross-sectional design. Caregiver's distress was assessed by Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and a QoL survey to evaluate and understand the burden experienced by care partners during family and working activities.; Results: A total of 126 patients (53 LCIG, 19 CSAI and 54 CU) and their care partners were enrolled. The ZBI score boxplot showed that LCIG and CU populations have a similar distribution (ZBI inter-quartile range [IQR] values respectively 18-42 for LCIG and 19-43 for CU group), while the CSAI group has a wider score range (IQR 16-52). Caregivers assisting patients in treatment with LCIG have more time to perform family or household duties (p=0.0022), or to engage in leisure activities (p=0.0073) compared to CU, while no difference was found when compared to CSAI group. Approximately 50% of the care partners showed mood changes in the last 6 months and LCIG and CSAI had less impact on caregiver's mood compared to CU. Patients treated with LCIG were more independent in taking a bath or shower without assistance and were more able to move and walk without assistance.; Conclusion: Care partners of advanced PD patients treated with device-aided therapies have more time for their own life and a better perception of their QoL with a tendency to an improvement of mood compared with those of patients treated with CU. 

Access source material through DOI

Health-related Quality of Life of Cancer Caregivers in Kiang Valley, Malaysia

Cancer is a chronic and life-threatening disease that causes complications to the patients diagnosed with it as well as to those who were taking care of them; i.e. the caregivers who normally are family members of the patient. Cancer caregivers experience burden and stress during the period of caregiving which contributes to their quality of life (QOL). However, there is scarce literature on the QOL of gastrointestinal cancer caregivers in the local population. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to determine the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of male and female caregivers and identify contributing factors to their caregiving. This cross-sectional study was conducted in three major tertiary government hospitals in the Klang Valley. Systematic random sampling was used to recruit the main caregivers of gastrointestinal cancer patients. The inclusion criteria for the caregivers were respondents aged 18 and above, Malaysian, able to understand and read Bahasa Melayu, free from any diagnosed cancer. A total of 323 respondents completed the validated questionnaire on HRQOL from October 2017 to April 2018. Data were analysed using independent t-test and chi-square tests. In the sample population, the majority of patients were females compared to males (68.1% vs 31.9%). The mean HRQOL score for females was 77.66 (SD=21.36) while the mean HRQOL for males was 85.52 (SD=21.16). Data shows that males had a better quality of life in comparison to females. The HRQOL scores were significantly different according to gender, t=3.09, mean difference=7.85(SD=2.54), 95%Cl 2.85,12.85. p value=0.002. Factors that were significantly different between males and females were: relationship between the caregiver and the patient (p-value=0.001); education level (p value=0.019); employment status (p value=<0.001), marital status (p value=0.048), household income (p value=0.021) and presence of disease (p value=0.015). These findings indicate that gender affects caregiving. This implies that health care providers should acknowledge the role of gender in caregiving. This is also a significant factor to guide policymakers in improving the existing healthcare system for caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Factors influencing quality of life of Asian breast cancer patients and their caregivers at diagnosis: perceived medical and psychosocial needs

INTRODUCTION We aimed to examine the relative importance of medical and psychosocial needs of Asian breast cancer patients and their caregivers, and to identify the determinants of quality of life (QoL) at the time of diagnosis. METHODS This is a prospective observational study of the perceived needs and QoL of 99 dyads of breast cancer patients and their caregivers at diagnosis. A self-administered questionnaire was used to measure the perceived importance of medical and psychosocial support needs. Short Form-36 health survey (SF-36) version 2 was used to measure QoL. We also collected patient and caregiver demographic profiles and disease-specific information. Descriptive analysis of perceived needs was performed. SF-36 scores for eight domains and composite scores were calculated. Bivariate analysis and linear regression were performed to identify significant independent predictors of QoL of patients and caregivers. RESULTS The mean ages of the patients and caregivers were 56.5 years and 51.7 years, respectively. To have family around (73%), prompt information about treatment and treatment options, including side effects (71%), and prompt treatment for side effects (71%) were the top three needs among patients and their caregivers. Supportive nurses and prompt treatment for side effects positively improved patients' social functioning and bodily pain scores. Stage of disease, age, education and ethnicity also influenced QoL. Only the presence of chronic disease influenced caregivers' physical functioning and role-physical scores. CONCLUSION Patients and caregivers have similar perceptions of needs at diagnosis. A supportive healthcare team can positively influence patients' QoL, highlighting the importance of tailoring support according to needs.

Access source material through DOI

Factors Influencing Health-Related Quality of Life of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Their Caregivers

Background: Only a few studies have been done focusing on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as their family members. The aim of our research was to determine the factors that influence the QoL of MS patients in advanced stage of disease and their caregivers. Methods: The sample of the cross-sectional study included 153 patients with MS and 74 caregivers. QoL was measured using the PNDQoL questionnaire (Progressive Neurological Diseases Quality of Life), and the severity of illness was assessed through the following scales: EDSS (Expanded Disability Status scale), PPS (Palliative Performance Scale), and ADL (Activity Daily Living). Results: The following predictors of the global QoL of the MS patients were identified - age, EDSS, symptom burden, daily care, emotional functioning, and spiritual_nonreligion functioning (R-2 = 0.569;F= 32.900;p< 0.001). The following predictors of the global QoL of caregivers were identified - age, emotional functioning, spiritual_nonreligion functioning, patient's QoL, and feeling of care (R-2 = 0.431;F= 18.690;p< 0.001). Conclusion: Appropriate intervention should be directed particularly at older patients and caregivers who have faced the disease for longer time and at patients without any partner. Supporting the emotional and social well-being and mitigating the burden caused by symptoms of the patients as well as caregivers can improve the QoL of both groups.

Access source material through DOI

After the Burden Is Lifted: Caregivers' Recovery of Life Satisfaction After the Death or Recovery of a Spouse

Objective How does caregivers' life satisfaction shift upon the recovery of an ill spouse? Paradoxically, there is a greater increase in life satisfaction upon death than recovery of a spouse. Our analysis explores this paradox. Method We follow the two groups of exiting caregivers longitudinally for 4 years from when the partner is still in need of care until the death (N = 152) or recovery (N = 112) of a previously ill partner, comparing their trajectory of life satisfaction. We use the years 2001–2016 of the German-Socio-Economic Panel Study and a growth curve analysis. Results Contrary to our expectations, bereaved caregivers experience a significantly stronger increase in life satisfaction than spouses whose partners recover from a serious illness, even when we stratify by age, gender and initial life satisfaction to account for significantly different subsample composition. Surprisingly, life satisfaction remains unchanged when the partner recovers. Only if a heavy burden in terms of unpaid care and housework hours or prior care need is lifted, do we observe an increase in life satisfaction among spouses with recovering partners, which is like the one experienced by bereaved caregivers. Discussion More support for caregivers with high caregiving burdens may alleviate some of the strain associated with spousal caregiving, as—even if the partner dies—a decrease in spousal caregiving hours results in an uplift in life satisfaction.

Access source material through DOI

Development of the life change adaptation scale for family caregivers of individuals with acquired brain injury

Aim: Life changes due to the sudden onset of acquired brain injury (ABI) are drastic personal and social changes that require adaptation and are also an important indicator of the quality of life of family caregivers. However, there are no instruments for evaluating life change adaptation among family caregivers of individuals with acquired brain injury. This study aimed to develop the Life Change Adaptation Scale (LCAS) for family caregivers of individuals with ABI and examine its reliability and validity. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-reported questionnaire. A total of 1622 family caregivers of individuals with ABI who belonged to 82 associations for families of individuals with ABI were selected as eligible participants. The construct validity was evaluated using a confirmatory factor analysis. Internal consistency was calculated using Cronbach's alpha. The K6 was also administered to assess the criterion-related validity of the LCAS. Results: In total, 339 valid responses were received. The confirmatory factor analysis identified eight items from two domains, "Changes in the appraisal of caregiving resources" and "Changes in the health belief as a caregiver" (goodness of fit index = 0.963, adjusted goodness of fit index = 0.926, comparative fit index = 0.986, root mean square error of approximation = 0.043.) Cronbach's alpha was 0.84. The LCAS was negatively correlated with the K6 (r = -0.504; P<0.001). Conclusions: The LCAS is a brief, easy-to-administer instrument that is reliable and valid for family caregivers of individuals with ABI. This study contributes to the assessment and identification by family caregivers of individuals with ABI who require aid in adapting to life changes. Further research should be undertaken to verify the predictive value in a longitudinal study and to attempt to apply the LCAS to assess a broader range of subjects in a wider range of settings.

Access source material through DOI

Validity and Responsiveness of Preference-Based Quality-of-Life Measures in Informal Carers: A Comparison of 5 Measures Across 4 Conditions

Objectives: Carer quality-of-life (QoL) effects are recommended for inclusion in economic evaluations, but little is known about the relative performance of different types of QoL measures with carers. This study evaluated the validity and responsiveness of 3 care-related QoL measures (the Carer Experience Scale [CES], CarerQoL-7D, and ASCOT-Carer), 1 health-related QoL measure (the EQ-5D-5L), and 1 generic QoL measure (the ICECAP-A). Methods: Validity and responsiveness were assessed in a UK sample of informal carers of adults with dementia, stroke, mental illness, or rheumatoid arthritis. A questionnaire containing the 5 QoL measures was posted to carers identified through the Family Resources Survey (N = 1004). Hypotheses regarding the anticipated associations between constructs related to the QoL of carers were tested to investigate construct validity and responsiveness. Results: Each measure exhibited some level of construct validity. In general, larger effect sizes and stronger associations were detected for the ASCOT-Carer and ICECAP-A measures in the pooled sample and across all conditions. The 5 measures did not exhibit clear responsiveness to changes over a 12-month period in care recipient health status or hours of care provided per week. Conclusion: The results of this study provide initial evidence of the validity of care-related, health-related, and generic QoL (capability) measures in informal carers of adults with 4 highly prevalent conditions. Care-related measures were not always more sensitive to constructs associated with QoL of carers compared with generic measures. The performance of the ICECAP-A was comparable with that of the best-performing care-related measure, the ASCOT-Carer. 

Access source material through DOI

A systematic review of psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life of people with cancer and their family caregivers

Aims To review the characteristics and effectiveness of psychosocial interventions on quality of life of adult people with cancer and their family caregivers. Design A systematic review using PRISMA guidelines. Methods Seven databases were searched from 2009–2019 using key terms. Included studies were assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Results 1909 studies were retrieved with 12 studies included, involving 3,390 patients/caregivers. Interventions aimed to improve communication, behaviour change and setting short‐term goals. Duration of interventions varied from 4–17 weeks. Highest benefit was gained from telephone interventions. Interventions based on interpersonal counselling appeared more effective than other approaches. Studies predominantly focused on psychological, physical and social domains of quality of life. Spiritual well‐being received relatively little attention. A paradigm shift is needed to develop psychosocial interventions that incorporate spiritual well‐being. More research is needed in developing countries.

Access source material through DOI

The relationship between emotional state and quality of life of family caregivers of stroke patients and patient factors

Introduction: We aimed to evaluate the emotional state and quality of life of family caregivers of stroke patients and to investigate the relationship between patient factors and these characteristics of caregivers. Materials and Method: Ninety-seven patients with hemiplegia after a cerebrovascular event and their caregivers were included in this cross-sectional study. The emotional state of the caregivers was evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Their quality of life was evaluated with Short Form- 36. Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) and modified-Rankin Score (MRS) were used for functional status of the patients, HADS was used for their emotional state and Stroke-Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QOL) was used for their quality of life. Results: Mean HADS-Anxiety score was 9.0 ± 3.7 and mean HADS-Depression score was 8.3 ± 3.7 in caregivers. Mean HADS-Anxiety score was 10.1 ± 3.4 and mean HADS-D score was 8.7 ± 3.6 in patients. The rates of anxiety disorder and depression in caregivers were 39.2% and 55.7%, respectively. The rates of anxiety disorder and depression in stroke patients were 40.2% and 50.5%, respectively. A positive correlation was found between HADS scores of caregivers and patients (p < 0.05). There was a significant negative correlation between the HADS scores of caregivers and SS-QOL scores of patients (p < 0.05). There was a statistically significant relationship between the quality of life of caregivers and the MRS, motor FIM and FIM-total scores of patients (p < 0.05). Conclusion: As a result, mood disorders were common in stroke patients and their caregivers. Quality of life of caregivers was decreased. There was a relationship between the emotional state of patients and caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of the caregiving relationship and quality of life in mild Alzheimer's dementia

Background: The present study aims to investigate the quality of the dyadic relationship between mild Alzheimer patients and their caregivers. The main objective is to evaluate the consistency, agreement and validity of the German version of the Scale for Quality of the Current Relationship in Caregiving (SQCRC). The secondary objective was to examine the association of relationship quality with quality of life (QOL) in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their caregivers. Methods: In this study, a sample of 50 patients diagnosed with mild AD and their primary caregivers were included. Participants underwent a full neuropsychological evaluation. The quality of the relationship between persons with AD and their caregivers was assessed using the SQCRC. Furthermore, other scales of relationship quality, well‐being of the person with AD, and well‐being of the caregiver were used. Results: The results showed that the SQCRC has a good internal consistency and high validity. Also, relationship quality as rated by the AD patients (r = 0.37, P < 0.1) and their caregivers (r = 0.51, P < 0.1) was significantly correlated with QOL. Conclusions: The findings suggest that many persons with mild AD can rate their relationship quality and that the patient's self‐rated relationship quality is a substantial predictor of their QOL.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life, Physical and Mental Health of Family Caregivers of Dependent People with Complex Chronic Disease: Protocol of a Cohort Study

Background: informal caregivers have a high risk of suffering from diseases derived from the chronic stress to which they are subjected for their dedication to the care of their relatives. Such stress has a direct influence on the person cared for, mainly affecting the quality of their care. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to assess the association of caregiving on physical and mental perceived health in family caregivers of dependent adults with complex chronic diseases.; Methods: a prospective longitudinal cohort study, with a follow-up period of 36 months (HUELLA cohort). The exposed cohort will be formed by family caregivers of dependent patients with complex chronic pathologies. The unexposed cohort will be taken from the general population adjusted for age, sex and health. Outcome variables will include attendance to health services, consumption of psychoactive drugs, dedication to care (only in exposed cohort), concession of the Act on Promotion of Personal Autonomy and Care for dependent persons (exposed only), perceived physical and mental health, depression level, burden level and new diagnosis of chronic pathology of the caregiver during the study.; Results: the expected results will be applicable and will incorporate improvements to the usual health system clinical practice, providing feedback to professionals dedicated to the provision, planning and design of services to family caregivers, as well as to groups and organizations of caregivers.; Conclusions: investments in preventing low-quality informal care are key, mainly through early identification and interventions to support caregivers who suffer from stress, anxiety or depression.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life, caregiver burden, and resilience among the family caregivers of cancer survivors

Family caregivers are critical sources of support to cancer survivors, but they also need to cope with the distress brought by the caregiving process. This study ascertained the resilience levels of the family caregivers of cancer survivors and then examined the relations between resilience, caregiver burden, and quality of life. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between June and October 2019. The participants were recruited from the oncology ward of a hospital in Turkey. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Zarit Burden Interview, and Caregiver Quality of Life Index- Cancer were used to collect data from 210 family caregivers of cancer survivors. The caregivers reported low levels of resilience (49.63 ± 16.30, range = 0–100), which we found to be associated with great caregiver burden (range = −0.39 to −0.63, all P < 0.01 or 0.05) and poor quality of life (range = 0.31–0.75, all P < 0.01 or 0.05). The findings showed that resilience negatively mediated the caregiver burden (β = 0.203; 95% CI, - 0.374–0.018) and positively predicted the QoL (β = 0.431; 95% CI, 0.683–0.207). The total effects of CDRS on burden and QoL were 0.203 (CI = - 0.374–0.018) and 0.431 (CI = - 0.683–0.207) respectively. The present findings underscore the direct and indirect predicting role of resilience on QoL and caregiver burden. The family caregivers reported low levels of resilience, which in turn was associated with greater caregiver burden and poorer QoL. • The findings underscore the significant influence of resilience on caregiver burden and quality of life. • The findings clearly show that resilience is a significant contributor to the quality of life and caregiver burden of FCs. • FCs reported low levels of resilience, which in turn was associated with greater caregiver burden and poorer quality of life.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life in caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the relationship between sociodemographic, clinical, and psychological variables with quality of life (QoL) and the moderating role of caregivers' age and caregiving duration in caregivers of patients with Multiple Myeloma. Method: The sample included 118 caregivers who completed questionnaires that assessed psychological morbidity, satisfaction with social support, coping, burden, unmet needs, and QoL. Results: High psychological morbidity, burden and information, financial and emotional unmet needs were associated with lower QoL, while higher satisfaction with social support and more effective use of coping strategies were associated with better QoL. Women caregivers reported more satisfaction with social support and those who did not choose to care reported greater financial unmet needs and more use of coping strategies. The relationship between caregivers' psychological morbidity/social support and QoL was mediated by emotional needs and double mediated by coping and burden. The caregivers' age moderated the relationship between psychological morbidity/social support and emotional needs. Conclusion: Interventions to support the caregiver's emotional needs to promote their QoL are needed. These should be particularly tailored for older caregivers reporting greater psychological morbidity and younger caregivers less satisfied with their social support, as they have a negative indirect impact on their QoL. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life and emotional distress among caregivers of patients newly diagnosed with cancer: Understanding trajectories across the first year post-diagnosis

The cancer caregiving experience is multifaceted and dynamic across different phases of the cancer care continuum. This longitudinal study examined the trajectories of CQOL and caregiver emotional distress across the first year post-diagnosis. Participants were 111 caregivers of newly diagnosed patients who completed baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-ups. Trajectories of CQOL, CQOL domains, caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress, were estimated using linear and quadratic mixed models. The trajectory of overall CQOL followed an inverse U-shape trend, while caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress remained stable. For CQOL domains, physical/practical needs followed a gradual trend of improvement, while social support followed an inverse U-shape trend; caregiver burden, emotional reactivity, and responsibility/duty remained stable. The multidimensional needs of caregivers of newly diagnosed patients appeared to follow different trajectories across the first year post-diagnosis. While most CQOL domains remained stable, caregivers may experience adjustment difficulties in terms of relational concerns and social support. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life and Associated Factors Among Family Caregivers of Adult Cancer Patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Background: Cancer has a major impact on the lives of family caregivers, including their health and quality of life (QOL). However, little is known about the QOL of family caregivers of adult cancer patients in Ethiopia. This study aimed to assess the QOL and associated factors among primary family caregivers of adult cancer patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.; Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 291 family caregivers completed the survey in the Amharic language. The Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC) was used to measure QOL of family caregivers. Descriptive and linear regression analyses were conducted using SPSS version 23.; Results: The mean age of the family caregivers was 37.04±11.47 years and 51.5% were male. The mean score of QOL was 82.23 (±16.21). Not being employed in private sector ( β = -0.128; CI=-7.82, -0.45; p = 0.028), having family monthly income less than 16 USD ( β = 0.132; CI=0.87, 10.88; p = 0.021) and not having family monthly income greater than 64 USD ( β = -0.128; CI= -10.43, -0.66; p = 0.026), being spouse ( β = 0.179; CI: 1.34, 11.99; p = 0.019) and not residing in urban areas ( β = -0.139; CI: -10.53, -0.96; p = 0.019) were negatively associated with the QOL of the family caregiver and explained 8.7% of the variation ( R 2 =0.087; p =0.000).; Conclusion: Our findings identified factors such as occupation, income, relationship with the patient, and place of residence that negatively associated with the QOL of family caregivers. Targeted interventions such as social and economic support and bringing the care to the patient's residence place are needed to improve the QOL of family caregivers of adult cancer patients. 

Access source material through DOI

Psychometric properties of the FACT-G quality of life scale for family caregivers of cancer patients

Purpose: This study aimed to examine psychometric properties of a caregiver version of the well-established Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Scale (FACT-G) after conducting focus groups and obtaining expert input. Methods: We made minor wording modifications to the Patient FACT-G to enable caregivers to report how the illness affected their overall quality of life (QOL) and well-being on four subscales (physical, social, emotional, functional). We tested the acceptability, precision, factor structure, reliability and validity of the Caregiver FACT-G among partners of prostate cancer patients (N = 263) and caregivers (spouses, siblings, adult children) of patients with advanced cancer (breast, lung, colorectal, prostate) (N = 484) using data from two Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs). Results: With a factor structure similar to the Patient FACT-G, Caregiver FACT-G was acceptable and precise in measuring caregiver QOL, with high inter-factor correlations and internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alphas 0.81–0.91). The Caregiver FACT-G had strong convergent validity demonstrated by significant positive correlations with caregiver self-efficacy (0.25–0.63), dyadic communication (0.18–0.51), and social support (0.18–0.54) in both samples. It also had strong discriminant validity evidenced by significant inverse correlations with negative appraisal of caregiving (− 0.37 to − 0.69), uncertainty (− 0.28 to − 0.53), hopelessness (− 0.25 to − 0.60), and avoidant coping (− 0.26 to − 0.58) in both samples. Caregivers' baseline FACT-G scores were significantly associated with their physical (0.23) and mental well-being (0.54; 4-month follow-up) and their depression (− 0.69; 3-month follow-up), indicating strong predictive validity. Conclusion: This is the first study evaluating the psychometric properties of the Caregiver FACT-G. More psychometric testing is warranted, especially among caregivers of diverse sociocultural backgrounds. 

Access source material through DOI

Psychometric characteristics of the WHOQOL-SRPB Scale in a population of stroke survivors and caregivers

Purpose: Studies have shown that spirituality plays an important role in enhancing the quality of life of stroke survivors and their caregivers. Spirituality has been associated with positive patient and caregiver outcomes, so a valid, reliable measure of spirituality is important. It has not been tested with stroke survivors and their caregivers, so the aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Spiritual Religious and Personal Belief (WHOQOL-SRPB) scale for stroke survivors and their caregivers. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 414 stroke survivors at 10 rehabilitation hospitals and 244 caregivers completed the WHOQOL-SRPB. The WHOQOL-SRPB's factorial structure was assessed with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), criterion-related validity was evaluated with the WHOQOL-BREF, and internal consistency reliability was assessed with Cronbach's α and ordinal α. Results: The CFA results supported the hypothesized eight-factor structure. The stroke survivor and the caregiver versions of the model both had excellent fit indices. The factor loadings for the final models were strong: 0.78-0.98 for stroke survivors and caregivers (p < 0.001). The criterion-related validity for the WHOQOL-SRPB showed weak to moderate correlations with all the WHOQOL-BREF dimensions. Both ordinal α and Cronbach's α had values more than 0.70. Conclusions: The WHOQOL-SRPB scale is a valid, reliable instrument for measuring spirituality in stroke survivors and caregivers. Given the importance of spirituality for stroke survivors and caregivers, the WHOQOL-SRPB scale is recommended as an important tool for clinical practice and research.

Access source material through DOI

Protocol for an embedded pragmatic clinical trial to test the effectiveness of Aliviado Dementia Care in improving quality of life for persons living with dementia and their informal caregivers

Persons living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) frequently experience pain and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) which decrease quality of life (QOL) and influence caregiver burden. Home healthcare professionals however may underrecognize or lack the ability to manage BPSD. This protocol describes an ADRD palliative quality assurance performance improvement program for home healthcare, Aliviado Dementia Care-Home Health Edition. It includes training, mentoring, and a toolbox containing intervention strategies. This embedded pragmatic clinical trial will utilize a multi-site, cluster randomized control design. Recruitment will occur from three home healthcare agencies located in New Jersey, Utah, and Florida. At each agency, care teams will be randomized as clusters and assigned to either the Aliviado Dementia Care program or usual care. We plan to enroll 345 persons living with ADRD and their informal caregiver dyads. The primary outcome will be to measure QOL in both the person living with ADRD and their informal caregiver, and emergency department visits and hospital admissions. Secondary outcomes in the person living with ADRD will include the examination of pain, BPSD, antipsychotic and analgesic use. Secondary outcomes in caregivers include burden, depressive symptoms, functional health and wellbeing, and healthcare utilization. This study will be the first large-scale embedded pragmatic clinical trial in home healthcare focused on care quality and outcomes in addressing QOL in ADRD. If proven successful, the intervention can then be disseminated to agencies throughout the country to improve the quality of care for this vulnerable, underserved population. Clinical Trials.gov: NCT03255967. 

Access source material through DOI

Perceived social support and health-related quality of life in older adults who have multiple chronic conditions and their caregivers: a dyadic analysis

Patients who have multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) and their informal caregivers experience poorer health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Perceived social support has been shown to influence HRQOL. This study aimed at identifying the differences between patients' and caregivers' physical and mental HRQOL; and determining the association between their perception of social support from different sources, and their own and their dyad partner's HRQOL. Patients with MCCs and their caregivers (345 dyads) were enrolled in a multicenter cross-sectional study conducted in Italy. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support measured perceived social support from family, friends, and significant others, and the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey measured the physical and mental component of HRQOL in dyads. The dyadic analysis was conducted using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model through structural equation modelling. Family support perceived by each member of the dyad was associated positively with their own mental HRQOL, and that family support perceived by caregivers was also associated positively with patients' mental HRQOL. Greater family support perceived by caregivers was also associated with better physical HRQOL in both caregivers and patients. Moreover, greater friend-support perceived by each member of the dyad was positively associated with own physical HRQOL. The study suggests the reciprocal influence of perceived social support from family and friends on physical and mental HRQOL in MCC dyads. Healthcare professionals should identify those people who are the main sources of support for each member of the dyad, and develop care plans that promote the maintenance and enhancing of this support. • Social support is linked to patient-caregiver dyad's HRQOL in multiple chronic conditions. • Types of support providers have inter- and intrapersonal effects on HRQOL. • Family support perceived by caregivers is associated with quality of life of chronic patients. • Perceived friend support is associated with patient-caregiver dyads' HRQOL. • Care from a partner is associated with better mental quality of life in the chronically ill. 

Access source material through DOI

Multiple Sclerosis Adult Day Programs and Health-Related Quality of Life of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis and Informal Caregivers

Background: Multiple sclerosis adult day programs (MSADPs) offer life-enhancing services for individuals and informal caregivers affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), including medical care, rehabilitation therapies, nutrition therapy, cognitive training, tailored education, exercise programs, and social interaction. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of MSADPs on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and health care utilization of persons with MS and HRQOL and well-being of informal caregivers. Methods: Using a quasi-experimental design, outcomes between baseline and 1-year follow-up in persons with MS and informal caregivers who used MSADP services and a comparison group of similar persons with MS and caregivers who did not use MSADP services were compared. For persons with MS, outcomes included standardized measures of physical and mental HRQOL and health care utilization. For caregivers, outcomes included physical and mental HRQOL and well-being. Changes in outcomes between baseline and follow-up were examined using propensity score-weighted difference-in-differences regression analysis. Results: For persons with MS, MSADP use had a significant positive effect on 12-Item Short Form Health Survey physical component scores, although the difference was not clinically meaningful. Use of MSADPs did not have effects on any other outcomes for persons with MS or caregivers. Conclusions: Use of MSADPs did not show a clinically meaningful effect on HRQOL for persons with MS or informal caregivers. The MSADPs do not seem to offer sustained benefits to persons with MS or caregivers, but the possibility of initial short-term benefits cannot be ruled out.

Access source material through DOI

Measuring Carer Outcomes in an Economic Evaluation: A Content Comparison of the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers, Carer Experience Scale, and Care-Related Quality of Life Using Exploratory Factor Analysis

Background. To incorporate the spillover effects experienced by carers providing informal care in health policy decisions, new carer-related preference-based measures have been developed for use in economic evaluation, which include the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers (ASCOT-Carer), Carer Experience Scale (CES), and Care-Related Quality of Life (CarerQoL). The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which these 3 instruments measure complementary or overlapping constructs. Methods. Data were derived from an online survey undertaken with carers residing in Australia. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to ascertain the underlying latent constructs of the 3 measures. Results. Data from 351 informal carers yielded a 5-factor model describing general quality of life outside caring, problems due to caring, fulfilment from caring, social support with caring, and relationship with the care recipient. Most of the ASCOT-Carer and the CarerQol items loaded onto the first and second factors, respectively. The greatest overlap was observed between CarerQol and CES items loading onto the other 3 shared common factors. Limitations. Online data collection resulted in inconsistent responses, which had to be removed to yield logical data. A convenience sampling approach may have compromised the generalizability of study findings. Conclusion. Although some overlap was observed, the 3 carer-related preference-based measures seem to tap into different constructs of carer-related quality of life and caring experiences and cannot be used interchangeably.

Access source material through DOI

Job Demands and the Effects on Quality of Life of Employed Family Caregivers of Older Adults With Dementia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background: Employed family caregivers are affected by job demands, which can affect quality of care provided to recipients. However, it is important to understand how job demands and the ability to reconcile employment and caregiving influence family caregivers' quality of life. Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which job demands influenced quality of life for employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia in Taiwan. Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed secondary data from self-completed questionnaires collected from December 2010 to December 2011. Participants were 214 employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia in Taiwan. How job demands and caregiving influence quality of life was determined with hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Job demands included working hours, workplace inflexibility, work inefficiency, and difficulty in reconciling work and family caregiving. Results: After controlling for demographics, caregiving resources, and caregiving role demands, employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia with fewer working hours and greater work efficiency reported significantly better quality of life (β = −.130, p =.049; β = −.263, p <.001) than those with more working hours and less work efficiency. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia who had more working hours and less work efficiency had a greater likelihood of poorer quality of life than other employed family caregivers. Clinicians could use these findings to identify groups at high risk for poor quality of life. We suggest developing policies and interventions to help employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia to reduce working hours and improve work efficiency in order to improve quality of life, which could also improve quality of care for recipients.

Access source material through DOI

Informal Elderly Caregiving and Time Spent on Leisure: Evidence from Time Use Survey

This paper examines the risk of time poverty defined as leisure participation among informal caregivers of adults and older people. We draw on the most recent time use survey conducted in Poland, which incorporated more than 28,000 households in 2013. We assess the extent to which caregivers are more likely to experience shortages of time spent on physical activity, hobbies, and social life. Additional information about respondents' time preferences allows us to examine not only the objective and relative time deficits of caregivers, but also the subjective and expressed ones. We distinguish between co-resident caregivers and those living outside the household of care recipients, simultaneously accounting for the differences between male and female caregivers, as well as care provided during working days (Monday-Friday), and that provided on weekends (Saturday-Sunday). Our results indicate that caregivers for adults are in general more likely to allocate less time to physical activity, hobbies, and their social lives. This effect, however, is observed primarily among co-resident caregivers, both male and female. The leisure time of caregivers is more noticeably affected during weekends than on working days. Concurrently, caregivers are more likely to admit that they wish to spend more time on different forms of leisure activity. This confirms the hypothesis of a trade-off between time allocated to elderly care and that allocated to self-care, which can be detrimental to the health, life satisfaction, and wellbeing of informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

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.

Access source material through DOI

Inclusion of Carer Health-Related Quality of Life in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Appraisals

Objectives: Health interventions for patients can have effects on their carers too. For consistency, decision makers may wish to specify whether carer outcomes should be included. One example is the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), whose reference case specifies that economic evaluations should include direct health effects for patients and carers where relevant. We aimed to review the methods used in including carer health-related quality of life (HRQL) in NICE appraisals. Methods: We reviewed all published technology appraisals (TAs) and highly specialized technologies (HSTs) to identify those that included carer HRQL and discussed the methods and data sources. Results: Twelve of 414 TAs (3%) and 4 of 8 HSTs (50%) included carer HRQL in cost-utility analyses. Eight were for multiple sclerosis, the remainder were each in a unique disease area. Twelve of the 16 appraisals modeled carer HRQL as a function of the patient's health state, 3 modeled carer HRQL as a function of the patient's treatment, and 1 included family quality-adjusted life year (QALY) loss. They used 5 source studies: 2 compared carer EQ-5D scores with controls, 2 measured carer utility only (1 health utilities index and 1 EQ-5D), and 1 estimated family QALY loss from a child's death. Two used disutility estimates not from the literature. Including carer HRQL increased the incremental QALYs and decreased incremental cost-effectiveness ratios in all cases. Conclusions: The inclusion of carer HRQL in NICE appraisals is relatively uncommon and has been limited by data availability.

Access source material through DOI

Head-to-Head Comparison of the Psychometric Properties of 3 Carer-Related Preference-Based Instruments

Objectives: To compare the psychometric properties of the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for carers (ASCOT-Carer), the Carer Experience Scale (CES), and the Care-related Quality of Life (CarerQol) to inform the choice of instrument in future studies. Methods: Data were derived from a 2018 online survey of informal carers in Australia. Reliability was assessed via internal consistency (Cronbach alpha, α) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient, ICC) for respondents who self-reported no change in their quality of life as a carer over 2 weeks. Convergent validity was evaluated via predetermined hypotheses about associations (Spearman's rank correlation) with existing, validated measures. Discriminative validity was assessed based on the ability of the carer-related scores to distinguish between different informal care situations (Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance). Results: Data from 500 carers were analyzed. The ASCOT-Carer demonstrated a higher degree of internal consistency, possibly due to a unidimensional structure, and test-retest reliability than the CarerQol and CES (α = 0.87, 0.65, 0.59; ICC, 0.87, 0.67, 0.81, respectively). All 3 instruments exhibited convergent validity and detected statistically significant associations between carer-related scores and different informal care situations, except for the CarerQol-7D and sole carer status. Conclusions: The ASCOT-Carer, CarerQol, and CES performed reasonably well psychometrically; the ASCOT-Carer exhibited the best psychometric properties overall in this sample of Australian informal carers. Findings should be used in conjunction with consideration of research goals, carer population, targeted carer-related constructs, and prevailing perspectives on the economic evaluation to inform choice of instrument in future studies. 

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with health‐related quality of life among family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease

Aim: Based on the ageing population and the inadequate healthcare system in China, the majority of care for patients with Alzheimerʼs disease (AD) is provided by family caregivers. Caregivers suffer a long‐term heavy care burden and pressure, which affects their physical and mental health. The present study aims at investigating health‐related quality of life (HRQOL) among family caregivers of AD patients and exploring its influencing factors. Methods: This study included 206 family caregivers (76 male, 130 female) of AD patients recruited from one Tier 3 hospital, one psychiatric hospital, two gerocomiums and three communities in Ganzhou city, Jiangxi Province, China. Measures included the World Health Organization (WHO) Quality of Life (WHO/ QOL‐BREF) questionnaire, Zarit burden of care scale (ZBI), and social support rating scale (SSRS).We performed face‐to‐face or telephone interviews with patients and caregivers. The association between possible factors and changes in HRQOL was examined through stepwise multiple regression analysis. Results: The majority of family caregivers felt moderate to severe level of burden. The average HRQOL score was 54.24 ± 10.36. The mean SSRS score was 30.4 ± 10.9. The average ZBI score was 41.2 ± 12.8. The HRQOL of family caregivers of AD patients was negatively correlated with the neuropsychiatric questionnaire score, ZBI score, and chronic diseases of caregivers (P < 0.05), and positively correlated with the SSRS score (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Reduced QOL was highly prevalent among AD patient family caregivers, and the level of burden, neuropsychiatric symptoms of patients, social support, and chronic diseases of caregivers were factors associated with HRQOL, and the effect of care burden is greatest. Interventions aimed at reducing the level of burden should focus not only on the patient but also on the caregiver.

Access source material through DOI

Effects of an educational intervention on health-related quality of life among family caregivers of people with dementia with a Turkish or Moroccan immigrant background: Insights from a cluster randomised controlled trial

Objective: Gaining understanding of the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of family caregivers of people with dementia with Turkish or Moroccan immigrant backgrounds and to examine whether an educational peer group intervention can improve HRQL.; Methods: Understanding of HRQL and associated variables was obtained by multiple linear regression analyses. The effects of the intervention on HRQL were assessed in multilevel analyses using data collected before the start (baseline), directly after the intervention (one to two weeks after baseline) and three months after the start of the intervention. The intervention (two interactive group sessions) entailed providing information about dementia and care/support options.; Results: At baseline (n = 319), HRQL was moderately and significantly associated with migration background, gender, self-perceived pressure from informal care and the formal and informal support received (p < .05). The intervention had a small effect on emotional wellbeing directly after the intervention (p < .05) and on perceived general health status three months after (p < .05).; Conclusion: Culturally sensitive peer group education on dementia and care/support options can to some extent enhance HRQL among family caregivers in the short term.; Practice Implications: The intervention as described in this study is recommended for supporting family caregivers of people with dementia with Turkish or Moroccan backgrounds. 

Access source material through DOI

Effectiveness of a Physical Therapeutic Exercise Programme for Caregivers of Dependent Patients: A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial from Spanish Primary Care

Female family caregivers (FFCs) constitute one of the basic supports of socio-health care for dependence in developed countries. The care provided by FFCs may impact their physical and mental health, negatively affecting their quality of life. In order to alleviate the consequences of providing care on FFCs, the Spanish Public Health System has developed the family caregiver care programme (FCCP) to be applied in primary care (PC) centres. The effectiveness of this programme is limited. To date, the addition of a physical therapeutic exercise (PTE) programme to FCCP has not been evaluated. A randomised multicentre clinical trial was carried out in two PC centres of the Spanish Public Health System. In total, 68 FFCs were recruited. The experimental group (EG) performed the usual FCCP (4 sessions, 6 h) added to a PTE programme (36 sessions in 12 weeks) whereas the control group performed the usual FCCP performed in PC. The experimental treatment improved quality of life (d = 1.17 in physical component summary), subjective burden (d = 2.38), anxiety (d = 1.52), depression (d = 1.37) and health-related physical condition (d = 2.44 in endurance). Differences between the groups ( p < 0.05) were clinically relevant in favour of the EG. The experimental treatment generates high levels of satisfaction.

Access source material through DOI

The effect of neuropalliative care on quality of life and satisfaction with quality of care in patients with progressive neurological disease and their family caregivers: an interventional control study

Background: It is recommended that patients with progressive neurological disease (PND) receive general and specialized palliative care. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of neuropalliative care on quality of life (QoL) and satisfaction with provided care in both patients with PND in advanced stages of disease and their family caregivers. Methods: The sample consisted of 151 patients with PND and 140 family caregivers. The PNDQoL questionnaire was used for data collection. Patients and family caregivers completed the questionnaires both before and 3 months after the intervention. Results: Before intervention, there were no statistically significant differences in the individual domains of QoL in patients and family caregivers in either the intervention or the control group. After intervention, differences were identified in the sample of patients in the domains of symptoms burden (p < 0.001), emotional (p < 0.001), social functioning (p = 0.046), spiritual area (nonreligious) (p = 0.050), and in QoL. In the sample of family caregivers, there were differences in the domains of symptoms burden (p < 0.001), emotional functioning (p = 0.016), spiritual area (nonreligious) (p = 0.042), and in the assessment of health (p = 0.002), and QoL (p = 0.002). Patients and family caregivers from the intervention group evaluated their satisfaction with the quality of care provided significantly more positively in all five analyzed domains. Conclusion: The provision of neuropalliative care to patients with advanced stages of PND helped to maintain and slightly improve their QoL, and symptoms burden, and resulted in a more positive assessment of satisfaction with the quality of care provided. 

Access source material through DOI

Does health‐related quality of life in Asian informal caregivers differ between early‐onset dementia and late‐onset dementia?

Aim: Early‐onset dementia (EOD) (defined as dementia onset before age 65) presents specific challenges and issues, adding to the negative impact of dementia on the health‐related quality of life (HRQOL) of both patients and their caregivers. However, very few published studies have specifically compared the HRQOL of caregivers of people with EOD and late‐onset dementia (LOD). This information is critical in allocating and prioritizing scarce health‐care resources. We aimed to assess the HRQOL of primary informal caregivers of community‐dwelling individuals with EOD in Singapore and compare it with that of caregivers of individuals with LOD. Methods: This was a cross‐sectional study of consecutive patient–caregiver dyads from a tertiary dementia clinic. Results: No significant differences in disease severity were found between the 111 EOD and 235 LOD patient–caregiver dyads. The mean Mental Component Summary score of the 36‐item Short‐Form Health Survey version 2 was significantly worse in caregivers of EOD patients than in LOD caregivers (mean: 41.42 vs 45.12, P = 0.001), although the mean Physical Component Summary scores were comparable (49.71 vs 49.53, P = 0.934). However, the impact of dementia early onset on caregivers' mental health diminished immediately after adjustment for the disease severity indicators, of which the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire distress score was the only significant clinical factor (regression coefficient β = −0.29, P < 0.001). The amount of variability in the HRQOL of the caregivers explained by patient and caregiver factors across all the models was rather small (adjusted R2 = 19.3% for the Mental Composite Score, 5.2% for Physical Composite Score). Conclusion: Caregivers of EOD patients had worse mental health than LOD caregivers probably because individual with EOD have more behavioural disturbances. This reinforces the indispensable role of managing behavioural problems when caring for a family member with dementia, especially for EOD. HRQOL ideally needs to be assessed based on self‐report rather than inferences from indirect data such as the subjective caregiver burden. 

Access source material through DOI

Disease severity accounts for minimal variance of quality of life in people with dementia and their carers: analyses of cross-sectional data from the MODEM study

Background: Due to the progressive nature of dementia, it is important to understand links between disease severity and health-related outcomes. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between disease severity and the quality of life (QoL) of people with dementia and their family carers using a number of disease-specific and generic measures. Methods: In the MODEM cohort study, three-hundred and seven people with clinically diagnosed dementia and their carers were recruited on a quota basis to provide equal numbers of people with mild (standardised Mini-Mental State Examination (sMMSE), n = 110), moderate (sMMSE 10-19, n = 100), and severe (sMMSE 0-9, n = 97) cognitive impairment. A series of multiple regression models were created to understand the associations between dementia severity and the QoL of people with dementia and the QoL of their carers. QoL was measured using self- (DEMQOL, EQ-5D, CASP-19) and proxy-reports (DEMQOL-Proxy, EQ-5D) of disease-specific and generic QoL of the person with dementia. Carer generic QoL was measured by self-report (EQ-5D, SF-12). Results: Disease severity, as measured by the sMMSE, was not significantly associated with the QoL of the person with dementia or the carer (p > 0.05), even after controlling for potential confounding variables for self-reported instruments. Proxy measures (rated by the carer) differed systematically in that there were small, but statistically significant proportions of the variance of QoL was explained by severity of cognitive impairment in multiple adjusted models. We also found little in the way of statistically significant relationships between the QoL of people with dementia and that of their carers except between DEMQOL-Proxy scores and the carer EQ-5D scores and carer SF-12 mental sub-scores. Conclusions: The data generated supports the somewhat counterintuitive argument that severity of cognitive impairment (and therefore severity of dementia) is not associated with lower QoL for the person with dementia when self-report measures are used. However, in absolute terms, as judged by the variance in the multivariate models, it is clear that the contribution of dementia severity to the QoL of people with dementia is minimal whatever the measurement used, be it self- or proxy-rated, or disease-specific or generic.

Access source material through DOI

Development of Population Tariffs for the CarerQol Instrument for Hungary, Poland and Slovenia: A Discrete Choice Experiment Study to Measure the Burden of Informal Caregiving

Background: The CarerQol instrument can be used in economic evaluations to measure the care-related quality of life of informal caregivers. Tariff sets are available for Australia, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA. Objective: Our objective was to develop tariff sets for the CarerQol instrument for Hungary, Poland and Slovenia and to compare these with the existing value sets. Methods: Discrete-choice experiments were carried out in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. Data were collected through an online survey between November 2018 and January 2019, using representative samples of 1000 respondents per country. Tariffs were calculated from coefficient estimates from panel mixed multinomial logit models with random parameters. Results: All seven CarerQol domains contributed significantly to the utility associated with different caregiving situations. Attributes valued highest were 'physical health' (tariffs for no problems were 15.6-21.8), 'mental health' (18.1-18.9) and 'fulfilment' (16.3-22.9). Value sets were comparable across the countries, although in Poland 'a lot of fulfilment' was valued higher (22.9) than in Hungary (16.3) and Slovenia (17.1). Compared with existing value sets, in the three Central European countries, 'fulfilment' was more important, whereas 'financial problems' were less important. Conclusion: For the first time in the Central and Eastern European region, country-specific tariffs are now available for the Hungarian, Polish and Slovenian versions of the CarerQol instrument. This facilitates inclusion of the impact of informal care in economic evaluations. Our results can be used to develop and evaluate country-specific health policy strategies to support informal caregivers. The differences found in informal care preferences highlight the limited transferability of CarerQol tariffs across European regions.

Access source material through DOI

Development and evaluation of the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale - Dementia

Purpose: To develop and evaluate a measurement scale for multi-domain assessment of the quality of life of family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in Singapore, a multi-ethic society in South-East Asia where English is the lingua franca.; Methods: Items from the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale (SCQOLS), which was originally developed in the context of advanced cancers, were adopted as candidate items. Furthermore, a multi-disciplinary panel reviewed dementia-specific caregiver quality of life scales to identified items not covered in SCQOLS for inclusion as candidate items. A pilot study of 31 family caregivers of PWD was conducted to solicit inputs on candidate items; 102 family caregivers of PWD were surveyed for evaluation of the scale's measurement properties.; Results: Factor analysis confirmed a 5-domain structure of the 63 candidate items. The Root Mean Square Error of Approximation was 0.056 and Comparative Fit Index was 0.928. Convergent validity of the total and domain scores was demonstrated in terms of correlation with the Brief Assessment Scale for Caregivers and its sub-scales. The scores also showed an expected pattern of correlation with hours spent on caregiving per week. Known-group validity was demonstrated by differences in mean scores between functional staging groups. Cronbach's alpha of the total and domain scores ranged from 0.89 to 0.95. Test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient) ranged from 0.77 to 0.92.; Conclusions: The Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale - Dementia (SCQOLS-D) is a quality of life measurement scale for family caregivers of persons with dementia that is valid and reliable.

Access source material through DOI

Depression in People With Dementia and Caregiver Outcomes: Results From the European Right Time Place Care Study

To investigate the cross-sectional associations between depression in people with dementia and both caregiver burden and quality of life in 8 European countries, and to test these associations compared with the presence of other neuropsychiatric symptoms. Cross-sectional study. In total, 1223 dyads comprised of informal caregivers and people with dementia living in a community-dwelling setting, recruited from the Right Time Place Care study, a cohort survey from 8 European countries. To test the associations between depression (according to the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia) and informal caregiver burden (defined by the Zarit scale and hours of supervision in terms of Resource Utilization in Dementia), distress (defined by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire distress score), and quality of life (according to the visual analogue scale and 12-item General Health Questionnaire). Linear regressions showed an association between depression and main outcomes (Zarit scale: β 3.7; P =.001; hours of supervision: β 1.7; P =.004; Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire distress score: β 1.2; P =.002). A similar association was found concerning psychological and overall well-being (12-item General Health Questionnaire: β 1.8; P <.001; Euroqol Visual Analogue Scale: β −4.1; P =.003). Both associations remained significant despite the presence of other NPS and after adjusting for confounders. Further studies are needed to assess whether providing tailored strategies for optimizing diagnosis and managing of depression in people with dementia might improve caregiver quality of life and reduce their burden in the community-dwelling setting.

Access source material through DOI

Cost-effectiveness analysis of systematic fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialised palliative care at home for patients and their caregivers: the DOMUS trial

Background: While hospitals remain the most common place of death in many western countries, specialised palliative care (SPC) at home is an alternative to improve the quality of life for patients with incurable cancer. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of a systematic fast-track transition process from oncological treatment to SPC enriched with a psychological intervention at home for patients with incurable cancer and their caregivers. Methods: A full economic evaluation with a time horizon of six months was performed from a societal perspective within a randomised controlled trial, the DOMUS trial (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01885637). The primary outcome of the health economic analysis was a incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), which is obtained by comparing costs required per gain in Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALY). The costs included primary and secondary healthcare costs, cost of intervention and informal care from caregivers. Public transfers were analysed in seperate analysis. QALYs were measured using EORTC QLQ-C30 for patients and SF-36 for caregivers. Bootstrap simulations were performed to obtain the ICER estimate. Results: In total, 321 patients (162 in intervention group, 159 in control group) and 235 caregivers (126 in intervention group, 109 in control group) completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly higher QALYs for patients when compared to usual care (p-value = 0.026), while being more expensive as well. In the 6 months observation period, the average incremental cost of intervention compared to usual care was €2015 per patient (p value < 0.000). The mean incremental gain was 0.01678 QALY (p-value = 0.026). Thereby, the ICER was €118,292/QALY when adjusting for baseline costs and quality of life. For the caregivers, we found no significant differences in QALYs between the intervention and control group (p-value = 0.630). At a willingness to pay of €80,000 per QALY, the probability that the intervention is cost-effective lies at 15% in the base case scenario. Conclusion: This model of fast-track SPC enriched with a psychological intervention yields better QALYs than usual care with a large increase in costs. Trial registration: The trial was prospectively registered 25.6.2013. Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01885637. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving and quality of life

The increase in life expectancy for adults with learning disabilities has extended the caring role for their parents. This study examined the experiences of older parents who provide long-term care for their adult children with learning disabilities and how they conceptualise their quality of life. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 27 older parent carers from four London boroughs and were analysed using framework technique. Findings indicate that most parents appraised their quality of life positively and reported benefits, despite the challenges they had to negotiate daily. The benefits from caregiving, more so in later life, were: a connected family from shared caregiving; a sense of belonging; purposeful living; a reciprocal relationship with their adult children; and personal transformations from providing care that improved their quality of life. The challenges that participants regularly encountered were: multiple losses (sleep, career, identity and friends); the added stress of the government's Personalisation Agenda of caring services; struggles for access to services; searching for a diagnosis; worry about future care and fear of abuse when carers are unable to continue in their role; unhelpful attitudes of health and social care professionals; and a lack of empathy from friends as well as the public towards people with learning disabilities. Caregiving and quality of life are inextricably linked and the difficulties that parents experienced were mainly associated with socio-structural barriers, rather than their children's disabilities. Importantly, the findings inform the practice of social workers and others who support this unique group of carers by providing new insights into how caring impacts on quality of life over time and how best these parents' needs can be met. This study makes a specific contribution to understanding the lived realities of older carers and extends current conceptualisations of caregiving and quality of life among older people. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver Burden, Quality of Life and Related Factors in Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients in Turkey

This study aimed to evaluate caregiver burden and quality of life (QoL) and their predictors in family caregivers of dementia patients. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out with a sample of 102 patients and their family caregivers. The Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) and Short Form-12 (SF-12) were used to collect data. CBI mean score was 37.97 ± 21.30. Mean scores of SF-12 sub-domains varied between 36.02 and 77.94 and were significantly lower as compared to normative means of the general population, excluding only the physical health subdomain. Among several patient and caregiver-related correlations, the number of medications and worse cognitive function of the patient, caregiver's age and having limited space at home were found as predictors of burden, whereas caregiver's chronic disease and having a limited space were predictors of QoL. Also, the burden and QoL were correlated. This study demonstrated a high burden and low QoL in dementia caregivers. In societies where caregivers are mostly informal such as that in Turkey, supportive systems should be established. 

Access source material through DOI

Burden in Tunisian Family Caregivers of Older Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum and Bipolar Disorders; Associations with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Quality of Life

There are very little data on the burden among caregivers of older adults with severe mental diseases. We aimed to assess the perceived burden among caregivers of family members with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 52 older patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders and their family caregivers. Caregivers were assessed with the medical outcome survey short form (SF-36), the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and the Depression Anxiety and Stress scales (DASS-21). Caregivers' mental quality of life was impaired with an average mental score of 59.05. For a threshold value of 17, the level of perceived burden was considered as high for 42.3% of caregivers. After controlling for demographic variables (age and gender) and patients' health-related variables (level of dependency, comorbidities, age onset of illness, number of hospitalizations and duration of clinical remission), caregivers' levels of depression, stress, and SF-36 physical component significantly contributed to their perceived burden. Certain modifiable risk factors play an inescapable role in increasing the level of burden among caregivers of older patients with serious mental illnesses. Improving the quality of life and psychological well-being of family caregivers should be considered an integral part of treatment for serious mental illness in older adult patients.

Access source material through DOI

Burden and quality of life in caregivers of patients with amputated diabetic foot

Informal caregivers of chronically ill patients often report burden and poor quality of life. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of caring on caregivers of amputated patients with type 2 diabetes and diabetic foot. A cross‐sectional study included a convenience sample of 110 caregivers who answered: the Burden Assessment Scale, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, the Social Support Satisfaction Scale, the Family Assessment Device, and the Short Form Health Survey. Multiple linear hierarchical regressions were performed to identify the variables that contributed to the burden and the physical and mental quality of life. Differences in burden as well as physical and mental quality of life were found, according to several caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics. Lower social support, more distress, and caregiver's perception of the impact of caring on the family dynamics contributed to burden. Lower distress and not having a chronic illness besides diabetes explained the physical quality of life whereas exercise and lower distress explained mental quality of life. To promote quality of life in caregivers and reduce the burden associated with caregiving, interventions should focus on social support, distress, and the practice of exercise. (Portuguese)

Access source material through DOI

Building Resources in Caregivers: Feasibility of a Brief Writing Intervention to Increase Benefit Finding in Caregivers

The Building Resources in Caregivers (BRiC) is a pilot feasibility trial that compared the effects of a 2‐week benefit finding writing expressive intervention to a control intervention, who wrote about the weather. Caregivers completed primary (benefit finding) and secondary (quality of life, depression and anxiety) outcome measures at pre (t1), immediately post‐test (t2) and 1 month later (t3). They also completed measures relating to trial feasibility, difficulty, and acceptance. Using complete case analysis only, analysis revealed no effect of the intervention for primary or secondary outcomes. Despite this, there were no differences between the intervention and control groups on key feasibility measures. Caregivers in the control condition were less likely to recommend this to other caregivers. Moreover, qualitative commentary provided by caregivers suggested that not everyone enjoyed the writing, some found it stressful, offering up some explanation for our findings. Our pilot trial suggests that any future benefit‐finding writing intervention would require several procedure modifications including tailoring to a specific cohort of caregivers, in particular those who like writing, before it has some utility as a psychosocial intervention. 

Access source material through DOI

Balance and preference in activity participation for informal caregivers of people with aphasia: A questionnaire study

With increased attention to third-party disability, there is a need to evaluate how informal caregivers of people with aphasia participate in diverse life activities. Qualitative research has improved our understanding of experiences and priorities in this essential group of stakeholders. However, there has been limited effort to confirm results quantitatively and based on robust sample sizes. To characterize the balance and preference among home/work, leisure, and social activities for informal caregivers based on questionnaires that can also be used with people who have aphasia. Seventy caregivers for people with aphasia and 46 control participants who were not caregivers completed the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ) and a questionnaire version of the Life Interests and Values (LIV) Cards. CIQ scores did not differ statistically between groups, but the frequency of endorsed activities on the LIV Cards did. Whereas current engagement in home and community activities was similar for the two groups, caregivers reported doing significantly fewer activities in social, physical, and creative and relaxing categories. In contrast to the balance difference for their current life, participants in both groups agreed about wanting to do more social and leisure activities, with many activities rising to the top in both groups. Informal caregivers for people with aphasia experience a measurable difference between activities they currently do in their lives and activities they want to do. With modification, interviews and questionnaires intended for people with disability can provide a caregiver perspective on living with aphasia that may facilitate coordinated and relationship-focused intervention. 

Access source material through DOI

After providing end of life care to relatives, what care options do family caregivers prefer for themselves?

Objectives: We examined how caregivers who had cared for a relative at end of life (EoL) wished to be cared for in the event that they experienced advanced dementia or physical disability in the future, and what factors influenced their preferences for EoL care. Methods: In this mixed-methods study, 83 participants, recruited from multiple sources in Israel, were interviewed concerning socio-demographic factors, health status, past experience with EoL, preference for extension of life vs. quality of life (QoL), willingness to be dependent on others, and preferences for EoL care. Results: In case of advanced dementia, 58% preferred euthanasia or suicide; around a third chose those for physical disability. Care by family members was the least desired form of care in the advanced dementia scenario, although more desirable than institutional care in the physical disability scenario. QoL was rated as the highest factor impacting preferences for EoL care. Men demonstrated a higher preference than women for extension of life over QoL. Conclusion: Our study points to the need for society to consider solutions to the request of participants to reject the type of EoL experienced by their relatives. Those solutions include investing in improving the quality of life at the end of life, and offering alternatives such as euthanasia, which a large proportion of our participants found ethically and medically appropriate within the current system of care in the event of severe physical disability, and more so in the event of advanced dementia. [

Access source material through DOI

The association of stroke severity with health-related quality of life in survivors of acute cerebrovascular disease and their informal caregivers during the first year post stroke: a survey study

Purpose To describe the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of caregivers and survivors of transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and stroke during one year post discharge in comparison to age- and sex-matched population norms; and to analyse the association of initial stroke severity, measured by a routinely used stroke-specific scale, on subsequent HRQoL of caregivers and survivors. Methods Cohort of hospitalized patients with TIA and stroke discharged alive from a large university hospital in Norway, and their informal caregivers. Questionnaires at 3 and 12 months post discharge were filled out by caregivers (n = 320 and n = 326, respectively) and survivors (n = 368 and n = 383, respectively). Multivariable linear regression analyses tested associations between initial stroke severity (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, NIHSS) and HRQoL (EQ-5D-3L) in caregivers and survivors. Results Caregivers of survivors with TIA or stroke did not report lower HRQoL than matched norms. There was some evidence of an association of the NIHSS with caregiver HRQoL at 3 months only (age-sex-adjusted coefficient - 0.01, p = 0.008), however, this was attenuated after additional adjustments. Survivors with stroke, but not TIA, reported lower HRQoL than population norms at both time points. There was a negative association between higher NIHSS scores and survivors' HRQoL; fully adjusted coefficient - 0.01 at both time points (p = 0.001). Conclusion The informal caregivers and survivors with TIA did not report lower than expected HRQoL. Increasing stroke severity was associated with decreasing HRQoL among survivors, but had limited predictive value among caregivers. Other factors may therefore be better indicators of 'at risk' caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver burden and health-related quality of life among primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia: a cross-sectional study

Purpose This study aimed to examine correlates of caregiver burden and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia in inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation facilities. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted with 157 Taiwanese primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia residing in inpatient psychiatric facilities. Measures included socio-demographic questionnaires and clinical information, Mutuality Scale, Family Crisis-Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales, Zarit Burden Interview, and World Health Organization Quality of Life-brief version. To describe the degree of caregiver burden and domains of HRQoL, descriptive statistics were computed. Independent sample t test, one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson's correlation analysis followed by multiple regression analyses were performed to determine correlations and relationships between characteristics of patients and primary family caregivers with caregiver burden and domains of HRQoL. Results Primary family caregivers experienced mild to moderate caregiver burden and poor HRQoL. Primary family caregivers who were older and unemployed, caring for patient's severe psychiatric symptoms, and had low monthly incomes, decreased mutuality, and fewer family coping strategies were associated with greater caregiver burden and poor HRQoL. Greater mutuality and family coping strategies of reframing and seeking spiritual support were the most significant factors in improving caregiver burden and all domains of HRQoL, respectively. Conclusion Family-focused interventions for caregivers of institutionalized persons with schizophrenia that include psychological support and peer support groups are recommended to enhance mutuality and family coping strategies, reduce caregiver burden, and improve HRQoL.

Access source material through DOI

Impact of COVID-19 related social support service closures on people with dementia and unpaid carers: a qualitative study

Objectives Accessing social care and social support services is key to support the well-being of people living with dementia (PLWD) and unpaid carers. COVID-19 has caused sudden closures or radical modifications of these services, and is resulting in prolonged self-isolation. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of COVID-19 related social care and support service changes and closures on the lives of PLWD and unpaid carers. Method PLWD and unpaid carers were interviewed via telephone in April 2020. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Demographic characteristics including household Index of Multiple Deprivation score and weekly hours of social support service usage before and since the COVID-19 outbreak were also collected. Paired samples t-tests was used to compare the mean of weekly hours of social support service usage before and since the outbreak. Results 50 semi-structured interviews were conducted with unpaid carers (n?=?42) and PLWD (n?=?8). There was a significant reduction in social support service usage since the outbreak. Thematic analysis identified three overarching themes: (1) Loss of control; (2) Uncertainty; (3) Adapting and having to adapt to the new normal. Carers and PLWD were greatly affected by the sudden removal of social support services, and concerned about when services would re-open. Carers were worried about whether the person they cared for would still be able to re-join social support services. Conclusions PLWD and carers need to receive specific practical and psychological support during the pandemic to support their well-being, which is severely affected by public health restrictions.

Access source material through DOI

Cost-effectiveness of an in-home respite care program to support informal caregivers of persons with dementia: A model-based analysis

Objectives: To evaluate cost-effectiveness of an in-home respite care program in addition to standard community-based dementia care to support informal caregivers of persons with dementia compared with standard community-based dementia care. Methods: An age-dependent decision-analytic Markov model was applied from a third-party payer and a societal perspective projecting results of a quasi-experimental study over a time horizon of 5 years assuming a repetition of the program every 6 months. Additionally, to deal with uncertainty and to test robustness of the model scenario, one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. Results: Implementing the program resulted in a quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gain of 0.14 in favor of the invention group compared with controls and an incremental cost of 1270€ from the third-party payer perspective and of 1220€ from the societal perspective. Next, an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 9042€/QALY and of 8690€/QALY was found in the base case, from the third-party payer perspective and the societal perspective, respectively. The scenario, one-way sensitivity, and probabilistic analyses demonstrated robustness of the base-case results. Conclusion: This cost-effectiveness analysis suggests that an in-home respite care program in addition to standard community-based dementia care is a cost-effective approach compared with standard community-based dementia care only. These findings provide more insight into the value of such services for the patient, the caregiver, and for society.

Access source material through DOI

Health-Related Quality of Life and Use of Hospital Services by Patients with Heart Failure and Their Family Caregivers: A Multicenter Case-Control Study

Background: Heart failure (HF) causes high rates of hospital admissions. It is known that disease progression impacts the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of both patients and caregivers, yet to date, this finding is based on cross-sectional studies with limited samples. Objectives: The study aim is to analyze the relationship between HF patients’ use of hospital services (a proxy for disease progression) and the HRQoL of their family caregivers. Methods: This work is a multicenter nested case-control study on a population of patients admitted to hospitals in southern Spain due to heart failure. The sample comprised 530 patient-caregiver dyads. Hospital admission data were retrospectively collected for the 5 years prior to inclusion in the study. Bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression were used to determine associations between patient deterioration and caregivers’ quality of life. Results: Patients’ use of hospital services was associated with worsened quality of life for family caregivers, with an overall OR of 1.48 (95% CI: 1.23-1.79). A positive correlation was found between patients’ perceptions of their physical health and the perceived mental health of caregivers (r = 0.127, p = 0.004) and between the perceived mental health of both (r = 0.291; p <0.0001). Conclusions: Greater use of hospital services by patients with HF is an independent predictor of deterioration of family caregivers’ HRQoL. The physical and mental components of patients’ and their family caregivers’ HRQoL interact and influence each other. Additional factors, such as the nature and intensity of care provided, also determine the worsening of a family caregiver’s HRQoL. Clinical Relevance: These results can be used to identify family caregivers of people with heart failure at risk of suffering a deterioration in their health-related quality of life. Increased use of hospital services is an independent predictor of the deterioration of the family caregivers’ health-related quality of life. Since clinical nurses are the main provider who gives support and education to family caregivers, they should be alert to this situation and individualize interventions to prevent this deterioration. 

Access source material through DOI

Translating an Evidence-based Multicomponent Intervention for Older Adults With Dementia and Caregivers

Background and Objectives Effective community-based programs to maintain health and well-being of adults with dementia are needed. This article describes the translation, implementation, and effectiveness of a multicomponent exercise plus behavioral/psychosocial intervention (Reducing Disability in Alzheimer's Disease-NorthWest [RDAD-NW]) conducted by staff in regional Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Research Design and Methods Staggered multiple baseline design was used; 10 AAAs, 20 case managers, and 255 community-residing persons with dementia (PWDs), and family caregivers were enrolled. RDAD-NW was conducted in-home over 6 weeks with aerobic/endurance, strength, and balance/flexibility exercises, dementia education, training to increase pleasant events, and activator-behavior-consequence problem-solving approach. Outcomes included case manager treatment fidelity, and caregiver/PWD physical activity, restricted activity days, physical functioning, quality of life, and affect. Results RDAD-NW was successfully translated and implemented by AAA agency staff through their usual service provision mechanisms. Staff responded positively and delivered the program with a high degree of fidelity. Caregiver/PWD dyads also responded favorably engaging in both exercise and behavioral/psychosocial portions of the program. A total of 207 dyads (81%) completed the intervention and 140 (55%) completed the 13-month follow-up. PWD physical activity increased significantly pre- to posttreatment (p < .001, ES = .54), and 13 months (p < .01, ES = .21). Quality of life of PWD increased significantly pre- to posttreatment (p < .001, ES = .29); caregiver depression improved pre- to posttreatment (p = .01, ES = −.18). Discussion and Implications RDAD-NW was successfully translated and implemented by AAA case managers and resulted in increased physical activity and improved behavioral and emotional outcomes of caregiver/PWDs. Results support continued dissemination and implementation of RDAD-NW.

Access source material through DOI

Factors Associated With Quality of Life of Family Caregivers of Dialysis Recipients

Chronic kidney failure may contribute to the diminished quality of life of African American women who care for adults affected by the disorder. Few studies document the quality of life of these caregivers. For this descriptive correlational study, caregiver demographic, caregiver burden, depressive symptoms, family functioning, and quality-of-life self-report data from 75 African American women were extracted from an existing database. Ferrans’ Conceptual Model of Quality of Life guided the selection of study variables. Several significant associations were found. Caregiver education, employment status, marital status, and caregiver burden explained 63% of the variance in the caregivers’ quality of life. Findings support the need to explore further and design interventions to improve the quality of life of working African American women supporting individuals with chronic kidney failure.

Access source material through DOI

Perceptions of the impact of chorea on health-related quality of life in Huntington disease (HD): A qualitative analysis of individuals across the HD spectrum, family members, and clinicians

Chorea, a hallmark symptom of Huntington's disease (HD), is characterized by jerky involuntary movements affecting the whole body that can interfere with daily functioning and impact health-related quality of life (HRQOL). To characterize chorea's impact on everyday functioning and HRQOL and identify patterns of perception and experiences of chorea among patients, caregivers, and providers. Data from focus groups of individuals with manifest HD (n = 8 early-stage HD; n = 16 late-stage HD), individuals at-risk or prodromal HD (n = 16), family HD caregivers (n = 17), and HD clinicians (n = 25). Focus group recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed via constant comparison to identify meaningful and salient themes of living with chorea. Global themes of chorea's impact identified included: watching for chorea, experiences of stigma, and constraints on independence and relationships. Themes distinct to specific respondent groups included: Vigilance (at risk, prodromal); adaptation to chorea (early-stage); loss of autonomy and social life (late-stage); monitoring engagement (family caregivers) and safety (clinical providers). Living with chorea significantly constrains daily functioning, interactions, and HRQOL across the HD disease spectrum. Addressing these impacts via appropriate management of chorea can potentially enhance functioning, HRQOL, and overall satisfaction for persons with HD and their families.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life among caregivers of people with end-stage kidney disease managed with dialysis or comprehensive conservative care

Background: To measure health-related and care-related quality of life among informal caregivers of older people with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and to determine the association between caregiver quality of life and care recipient's treatment type. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted. Three renal units in the UK and Australia were included. Informal caregivers of people aged ≥75 years with ESKD managed with dialysis or comprehensive conservative non-dialytic care (estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) ≤10 mL/min/1.73m2) participated. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed using Short-Form six dimensions (SF-6D, 0-1 scale) and care-related quality of life was assessed using the Carer Experience Scale (CES, 0-100 scale). Linear regression assessed associations between care-recipient treatment type, caregiver characteristics and the SF-6D utility index and CES scores. Results: Of 63 caregivers, 49 (78%) were from Australia, 26 (41%) cared for an older person managed with dialysis, and 37 (59%) cared for an older person managed with comprehensive conservative care. Overall, 73% were females, and the median age of the entire cohort was 76 years [IQR 68-81]. When adjusted for caregiver sociodemographic characteristics, caregivers reported significantly worse carer experience (CES score 15.73, 95% CI 5.78 to 25.68) for those managing an older person on dialysis compared with conservative care. However, no significant difference observed for carer HRQoL (SF-6D utility index - 0.08, 95% CI - 0.18 to 0.01) for those managing an older person on dialysis compared with conservative care. Conclusions: Our data suggest informal caregivers of older people on dialysis have significantly worse care-related quality of life (and therefore greater need for support) than those managed with comprehensive conservative care. It is important to consider the impact on caregivers' quality of life when considering treatment choices for their care recipients. 

Access source material through DOI

Designing and validation of health-related quality of life inventory for family caregivers of hemodialysis patients

Background: Family caregivers are important sources of care for hemodialysis patients. Although caring for a family member is a pleasant feeling, experiencing lots of physical and psychological caregiving burden influences the quality of life among family caregivers of hemodialysis patients. This study aimed to design and validate the quality of life inventory for family caregivers of patients on hemodialysis. Methods: A sequential-exploratory mixed method was conducted in Tehran, Iran, in 2017-2018. In the qualitative phase, the researcher conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with 19 participants. Finally, a pool of 93 items was extracted from this phase. Then, psychometric properties such as face validity (Impact Score>1.5), content validity ratio (CVR>0.63), content validity index (Item Content Validity Index: ICVI>0.78, Scale Content Validity Index/Average: SCVI/Ave>0.8) and Kappa value (Kappa>0.7, internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha>0.7), relative reliability (ICC:interclass correlation coefficient),absolute reliability (Standard Error of Measurement: SEM and Minimal Detectable Changes: MDC), convergent validity (Correlation Coefficient between 0.4-0.7), interpretability, responsiveness, feasibility, and ceiling and floor effects were assessed Results: The quality of life inventory for family caregivers of hemodialysis patients was developed with 34 items and five factors (namely patient care burden, conflict, positive perception of situations, self-actualization, fear, and concern). The findings confirm that the scale is acceptable regarding validity, reliability and other measurement features. Conclusions: This inventory is consistent with the health care status in Iran. Therefore, it can be used to measure the quality of life among family caregivers of hemodialysis patients. 

Access source material through DOI

Validation of the caregiver oncology quality of life questionnaire in Portuguese caregivers of myeloma patients

Objective Cancer diagnosis affects patients, their families, and their caregivers in particular. This study focused on the validation of the CareGiver Oncology Quality of Life (CarGOQoL) questionnaire in Portuguese caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma, from the caregiver's point of view. Method This was a cross-sectional study with 146 caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma from outpatient medical oncology and clinical hematology consultations from five hospitals in north and central Portugal. Participants were assessed on quality of life (QoL), psychological morbidity and social support. Result The Portuguese version maintains 17 of the original 29 items version, maintaining general coherence and a dimensional structure that is clinically interpretable. Reliability findings indicated good internal consistency for the total scale (0.86) and respective subscales (0.75 to 0.88), which is in agreement with the alpha values from the previous CarGOQoL validation study for the corresponding subscales (0.74 to 0.89) and total scale (0.90). Significance of results The CarGOQoL is a reliable and valid tool for clinical trials and intervention programs to assess QoL in caregivers of myeloma patients. Future studies should validate the adapted version in caregivers of other types of cancer patients including other chronic diseases. 

Access source material through DOI

Exploring the experiences of people treated with immunotherapies for advanced melanoma and those caring for them: “real-world” data

Background: Recent advances in the development of immunotherapy drugs have resulted in durable responses and improved overall survival for a proportion of patients with advanced melanoma; however, toxicities can be potentially life-threatening. The patients' family and friends (carers) are relied upon to support patients at home post treatment; however, we know little about their experiences. Objectives: This study aimed to understand the experiences of patients with advanced melanoma who received immunotherapy and their carers; and to explore the impact of immunotherapy treatment on patients' and carers' quality of life (QoL). Methods: A cross-sectional, exploratory design was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients: diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, attending an Australian public cancer hospital, had completed or were receiving treatment with immunotherapies; and the people caring for them at home. Results: Patients (n = 22) described how immunotherapy impacted emotional health, functional ability; and had damaging economic consequences. Fatigue was reported consistently as having a considerable negative influence across all domains of QoL. Carers (n = 9) were anxious about their ability to correctly identify, report and manage side effects at home. Conclusions: Results demonstrate how immunotherapy can impact the QoL of both patients and carers, either directly through toxicities or indirectly through mechanisms such as stress, financial toxicity, or fatigue that limits participation in life activities. Implications for Practice: Supportive care resources and interventions are needed for those receiving immunotherapy to minimise negative impacts on QoL. Carers likewise require better preparation and information to assist in identifying potential treatment toxicities and ensure patient safety.

Access source material through DOI

Care providers’ and patients’ attitudes toward using electronic-patient reported outcomes to support patients with traumatic brain injury: a qualitative study (PRiORiTy)

Objectives: To (a) identify residual symptoms and deficits resulting from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and impact on patients’ and their families’ quality of life; (b) explore views and experience of care providers, researchers, patients, and carers of using PROMs; and (c) explore their attitudes toward reporting symptoms and impacts on an electronic platform. Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews with people with TBI and their carers; health-care professionals, researchers, and third sector staff members working with people with TBI. Results: Symptoms and long-term impacts of TBI included cognitive problems, difficulties functioning, anxiety, and depression. PROMs were seen as improving knowledge of residual symptoms and their impact post-TBI but not always accurately reflecting patients’ residual problems. Challenges to completing PROMs were cognitive impairment and lack of insight into condition. Perceived advantages of an electronic platform included easy data collection; flexibility; improving workflow; and the ability to send/ receive feedback and reminders easily. Suggested features of an electronic platform included simple layout, lay language, short questions, few items on the screen, and capability to send/receive feedback and additional information. Conclusion: There is a demand for reporting symptoms and their impact electronically, providing the layout is kept simple and feedback from clinicians is provided. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life and its social determinants for patients with schizophrenia and family caregivers in Cambodia

Due to inadequate human and financial resource support, the development of mental health services in Cambodia has been undertaken by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Schizophrenia is the most common functional psychotic disorder, causing severe and chronic symptoms, and the programs provided by the NGOs should have enhanced the quality of life (QoL) of patients and their caregivers; however, epidemiological research, which is a driving force behind the recognition of mental health as a global public health concern, is lacking for schizophrenia in Cambodia. This study therefore aimed to create QoL evaluation questionnaires available in Khmer (the Cambodian language) for patients with schizophrenia and family caregivers, and to identify the social determinants and predictors of their QoL. This cross-sectional study recruited 59 patients and 59 caregivers attending three clinics operated by two NGOs: the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Cambodia and the Supporters for Mental Health (SUMH) Cambodia. We conducted linguistic validation of the Schizophrenia Quality of Life Questionnaire 18-item version (S-QoL 18) and the Schizophrenia Caregiver Questionnaire (SCQ), then analyzed correlations between the QoL dimensions and socio-demographic factors. The main findings of this study were as follows: 1) the newly created Khmer versions of S-QoL 18 and SCQ are relatively good psychometric tools that are suitable for research to identify patients' and caregivers' needs to improve their QoL; and 2) engaging in paid work or being of the post-Khmer Rouge generation results in higher QoL for patients, but having low household economic status or being affected by chronic disease leads to lower QoL for family caregivers. These findings are useful for enabling community mental health professionals and aid organizations to create programs to lessen the patient and caregiver burden in Cambodia. Further research is necessary to develop practical projects that will improve patients' and caregivers' QoL in various clinical settings in Cambodia.

Access source material through DOI

The Development of a Quality of Life Scale for Informal Carers for Older Adults

Background: The aim of the study was to develop a multidimensional quality of life instrument suitable for use among individuals across cultures who have an informal care role for older persons. Methods: Participants were informal carers of older adults in the United Kingdom (n = 308), United States (n = 164), and China (n = 131). We carried out exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of 61 items derived from the eight-factor Adult Carers Quality of Life Questionnaire with newly added items to define both traditional and nontraditional informal care roles. Results: Findings suggest a 24-item quality of life scale with a six-factor structure to caring for older adults that assesses (a) exhaustion, (b) adoption of a traditional carer role, (c) personal growth, (d) management and performance, (e) level of support, and (f) financial matters. Conclusion: We present a new scale to assess the multidimensional aspects of quality of life among those caring for older adults.

Access source material through DOI

Cost-Effectiveness and Effects of a Home-Based Exercise Intervention for Female Caregivers of Relatives with Dementia: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Previous research has proposed a range of support interventions to mitigate the adverse impact of caregiving on the daily life of caregivers of relatives with dementia. However, the effectiveness of these interventions shows a high variability. Informal caregivers usually lack the time and/or live too far from conventional facilities to do physical exercise, especially those who live in rural areas. Thus, home-based interventions may be more efficacious due to their greater convenience for this population. The present work proposes and describes a study protocol for a randomized control trial that will analyze the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a home-based, structured individual physical exercise intervention to improve the health-related quality of life and the mental health of female informal caregivers of relatives with dementia. The nine-month-long intervention will comprise participation in two supervised physical exercise sessions per week at the caregiver's home. The proposed study outcomes will be: (1) feasibility of and adherence to the home-based provision of the intervention; (2) improvement in physical fitness and quality of life; and (3) reduction in subjective burden, psychological symptomatology and depression. Analyses will also be performed to determine the cost-effectiveness after the intervention. In conclusion, this intervention might thus represent a tailored and feasible strategy to help caregivers cope with the physical and psychological stress resulting from caregiving-related responsibilities, and it could represent a novel cost-effective support home-based intervention for caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Psychological Symptomatology in Informal Caregivers of Persons with Dementia: Influences on Health-Related Quality of Life

Informal caregivers of persons with dementia often report high levels of anxiety, depression and burden. Nonetheless, other less evaluated psychological symptoms might also influence their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of this study was to comprehensively analyse other psychological symptoms and their influence on the health-related quality of life of informal caregivers. Fifty-four informal women caregivers and fifty-six women non-caregivers were recruited to participate in the study. Psychological symptoms were assessed using the Symptom Check-List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) questionnaire and the HRQoL with the EuroQoL-Five Dimensions and Three Levels (EurQoL-5D-3L) questionnaire. Significant between-group differences were found in the majority of scales in the SCL-90-R questionnaire (p < 0.01) and caregivers also reported a worse HRQoL than non-caregivers (p < 0.05). Several psychological symptoms such as obsession-compulsive (beta = 0.47), hostility (beta = 0.59), and somatization (beta = 0.49) had a significant impact on caregivers' HRQoL (R-2 explained between 0.17 and 0.30 of the variance). Caregivers are at a higher risk of suffering other psychological symptoms and show a moderate-high level of psychiatric morbidity, which therefore explains the poorer HRQoL outcomes. Supporting interventions should be provided to mitigate these psychological symptoms in order to improve their general distress and HRQoL.

Access source material through DOI

Women with high level of education, victims of the care of people with Alzheimer's

The aim of this job is to know the existing relationship between the task of caring patients with Alzheimer's disease, caregivers' gender and their level of academic studies. Descriptive study, 69 persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and their respective familiar caregivers as subjects of the study. Age, gender, academic level, burden, depression, anxiety level, quality of life and social loneliness have been measured in caregivers. Age, gender, dependency level and neuropsychological state have been measured in patients. Data collection was done in 2016. Logistic regression analysis was performed. Caregivers with high levels of academic studies suffer more burden, being women in their majority. They are more likely to present social loneliness and higher levels of anxiety and a worse quality of life than men. The burden may be due to a greater number of responsibilities to respond to, and to the inability to combine it with the role of caregiver. We can conclude that women become victims of caring Alzheimer' patients. 

Access source material through DOI

Reply to: “Providing care to a family member affected by head and neck cancer: a phenomenological study”

To the editor:

We read with interest the recent article titled “Providing care to a family member affected by head and neck cancer: a phenomenological study,” by Dri et al. [1]. The authors concluded that caregivers play a crucial role in patients’ post-treatment recovery, and future planning for the treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC) should consider caregivers’ needs.... 

Access source material through DOI

Cancer-Related Debt and Mental-Health-Related Quality of Life among Rural Cancer Survivors: Do Family/Friend Informal Caregiver Networks Moderate the Relationship?

Social connectedness generally buffers the effects of stressors on quality of life. Is this the case for cancer-related debt among rural cancer survivors? Drawing on a sample of 135 rural cancer survivors, we leverage family/friend informal caregiver network data to determine if informal cancer caregivers buffer or exacerbate the effect of cancer-related debt on mental-health-related quality of life (MHQOL). Using data from the Illinois Rural Cancer Assessment, a survey of cancer survivors in rural Illinois, we estimate the association between cancer-related debt and MHQOL and whether informal caregiver network size and characteristics moderate this association. Over a quarter of survivors (27%) reported cancer-related debt, and those who did reported worse MHQOL. However, this association only held for survivors who had an informal caregiver network. These findings supplement what is already known about the role of social connectedness in cancer survivors’ health outcomes. We offer possible explanations for these findings. 

Access source material through DOI

Association between exercise training in haemodialysis patients and burden of their family caregivers: A cross-sectional study

Aim: Considering that exercise programmes are related with a range of benefits for end-stage renal disease patients, we evaluated the association between haemodialysis (HD) patients’ involvement in intradialytic exercise training with the burden of their family caregivers. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 60 caregivers of HD patients were recruited, 30 of them who cared for patients that regularly participated in an exercise programme during dialysis sessions and 30 caregivers who looked after patients undergoing usual HD treatment without intradialytic exercise. The caregivers were submitted to the Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS) and their quality of life (short-form-36 (SF-36)), anxiety and depression levels were assessed. Data were expressed as mean ± SD or median (interquartile range). Results: Multiple linear regression showed that the global CBS score was significantly associated with the exercise training after adjusting for age, educational level and anxiety level of caregivers, and dependency level of patients measured by the Lawton scale (coefficient of determination = 0.53; adjusted coefficient of determination = 0.48). Additionally, the caregivers of HD patients submitted to intradialytic exercise (42.0 ± 12.9 years, 33.3% male) compared to caregivers of patients undergoing usual treatment (50.7 ± 17.5 years, 26.7% male) exhibited less caregiver burden (global CBS score = 1.2 (0.2) vs 1.9 (0.7), P < 0.001), better quality of life (physical component score = 53.7 (9.6) vs 49.7 (16.2) and mental component score = 50.6 (17.5) vs 28.2 (32.5), P < 0.05) and lower anxiety (7.2 ± 4.2 vs 10.8 ± 4.1, P = 0.001) and depression levels (3.0 (3.3) vs 6.0 (5.3), P = 0.034), respectively. Conclusions: Intradialytic exercise training in HD patients was associated with lower burden of their family caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Analyzing the situation of older family caregivers with a focus on health-related quality of life and pain: a cross-sectional cohort study

Background For a significant proportion of the older population, increasing age is associated with health problems and worsening health. Older family caregivers are largely responsible for care of next-of-kin living at home, which impacts their own physical and mental health both positively and negatively. However, evidence is insufficient regarding the health situation of older caregivers. The aim of this study was to investigate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and pain, and their associations, among caregivers aged >= 60 years. Methods The participants (n = 3444) were recruited from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care-Blekinge and Good Aging in Skane during 2001-2004. Participants aged >= 60 years were selected randomly and underwent cognitive tests, with demographic information obtained through questionnaires. The response rate was 60%. A predefined research protocol was used. HRQoL was measured with the Short-Form Health Survey, dimension mental health. Logistic regression models were used to investigate the associations between HRQoL and pain as well as control factors. Results Family caregiving was reported by 395 (11.5%) of the participants, and 56.7% of the caregivers reported pain. Family caregivers reported lower pain intensity on the Visual Analogue Scale and were younger, on median, than non-caregivers. Irrespective of caregiver status, pain was associated with mental HRQoL. Concerns about personal health and financial status had the strongest associations with mental HRQOL in both groups, but the levels were higher among caregivers. Conclusion Pain was one factor associated with low HRQoL regardless of family caregiver status and remained important when controlling for factors related to advanced age. This finding remained among family caregivers, though they reported lower pain intensity. Factors other than pain were shown to be important to mental HRQoL and should also be taken into consideration when discussing actions for family caregivers to maintain and improve health and HRQoL.

Access source material through DOI

Psychological Burden of Hepatic Encephalopathy on Patients and Caregivers

OBJECTIVES: Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is common in advanced cirrhosis and is characterized by marked neuropsychiatric abnormalities. However, despite its severity and effects on brain function, the impact of HE on psychological status of patients has not been adequately assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of HE on psychological status of patients and their informal caregivers. METHODS: Fifteen patients with cirrhosis and episodic or persistent HE and their corresponding informal caregivers were included. Semistructured interviews were performed in patients and caregivers. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed by the short-form 36 in both patients and caregivers, and the Zarit burden score was measured in caregivers. The analysis of interviews was performed using qualitative methodology. RESULTS: HE causes a major psychological impact on patients with HE. The first episode of HE caused a very significant impact that was reported with deep feelings, mainly of fear, anger, misery, anxiety, and sorrow, which persisted with time. Symptoms causing more psychological impact on patients were impaired ability to walk and speak. All effects were associated with a marked impairment in QoL. The psychological impact was also marked in caregivers who had a major burden, as assessed by the Zarit score. Moreover, QoL, particularly the mental component score, was markedly impaired in caregivers in intensity similar to that of patients. DISCUSSION: HE has a profound psychological impact on patients and their informal caregivers, associated with a marked negative influence on QoL. The psychological effects of HE on patients and caregivers should be evaluated and treated.

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregiver quality of life in a palliative oncology population

Purpose: Many patients with advanced cancer receive primary supports from informal caregivers (IC). As patient health deteriorates, IC assume increasing responsibility, often accompanied by distress. We investigated the quality of life (QOL) of IC of patients referred to a palliative radiotherapy (PRT) program. Methods: IC accompanying patients to a dedicated PRT clinic completed a survey based on the validated Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC). Demographics, burden, and engagement in support services were evaluated. Summary statistics were calculated, and parameters were assessed for association with CQOLC scores by a generalized linear model. Results: Two hundred one surveys were analyzed representing 197 unique patients. The mean age was 68.3 years, with predominantly lung (25.0%) and prostate (19.3%) malignancies. 24.4% had been in hospital/long-term care within the previous 7 days. IC were 60.8% female, and 60.6% were the patient’s spouse. 69.5% lived with the patient and 38.3% were additionally employed. IC spent a daily mean of 6.6 h (SD 7) assisting with instrumental (72.5%) and basic (37.5%) activities of daily living. Mean CQOLC score was 82.1/140 (SD 20). 63.8% of IC had previously accessed support service(s), most commonly home care (37.2%) and pharmacy (29.1%). 55.9% indicated interest in services not yet accessed. Multivariate analysis revealed additional employment, cohabitation, poor patient performance status, and interest in accessing more support services significantly correlated with higher IC burden. Conclusions: Employing the CQOLC to screen IC of patients referred to a PRT program permits early identification of vulnerable IC to facilitate linkage with appropriate supports.

Access source material through DOI

Effects of a Telehealth Early Palliative Care Intervention for Family Caregivers of Persons With Advanced Heart Failure: The ENABLE CHF-PC Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance: Family caregivers of persons with advanced heart failure perform numerous daily tasks to assist their relatives and are at high risk for distress and poor quality of life. Objective: To determine the effect of a nurse-led palliative care telehealth intervention (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends Comprehensive Heart Failure for Patients and Caregivers [ENABLE CHF-PC]) on quality of life and mood of family caregivers of persons with New York Heart Association Class III/IV heart failure over 16 weeks. Design, Setting, and Participants: This single-blind randomized clinical trial enrolled caregivers aged 18 years and older who self-identified as an unpaid close friend or family member who knew the patient well and who was involved with their day-to-day medical care. Participants were recruited from outpatient heart failure clinics at a large academic tertiary care medical center and a Veterans Affairs medical center from August 2016 to October 2018. Intervention: Four weekly psychosocial and problem-solving support telephonic sessions lasting between 20 and 60 minutes facilitated by a trained nurse coach plus monthly follow-up for 48 weeks. The usual care group received no additional intervention. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were quality of life (measured using the Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale), mood (anxiety and/or depressive symptoms measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and burden (measured using the Montgomery-Borgatta Caregiver Burden scales) over 16 weeks. Secondary outcomes were global health (measured using the PROMIS Global Health instrument) and positive aspects of caregiving. Results: A total of 158 family caregivers were randomized, 82 to the intervention and 76 to usual care. The mean (SD) age was 57.9 (11.6) years, 135 (85.4%) were female, 82 (51.9%) were African American, and 103 (65.2%) were the patient's spouse or partner. At week 16, the mean (SE) Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale score was 66.9 (2.1) in the intervention group and 63.9 (1.7) in the usual care group; over 16 weeks, the mean (SE) Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale score improved 0.7 (1.7) points in the intervention group and 1.1 (1.6) points in the usual care group (difference, -0.4; 95% CI, -5.1 to 4.3; Cohen d = -0.03). At week 16, no relevant between-group differences were observed between the intervention and usual care groups for the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety measure (mean [SE] improvement from baseline, 0.3 [0.3] vs 0.4 [0.3]; difference, -0.1 [0.5]; d = -0.02) or depression measure (mean [SE] improvement from baseline, -0.2 [0.4] vs -0.3 [0.3]; difference, 0.1 [0.5]; d = 0.03). No between-group differences were observed in the Montgomery-Borgatta Caregiver Burden scales (d range, -0.18 to 0.0). Differences in secondary outcomes were also not significant (d range, -0.22 to 0.0). Conclusions and Relevance: This 2-site randomized clinical trial of a telehealth intervention for family caregivers of patients with advanced heart failure, more than half of whom were African American and most of whom were not distressed at baseline, did not demonstrate clinically better quality of life, mood, or burden compared with usual care over 16 weeks. Future interventions should target distressed caregivers and assess caregiver effects on patient outcomes. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02505425.

Access source material through DOI

The Quality of Life as a Predictor of Social Support for Multiple Sclerosis Patients and Caregivers

BACKGROUND: Coping with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is challenging. MS is one of the most common causes of nontraumatic disability in young adults, and patients may need assistance with daily life activities. This article explores the relation between quality of life (QOL) and the perceived available social support among patients with MS and their families. METHODS: The study included 120 subjects (60 patient-caregiver dyads). The average age of the patients was 53.95 ± 10.19 years, and for caregivers, it was 50.8 ± 13.3 years. The study used 2 subscales of the Berlin Social Support Scale (perceived availability of social support and need for social support) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire for the assessment of QOL. RESULTS: QOL in MS is lower compared with that of their caregivers in all dimensions except the social domain (P < .001, r = 0.54-0.64). A higher need for social support was experienced by caregivers. The need for support in this group is affected by 3 predictors: QOL in the environmental domain and in the physical domain as well as their subjective health. An improvement in QOL in all the domains is related to an increase of perceived available support, in both the group of patients and that of their caregivers (P < .05, ρ = 0.28-0.59). CONCLUSIONS: Perceived available support is of great importance for both patients and their caregivers to enable them to function better in the physical, mental, social, and environmental domains of their QOL, where social relationships play a predictive role.

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with quality of life in the perspective of the elderly caregiver with Alzheimer's disease

This study aimed to know the factors associated with quality of life (QOL) of elderly caregivers diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease from the perspective of these individuals. It was a descriptive study with qualitative approach based on the Collective Subject Discourse method. Twenty elderly caregivers diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease participated, during a month, in the period the month September 18 to October 18, 2017. Data collection was done through interviews with caregivers of elderly with Alzheimer's disease. The questions were asked and recorded on tape recorder, with the permission of the interviewee. Data were analyzed by the Descending Hierarchical Classification (DHC). Five classes were obtained: Quality of life concept for the elderly caregiver; Behavior of the elderly with Alzheimer; Memory problems in the elderly and repercussions on the caregiver's work; Change in family caregiver lifestyle; and Repercussion of "being a caregiver" in the quality of life. QOL was related to a range of factors (emotional, physical, financial, disease state in the elderly and the degree of knowledge of the caregiver about the disease). Caregivers have pointed out that non-harmony between these factors can be crucial to affect your personal and professional life as well as your QOL.

Access source material through DOI
Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Support needs and health-related quality of life of family caregivers of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation and admission to a specialised weaning centre: A qualitative longitudinal interview study

Objectives: Family caregivers of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation may experience physical and psychological morbidity associated with a protracted intensive care unit experience. Our aim was to explore potentially modifiable support needs and care processes of importance to family caregivers of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation and transition from the intensive care unit to a specialised weaning centre. Research methodology/design: A longitudinal qualitative descriptive interview study. Data was analysed using directed content analysis. Setting: A 6-bed specialised weaning centre in Toronto, Canada. Findings: Eighteen family caregivers completed interviews at weaning centre admission (100%), and at two-weeks (40%) and three-months after discharge (22%) contributing 29 interviews. Caregivers were primarily women (61%) and spouses (50%). Caregivers perceived inadequate informational, emotional, training, and appraisal support by health care providers limiting understanding of prolonged ventilation, participation in care and decision-making, and readiness for weaning centre transition. Participants reported long-term physical and psychological health changes including alterations to sleep, energy, nutrition and body weight. Conclusions: Deficits in informational, emotional, training, and appraisal support of family caregivers of prolonged mechanical ventilation patients may increase caregiver burden and contribute to poor health outcomes. Strategies for providing support and maintaining family caregiver health-related quality of life are needed. 

Access source material through DOI

Reference values for and interpretation of the Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale: a quantile regression approach

Purpose: The Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale (SCQOLS) was recently developed and validated in two languages - English and Chinese. The total and domain scores are scaled to range from 0 to 100. However, the scale is not at the interval-ratio level of measurement. To facilitate interpretation, we established the percentiles of the scale’s total and domain scores among family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers and demonstrate the effect size in terms of differences in relation to caregiver and patient characteristics. Methods: Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey of family caregivers of patients with stage III or IV solid cancers in Singapore. Quantile regression was used to estimate the percentiles in relation to caregiver and patient characteristics. Results: Participants in adjacent categories of patient’s performance status and caregiver’s having other family members to share caregiving duties differed by 3 to 5 points in median quality of life total score and most domain scores (each Bonferroni-adjusted P, P[B], < 0.05). Ethnicity was associated with the Physical Well-being and Experience & Meaning domain scores (each P[B] < 0.05), with variable direction and magnitude. Education was associated with Mental Well-being and Financial Well-being (each P[B] < 0.05). Equations and examples for calculation of the percentiles are provided. Conclusion: Percentiles and effect size estimates are provided to facilitate interpretation of the SCQOLS. 

Access source material through DOI

Two valid and reliable short forms of the Singapore caregiver quality of life scale were developed: SCQOLS-10 and SCQOLS-15

Objectives: The Singapore Caregiver Quality of Life Scale (SCQOLS) comprises five domains and 51 items in total. This study aimed to develop and evaluate short forms of SCQOLS. Study Design and Setting: Data were collected from 612 family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers in Singapore. Exploratory factor analysis and best subset regression were used to identify candidate items for each domain. The short forms were evaluated for measurement properties. Results: Inclusion of at least two items per domain in the short form gave correlation coefficients of at least 0.8 with the corresponding domain scores in the full-length version. The short forms and full-length version had similar correlation coefficients with Negative Personal Impact and Positive Personal Impact measures. Two of the five domains of the 10-item version had Cronbach's alpha 0.50 and test-retest reliability 0.65. A 15-item version of the scale with two to four items per domain performed satisfactorily in all aspects evaluated. Conclusion: A 15-item short form of the SCQOLS (SCQOLS-15) is valid and reliable for the assessment of the overall and domainspecific quality of life of family caregivers. A 10-item short form (SCQOLS-10) may serve as a quick, valid and reliable assessment of the overall level of quality of life. 

Access source material through DOI

Identifying Outcomes Important to Patients with Glomerular Disease and Their Caregivers

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Shared decision making in patients with glomerular disease remains challenging because outcomes important to patients remain largely unknown. We aimed to identify and prioritize outcomes important to patients and caregivers and to describe reasons for their choices. DESIGN: , setting, participants, & measurementsWe purposively sampled adult patients with glomerular disease and their caregivers from Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants identified, discussed, and ranked outcomes in focus groups using the nominal group technique; a relative importance score (between zero and one) was calculated. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Across 16 focus groups, 134 participants (range, 19-85 years old; 51% women), including 101 patients and 33 caregivers, identified 58 outcomes. The ten highest-ranked outcomes were kidney function (importance score of 0.42), mortality (0.29), need for dialysis or transplant (0.22), life participation (0.18), fatigue (0.17), anxiety (0.13), family impact (0.12), infection and immunity (0.12), ability to work (0.11), and BP (0.11). Three themes explained the reasons for these rankings: constraining day-to-day experience, impaired agency and control over health, and threats to future health and family. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with glomerular disease and their caregivers highly prioritize kidney health and survival, but they also prioritize life participation, fatigue, anxiety, and family impact. 

Access source material through DOI

Being a caregiver as a determinant of quality of life and as a contributor to depressive symptoms

Background. Taking care of elderly, ill and disabled people, as well as rearing children alone, involve a number of medical, psychological, economic and social problems. Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess QoL and the severity of depressive symptoms in nonprofessional caregivers compared to non-caregivers. Material and methods. The study involved 460 (100%) participants, including 335 (72.8%) women and 125 (27.2%) men. The individuals were divided into two groups of the same size: a study group of 230 (50%) caregivers and a control group of 230 (50%) non-caregivers. 35.2% (n = 81) of the caregivers were taking care of an adult family member (parent, husband, wife, sister or brother), and 64.8% (n = 149) were mothers rearing children alone, of whom 91 women (19.8% of the whole study sample) were unmarried. The instruments employed in this study were the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQoL-Bref) questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory and a questionnaire of our own devising. Results. The caregivers (p = 0.001) had lower general QoL. the non-caregivers (control group) scored 4 points more for general QoL, which was associated with a difference in the scores for the WHOQoL-Bref physical health domain. There were statistically significant differences in general QoL (p = 0.031) and in QoL scores in the physical health domain (p = 0.043) between the subgroups of caregivers. Conclusions. Estimating the extent of non-institutional care and concern for the quality of caregivers' lives will improve the physical and mental functioning of both caregivers and those under their care. Regardless of the nature of care, state of health and family relationships, caregivers should receive support from healthcare professionals, the local community, authorities and volunteers.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life, psychological well-being, and resilience in caregivers of people with acquired brain injury (ABI)

Aim: The study aims to examine whether characteristics of patients with Acquired Brain Injury–ABI (time elapsed since injury, level of dependence and behavioral problems) and resilience factors of the caregiver predicted caregiver well-being (quality of life, anxiety,depression and positive aspects of caregiving). Methods: 78 voluntary family caregivers (75.6% female) of patients with ABI completed the Barthel Index, Head Behavior Injury Scale, Questionnaire of Resilience in Caregivers of Acquired Brain Injury, WHOQOL-BREF, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale,and Positive Aspects of Caregiving Scale. Correlation analysis and stepwise regression were carried out. Results: Time elapsed since injury showed a negative relationship with positive aspects of caregiving. On the other hand, care-recipients’ behavioral problems showed significant associations with all caregiver variables: negatively with quality of life and positive aspects of caregiving, and positively with anxiety and depression. Regarding resilience, we found a positive relationship with quality of life and positive aspects of caregiving, and a negative association with anxiety and depression, showing better predictive power with depression. Conclusions: We confirm the relevance of developing multidisciplinary caregiver intervention programmes focused on positive ways to handle care-recipients’ behavioral problems and developing positive coping skills, such as positive reinterpretation, acceptance and seeking social support, that may optimize caregiver resilience. 

Access source material through DOI

Measuring quality of life in life-threatening illness - content validity and response processes of MQOL-E and QOLLTI-F in Swedish patients and family carers

Background The McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire - Expanded (MQOL-E) and the Quality of Life in Life-Threatening Illness-Family Carer/Caregiver version (QOLLTI-F) are developed for use with patients facing the end of life and their family carers, respectively. They are also developed for possible use as companion instruments. Contemporary measurement validity theory places emphasis on response processes, i.e. what people feel and think when responding to items. Response processes may be affected when measurement instruments are translated and adapted for use in different cultures. The aim of this study was to translate and examine content validity and response processes during completion of MQOL-E and QOLLTI-F version 2 (v2) among Swedish patients with life-threatening illness and their family carers. Methods The study was conducted in two stages (I) translation and adaptation (II) examination of content validity and response processes using cognitive interviews with 15 patients and 9 family carers. Participants were recruited from the hemodialysis unit, heart clinic, lung clinic and specialized palliative care of a Swedish county hospital. Patients had life-threatening illness such as advanced heart failure, advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, end-stage kidney disease or advanced cancer. Patients were outpatients, inpatients or receiving home care. Results Patients and family carers respectively believed that the items of the MQOL-E and QOLLTI-F v2 reflect relevant and important areas of their quality of life. Although some items needed more time for reflection, both instruments were considered easy to understand. Some changes were made to resolve issues of translation. Participants expressed that reflecting on their situation while answering questions was valuable and meaningful to them, and that responding was an opportunity to express feelings. Conclusions The results of response processes pertaining to the Swedish translations of both MQOL-E and QOLLTI-F v2 contribute evidence regarding content validity, linguistic equivalence and cultural appropriateness of the translated instruments. In addition, results show that the instruments may support conversations on matters of importance for quality of life between patients and/or family carers and health care professionals. Further research is needed to study the psychometric properties of Swedish translations.

Access source material through DOI

The unique burden of rare cancer caregiving: caregivers of patients with Erdheim-Chester disease

Research examining the experience of informal caregivers (ICs) for patients with rare cancers is limited. This was a mixed-methods pilot study of 14 ICs for patients with Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD), an ultra-rare neoplasm. Participants were predominantly female and over half provided at least 60% of their loved one's care. Participants completed measures of the impact of caregiving, caregiver burden, unmet needs, quality of life, anxiety, and depression. Participants reported substantial impact of caregiving, including limiting (50%) or discontinuing (21%) paid employment, and exhausting financial savings (43%). ICs reported a moderate level of burden with five (38%) reporting risk for burnout. While participants reported anxiety (64%) and depression (14%), their overall quality of life was favorable. Semi-structured interviews highlighted factors related to the distress and isolation of navigating a rare cancer. ECD ICs report burden and distress shaped by the experience of providing care for a patient with a rare cancer.

Access source material through DOI

Burden of care in caregivers of patients with alcohol use disorder and schizophrenia and its association with anxiety, depression and quality of life

Background Caregivers play a pivotal role in providing care for mentally ill patients. Increase in caregiver burden can make them vulnerable to mental illness themselves.Aims We assessed the severity of burden of care and its association with depression, anxiety and quality of life among caregivers of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia. Methods This was an observational, cross-sectional, single-centred study of 50 consecutive caregivers of patients with AUD and schizophrenia. Participants were recruited from the psychiatry outpatient department of a tertiary care hospital between January and June 2017. The caregivers were further assessed by demographic details, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale for assessment of depression and anxiety, Zarit Burden Interview for assessment of caregiver burden and WHO Quality Of Life-BREF for assessment of quality of life. Statistical data were analysed using GraphPad InStat V.3.06 (California). Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to identify the predictors of caregiver burden. Results Burden of care experienced by caregivers of patients with AUD is as high as that of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia (U=1142.5, p=0.46). Caregivers experiencing high burden of care are likely to have symptoms of anxiety (U=22, p&lt;0.001), depression (U=32, p&lt;0.001) and poor quality of life (U=84.5, p&lt;0.001). Female caregivers are likely to experience higher burden of care (U=819.5, p=0.006). For caregivers of patients with schizophrenia, anxiety, environmental health, socioeconomic status and patients’ occupation can predict burden of care, while for caregivers of patients with AUD, depression and environmental health can predict burden of care. Conclusion Our study suggests that caregivers of patients with AUD experience burden of care as high as that of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Caregivers with high burden of care are more likely to have depression, anxiety and poor quality of life. Trial registration number CTRI/2017/03/008224.

Access source material through DOI

Health-related quality of life in Malaysian gastrointestinal cancer patients and their family caregivers—a comparison study

Purpose: Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer has emerged as a major health problem. Cancer patients receive informal care from their families beyond formal care. There has been little evidence showing how the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of the caregivers differs from that of the GI patients in Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in three referral hospitals in Malaysia. The objectives of this study were to determine the HRQOL of GI cancer patients and their family caregivers, and assess whether there is any significant relationship between the demographic factors, and the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores for patients and caregivers. Methods: A total of 323 dyads of GI cancer patients and their caregivers completed the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short Form (MOS SF-12) questionnaire to measure their HRQOL during face-to-face interviews. The analyses were performed using SF-12 scoring software to compute PCS and MCS scores (HRQOL parameters). The independent t test, one-way ANOVA, and the Pearson correlation test were conducted to determine the demographic factors related to the HRQOL of the dyads. Results: The caregivers had higher scores in all domains for the SF-12 than the patients. There were significant differences found in the MCS scores of the patients according to ethnicity, origin of cancer, duration of cancer, and surgery. None of these factors had a significant relationship with the caregivers’ HRQOL. Conclusion: Caregivers had better HRQOL than cancer patients. Early intervention for cancer patients in the form of counselling and personalised pain management may enhance the HRQOL of patients. 

Access source material through DOI

The impact of social care services on carers' quality of life

Unpaid care is an important part of long-term care systems. It is increasingly recognised that carers have their own health and well-being needs. Carer-specific interventions, as well as support for the care-recipient, may enable carers to maintain their own health and well-being alongside caring. This study seeks to establish whether and how community-based care services affect carers' quality of life. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers was used to capture carers' social care-related quality of life through qualitative interviews and a survey of carers in England in order to provide insights into the impact of community-based care services on carers' quality of life outcomes.

Access source material through DOI

Taking the strain? Impact of glaucoma on patients' informal caregivers

Purpose: To estimate informal caregiver (ICG) strain in people from a glaucoma clinic.; Methods: Patients with glaucoma were consecutively identified from a single clinic in England for a cross-sectional postal survey. The sample was deliberately enriched with a number of patients designated as having advanced glaucoma (visual field [VF] mean deviation worse than -12 dB in both eyes). Patients were asked to identify an ICG who recorded a Modified Caregiver Strain Index (MCSI), a validated 13 item instrument scored on a scale of 0-26. Previous research has indicated mean MCSI to be >10 in multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. All participants gave a self-reported measure of general health (EQ5D).; Results: Responses from 105 patients (43% of those invited) were analysed; only 38 of the 105 named an ICG. Mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) MCSI was 2.4 (1.3, 3.6) and only three ICGs recorded a MCSI > 7. The percentage of patients with an ICG was much higher in patients with advanced VF loss (82%; 9/11) when compared with those with non-advanced VF loss (31%; 29/94; p = 0.001). Mean (standard deviation) MCSI was considerably inflated in the advanced patients (5.6 [4.9] vs 1.5 [2.2] for non-advanced; p = 0.040). Worsening VF and poorer self-reported general health (EQ5D) of the patient were associated with worsening MCSI.; Conclusion: ICG strain, as measured by MCSI, for patients with non-advanced glaucoma is negligible, compared with other chronic disease. ICG strain increases moderately with worsening VFs but this could be partly explained by worse general health in our sample of patients.

Access source material through DOI

Severity of military traumatic brain injury influences caregiver health-related quality of life

Purpose/objective: To examine the influence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) severity on the health-related quality of life of caregivers providing care to service members/veterans (SMV) following a TBI. Research Method/Design: Thirty caregivers (90.0% female; 70.0% spouse; age: M = 39.5 years, SD = 10.7) of SMVs who sustained a mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating TBI were recruited from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and via community outreach to participate in one of six focus groups. Caregivers were classified into 3 TBI severity/caregiver groups: (a) moderate/severe/penetrating TBI caregiver group (n = 11); (b) mild TBI caregiver group (n = 10); and (c) equivocal TBI caregiver group (n = 9). Thematic analysis using a constant comparative approach was conducted with qualitative analysis software to identify common themes across the 3 severity/caregiver groups.; Results: Eleven themes emerged: no time for self/needs last (83.3%), poor physical health (80.0%), increased stress/anxiety (76.7%), social isolation/loneliness (66.7%), lack of access to services (50.0%), impact on family life (46.7%), sleep issues (46.7%), finances/employment (36.7%), depression (30.0%), exhaustion (30.0%), and anger (16.7%). Exploratory pairwise comparisons revealed a higher proportion of the moderate/severe/penetrating TBI group endorsed 7 of the 11 themes (no time for self/needs last, increased stress/anxiety, impact on family life, sleep issues, finances/employment, exhaustion, anger, and increased stress/anxiety) compared with the other 2 groups.; Conclusions/implications: It is important that caregivers of SMVs receive long-term support in their caregiving and parenting roles. Further work is required to understand the challenges caregivers experience in accessing services they need and how to effectively meet their needs across the care continuum.

Access source material through DOI

Randomized controlled trial of supportive care interventions to manage psychological distress and symptoms in Latinas with breast cancer and their informal caregivers

Objective: The purpose of this study was to test two 2-month psychosocial interventions (Telephone Interpersonal Counseling [TIPC] and Supportive Health Education [SHE]) to improve quality of life (QOL) outcomes for Latinas with breast cancer and their informal caregivers. Methods: Two hundred and forty-one Latinas with breast cancer and their caregivers were assessed at baseline, immediately after the 2-month intervention, at 4 and 6 months after baseline. QOL outcomes were psychological distress, symptoms and social support. Results: Linear mixed effects models showed that for cancer survivors at 2 months, TIPC produced lower adjusted mean depression scores compared to SHE. At 4 months, SHE had reduced total number of symptoms, global symptom distress, and social isolation compared to TIPC. Only total number of symptoms was lower in SHE than in TIPC at 6 months. Among caregivers at 2 months, total number of symptoms, global symptom distress, and anxiety were lower, and self-efficacy for symptom management was higher in SHE compared to TIPC. Caregiver depression was lower in TIPC compared to SHE at 4 months. Conclusions: These telephone delivered interventions improved different outcomes. TIPC demonstrated superior benefits for depression management and SHE was more successful in anxiety and cancer-related symptom management. 

Access source material through DOI

Mindfulness Training Supports Quality of Life and Advance Care Planning in Adults With Metastatic Cancer and Their Caregivers: Results of a Pilot Study

Background: Emotional distress often causes patients with cancer and their family caregivers (FCGs) to avoid end-of-life discussions and advance care planning (ACP), which may undermine quality of life (QoL). Most ACP interventions fail to address emotional barriers that impede timely ACP.; Aim: We assessed feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of a mindfulness-based intervention to facilitate ACP for adults with advanced-stage cancer and their FCGs.; Design: A single-arm pilot was conducted to assess the impact of a 6-week group mindfulness intervention on ACP behaviors (patients only), QoL, family communication, avoidant coping, distress, and other outcomes from baseline (T1) to post-intervention (T2) and 1 month later (T3).; Participants: Eligible patients had advanced-stage solid malignancies, limited ACP engagement, and an FCG willing to participate. Thirteen dyads (N = 26 participants) enrolled at an academic cancer center in the United States.; Results: Of eligible patients, 59.1% enrolled. Attendance (70.8% across 6 sessions) and retention (84.6% for patients; 92.3% for FCGs) through T3 were acceptable. Over 90% of completers reported high intervention satisfaction. From T1 to T3, patient engagement more than doubled in each of 3 ACP behaviors assessed. Patients reported large significant decreases in distress at T2 and T3. Family caregivers reported large significant improvements in QoL and family communication at T2 and T3. Both patients and FCGs reported notable reductions in sleep disturbance and avoidant coping at T3.; Conclusions: The mindfulness intervention was feasible and acceptable and supported improvements in ACP and associated outcomes for patients and FCGs. A randomized trial of mindfulness training for ACP is warranted. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with identifier NCT02367508 ( https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02367508 ).

Access source material through DOI

Longitudinal changes on the quality of life in caregivers of type 2 diabetes amputee patients

Purpose: To explore changes in the quality of life of caregivers of amputees due to type 2 diabetes ten months after amputation.; Methods: This is a longitudinal study with three moments of evaluation (T1: one month after surgery, T2: 7 months, T3: 10 months). The sample comprised 110, 101, and 84 caregivers of amputated patients with type 2 diabetes. Caregivers answered a Socio-demographic questionnaire; the Self-Assessment Caregiver; the Family Disruption from Illness Scale; and the Short Form Health Survey (SF36).; Results: Stress levels were not significantly reflected in changes on mental quality of life over time, except in the caregivers who presented less stress, emphasizing the adverse role of stress when experienced on a continuous basis for ten months on the caregivers' mental well-being. Caregivers presented greater number of physical symptoms at T2 that decreased at T3.; Conclusions: According to the results, in order to promote caregivers' physical and mental quality of life, it would be important to evaluate stress levels especially in patients who presented somatic complaints.

Access source material through DOI

The influence of songwriting on quality of life of family caregivers of people with dementia: An exploratory study

Introduction: Living with a person with dementia (PWD) causes physical and psychological problems in family caregivers (FCGs), as well as a reduction in their Quality of Life (QOL). The purpose of this study was to examine the possible effectiveness of the therapeutic songwriting method for improving the QOL and well-being of FCGs of PWD. Methods: The sample of caregivers (n = 21) was divided into three homogeneous groups that received 12 intervention sessions. A non-randomized, quasi-experimental design with repeated measures (pre-post intervention) was employed to determine a possible therapeutic effect. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36v2), Beck Depression Inventory, and Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale were administered before and after the intervention. Results: The results showed a decrease in anxiety and depression scores and an increase in scores of self-esteem after the intervention. Regarding QOL, post-intervention scores in the Mental Component Summary and Mental Health were significantly higher. In contrast, a small effect size was observed for difference between pre-test and post-test on the subscales of QOL: General Health, Social functioning, Role Emotional and Bodily Pain. Discussion: This exploratory study concludes that therapeutic songwriting can help to reduce caregivers' symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve their perceived self-esteem and QOL. This work reinforces the progress made to date and provides new results that highlight the benefits of music therapy for FCGs of PWD.

Access source material through DOI

How cancer of oral cavity affects the family caregivers? - A cross-sectional study in Wardha, India, using the Caregiver Quality of Life Index - Cancer questionnaire

Introduction: Oral cancer is now a major public health problem in India. It does not only affect the patient, but also has a deep psychosocial impact on the family caregivers who are deeply involved with the cancer patient for nursing, timely medication, and consulting the doctor. Studies have found that the caregivers often suffer from depression, anxiety, and fear of losing their near and dear ones. This study aims to capture the psychosocial impact of oral cancer on the family caregivers.; Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in a tertiary care hospital with the primary caregivers of those oral cancer patients who completed their treatment and came for follow-up after 2-3 months of treatment completion. The study participants were recruited till a sample size of 100 was reached. This was adequate to report proportions with an error of 10%. We have used "The Caregiver Quality of Life Index - Cancer" scale to capture the psychosocial impact of oral cancer on primary caregiver of the patient. The study was initiated after obtaining approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Informed written consents were obtained from all the study participants before beginning the interviews.; Results: Caregivers played an important role in the recovery of the patients. However, the strain of caregiving resulted in increased emotional stress among them. We found 56% of the family caregivers were female and 41% were male. Majority of the caregivers who accompanied the patients to hospital were the spouses. For the caregivers, the mean score for burden of the disease was found to be 60.0 (±20.2), that for disruption was 50.4 (±21.7), and for positive adaptation was 61.4 (±20.7).; Conclusion: Caregivers, who are usually invisible to the health-care team, should be recognized and their mental and physical well-being should also be given attention.

Access source material through DOI

Hope predicted quality of life in dyads of community-dwelling patients receiving hemodialysis and their family caregivers

Purpose: End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on hemodialysis (HD) and their family caregivers (FCGs) reported poor quality of life (QoL). Hope has shown association with QoL at the individual level. However, the association between hope and QoL in dyads has never been examined in particular in dyads of patients and FCGs. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between hope and QoL in dyads of ESRD patients on HD and their family caregivers (FCGs). Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which data were collected from 123 community-dwelling patient-FCG dyads. Hope was measured using the Herth Hope Index and QoL was measured using the World Health Organization Quality of Life BREF. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model multilevel modeling dyadic analysis approach was used to analyze the data. Results: Each individual's hope scores predicted their own better QoL scores. Patients' hope scores predicted better Environmental domain QoL in FCGs. Conclusion: All domains of QoL of patients and their FCGs are related to their own level of hope. Better FCGs' environment domain of QoL was linked to high patients' levels of hope. Improving QoL may be achieved by targeting and improving hope in both members of the dyad.

Access source material through DOI

Factors influencing quality of life in African-American dementia dyads

Objective: Both caregivers and the older adults they care for can experience declines in quality of life (QOL) over the course of the dementia trajectory. Little research has examined QOL in African-American caregivers and even less in African-American persons with dementia (PWDs), making it difficult to identify associated factors. Method: Guided by the Negro Family as a Social System framework, a secondary data analysis was used to examine the influence of family structure, instrumental and expressive role functions on QOL in a sample of 62 African-American dementia dyads (i.e. African-American PWDs and their African-American caregivers). Dyadic data were analyzed using multilevel modeling to control for the interdependent nature of the data. Results: On average, African-American PWDs reported significantly worse QOL than African-American caregivers. Within African-American dementia dyads, QOL covaried. African-American PWDs experienced significantly worse QOL when their caregiver was a non-spouse and they themselves perceived less involvement in decision-making. In addition, African-American caregivers experienced significantly worse QOL when they reported greater dyadic strain with the African-American PWD and were non-spouses of African-American PWDs. Conclusion: Findings suggest understanding the interpersonal characteristics (e.g., dyadic relationship, family structure and role functions) of dyads may hold promise for improving their QOL.

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with quality of life of adult patients with acute leukemia and their family caregivers in China: a cross-sectional study

Background: Acute leukemia (AL) not only impairs the quality of life (QOL) of patients, but also affects that of their family caregivers (FCs). Studies on QOL of AL patients and their FCs are limited. This study aimed to evaluate the QOL of AL patients and their FCs, and to explore the factors associated with QOL of patients and of FCs. Methods: A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted. The QOL of 196 patient-FC dyads was assessed. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia (FACT-Leu) was used for patients, and the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) was used for FCs. Independent-samples t-tests or one-way analysis of variance were used to compare QOL subscale scores between groups with different sociodemographic/clinical characteristics. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to identify the factors associated with QOL of AL patients and their FCs. Results: The total FACT-Leu score for AL patients was 76.80 ± 16.44, and the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores for FCs were 64.67 ± 15.44 and 52.50 ± 13.49, respectively. All QOL subscales for patients (t = 12.96-34.73, p < 0.001) and FCs (t = 2.55-14.36, p < 0.05), except role emotional (t = - 0.01, p = 0.993), were lower than those reported in previous studies. Sex, employment, and chemotherapy were significantly associated with total FACT-Leu score in AL patients (p < 0.05). Age, sex, marital status, education, employment, and relationship to patients were significantly associated with SF-36 PCS or MCS (p < 0.05). Conclusions: AL patients and their FCs both have lower QOL than the population in previous studies. These findings suggest that not only AL patients' physical and mental health but also overall family QOL should be assessed. Interventions supporting patient-FC dyads should be developed to improve their QOL. 

Access source material through DOI

Evaluating emotional distress and health-related quality of life in patients with heart failure and their family caregivers: Testing dyadic dynamics using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

Purpose: 1) To compare levels of emotional symptoms and health-related quality of life between patients with heart failure and their family caregivers; and 2) to examine whether patients' and caregivers' emotional symptoms were associated with their own, as well as their partner's health-related quality of life. Method: In this cross-sectional study, 41 patients-caregiver dyads (78% male patients, aged 68.6 years; and 83% female caregivers, aged 65.8 years) completed all nine dimensions of the Brief Symptom Inventory and the Minnesota Living with Heart failure Questionnaire. Dyadic data were analysed for 6 sub-scales of the Brief Symptom Inventory, using the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in emotional symptoms and health-related quality of life between patients with heart failure and their caregivers. Patients' and caregivers' emotional symptoms were associated with their own health-related quality of life. Caregivers' anxiety, phobic anxiety, obsession-compulsion, depression and hostility negatively influenced their partner's (i.e. the patient's) health-related quality of life. There were no partner effects of patients' emotional symptoms on the health-related quality of life of caregivers. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that patients may be particularly vulnerable to the emotional distress, i.e. thoughts, impulses and actions of their caregivers. It may be possible to improve patients' health-related quality of life by targeting specific detrimental emotional symptoms of caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Emotional Suppression and Hypervigilance in Military Caregivers: Relationship to Negative and Positive Affect

Objective: To investigate the relationship of 2 health-related quality-of-life (QOL) item banks (Emotional Suppression and Caregiver Vigilance), developed for caregivers of service members/veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), to caregivers' positive and negative affect.; Setting: Community.; Participants: One hundred sixty-five caregivers of service members/veterans with TBI.; Design: Retrospective database analysis.; Main Measures: TBI-CareQOL Emotional Suppression; TBI-CareQOL Caregiver Vigilance; measures of negative (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System [PROMIS] Depression, PROMIS Anger, TBI-CareQOL Caregiver-Specific Anxiety, National Institutes of Health Toolbox [NIHTB] Perceived Stress, GAD-7) and positive affect (Neuro-QOL Positive Affect and Well-being, NIHTB Self-efficacy, NIHTB General Life Satisfaction, Family Resilience Scale for Veterans, TBI-QOL Resilience).; Results: When considered separately, linear regression showed that higher levels of Emotional Suppression and greater Caregiver Vigilance were individually associated with more negative affect and less positive affect. When considered together, the pattern of findings was generally consistent for both Emotional Suppression and Caregiver Vigilance with regard to negative affect and for Emotional Suppression with regard to positive affect. However, when considered together, Caregiver Vigilance was no longer related to positive affect.; Conclusions: Caregivers with high emotional suppression and/or vigilance are more likely to show emotional distress and less likely to have positive affect than caregivers with lower levels of emotional suppression and vigilance. A combination of education and individual counseling targeting coping with negative emotions and TBI-related problems may be beneficial.

Access source material through DOI

Determining the Effect of Group Flower Arranging Sessions on Caregiver Self-Efficacy and Stress Levels in an In-Patient Hospice

This study was designed to promote enhanced self-efficacy and decreased stress levels for family caregivers at a hospice care hospital, thus increasing their quality of life. This is achieved through group flower arranging sessions. The objectives are to (a) enhance self-efficacy scores for family caregivers of Calvary patients, (b) decrease stress levels for family caregivers of Calvary patients, and (c) disseminate results to other hospices. The results show that the flower arranging sessions resulted in significantly increased self-efficacy and decreased stress and associated problems for the caregiver participants. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. 

Access source material through DOI

Depression But Not Inflammatory Markers Are Increased in Family Versus Nonfamily Caregivers of Persons With Dementia

We investigated quality of life (WHOQoL-BREF), perceived stress (PSS-10), anxiety and depression (HADS-M), life satisfaction (SWLS), and serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and cortisol in family caregivers (n = 94) and professional caregivers (n = 48) of demented patients, as well as among noncaregivers (n = 30). Compared with professional caregivers, family caregivers had higher scores in HADS-M depression (P = .003) and anxiety (P = .033), lower life satisfaction (P = .04), and lower quality of life in psychological (P = .02) and social relationship (P = .03) domains. There were no differences in serum levels of IL-6, CRP, or cortisol between caregivers and control participants. In multivariable analysis, when family relationship was considered together with the time period of caregiving and results of the Mini-Mental State Examination test in care recipients (n = 118, 12.49 ± 7.99), only family relationship influenced scores in HADS-M depression (P = .004), SWLS scores (P = .011), and WHOQoL-BREF scores in psychological (P = .011) and social relationship (P = .008) domains. In conclusion, family caregivers are more stressed and have deeper depressive and anxiety disorders, lower life satisfaction, and lower quality of life than professional caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Comparing dyadic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with dyadic integrative body-mind-spirit intervention (I-BMS) for Chinese family caregivers of lung cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial

Purpose: The study adopted a randomized controlled trial to compare the effect of culturally compatible psychosocial interventions on multiple aspects of quality of life (QoL) for family caregivers of lung cancer patients. Methods: 157 Chinese informal caregivers of lung cancer patients were recruited together with the family members for whom they were providing care, and randomly assigned to either integrative body-mind-spirit intervention (I-BMS) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Patient-caregiver dyads attended the same arm of intervention in separate groups for 8 weeks. Assessments of generic QoL, anxiety, depression, perceived stress, insomnia, and caregiving burden were measured before intervention (T0), within 1-week (T1), 8-week (T2), and 16-week (T3) post-intervention. Results: Adopting the intention-to-treat analysis, family caregivers in receipt of both I-BMS and CBT exhibited a statistically significant improvement in generic QoL immediately following intervention and at follow-up assessments, with moderate effect size. Improvement of insomnia was found at T1 for both modes, which deteriorated at follow-up; both modes reduced anxiety and perceived stress at follow-up. No intervention effect was observed in depression and domains of caregiving burden. There was no significant interaction effect between intervention type and time. No main or interaction effect between sample background variables and intervention type was found to predict symptomatic changes at T1 and T3. Conclusions: Culturally attuned I-BMS and CBT exhibited equivalent effectiveness in improving psychological distress and generic QoL for family caregivers of lung cancer patients. To improve the evaluation of outcomes, future study could benefit from incorporating a usual care control.

Access source material through DOI

Attributes of caregivers' quality of life: A perspective comparison between spousal and non-spousal caregivers of older patients with cancer

Purpose: With the aging population, our current understanding of patients with cancer and their family caregivers needs to be expanded to older patients with cancer and their caregivers. By differentiating spousal caregivers and non-spousal caregivers, we aimed to investigate the universalities and particularities of caregiving for older patients with cancer.; Methods: Through 11 cancer centers in South Korea, 358 patient-caregiver pairs were recruited in this cross-sectional study. Patients were of gastric, colorectal, or lung cancers, and caregivers were those who accompanied the patients to the clinic. Along with socio-demographic variables, medical records of the patients, and caregiving-related measurements, the caregiver's quality of life (AC-QOL) was rated both by patients and by caregivers.; Results: Statistically significant attributes of ACQOL included patient's age, caregiving duration, caregiver's concern about financial burden, caregiver's self-evaluation of their own physical health, and work conflicts due to caregiving for spousal caregivers (R2 = 0.687). For non-spousal caregivers, caregiving duration, caregiver's concern about financial burden, caregiver's self-evaluation of their own physical health, and family conflicts due to work were found significant (R2 = 0.272). Also patients rated ACQOL in higher accordance with their spousal caregivers than with non-spousal caregivers.; Conclusion: The needs of spousal caregivers and non-spousal caregivers might vary, which should inform the effective and efficient channeling of support for family caregivers. Future research suggestions, along with the study limitations, are discussed.

Access source material through DOI

Effectiveness of health web-based and mobile app-based interventions designed to improve informal caregiver's well-being and quality of life: A systematic review

Background: Internet-based interventions can help empower caregivers of people with chronic diseases and can develop solutions to decrease the physical and psychological consequences resulting from caregiving. Objective: Analysing the effectiveness of health web-based and/or mobile app-based interventions with regard to the level of well-being and quality of life of informal caregivers in charge of people with chronic diseases. Materials and methods: Systematic review of the following databases: Pubmed, Apa PsycINFO, ProQuest Health & Medical Complete and Scopus. Quality standards established by PRISMA and Joanna Briggs Institute Systematic Review Approach have been followed. The two phases of the selection process were carried out independently and a cross-case comparative analysis by three reviewers. Results: A total of 17 studies met inclusion criteria. The analysis shows that almost all studies involved web-based interventions with the exception of one which concerned a mobile app-based intervention. Most of them prove their effectiveness in the overall well-being of the caregiver and more specifically in the mental dimension, highlighting a decrease in caregivers’ anxiety and/or distress, depression symptoms and sense of competence. Conclusions: The findings support that web-based interventions have an impact mainly on caregivers’ well-being. Nevertheless, other dimensions that are necessary for caregiving, such as physical, mental and social dimension, have been scarcely explored. More studies on mobile app-based interventions are needed to know their effectiveness. 

Access source material through DOI

Telemedically augmented palliative care : Empowerment for patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers

Background: Studies have shown that initiating early palliative care of patients with end-stage cancer can improve their quality of life and decrease symptoms of depression. The challenge is to find an effective way to care for these patients while minimizing the burden on healthcare resources. Telemedicine can play a vital role in solving this problem.; Methods: A user-friendly telemedical device enabling patients encountering medical problems to send a direct request to a palliative care team was developed. A controlled feasibility study was conducted by assigning 15 patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers to receive either standard palliative care or telemedically augmented palliative care. Th quality of life (QoL) was assessed using standardized validated questionnaires as well as frequency and duration of hospital admissions and user satisfaction. The primary goal of this study was to increase the QoL of patients and their family caregivers. The secondary goal of this study was to decrease the frequency and duration of hospital admissions.; Results: This study showed a good feasibility despite the low overall willingness to participate in a relatively "technical" trial. The hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) was significantly lower in the intervention group, suggesting an improved quality of life. Although a decrease in the number of hospital admissions could not be shown, the user satisfaction was very good.; Conclusion: Telemedicine could be a useful tool to enhance the general well-being of palliative oncology patients. Now that the feasibility of this approach has been confirmed, larger studies are needed to verify its positive impact on the QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Survivorship and Caregiver Issues in Neuro-oncology

Opinion Statement: As cancer care has evolved so has the awareness of the issues cancer patients, their caregivers and families face during and after treatment, giving rise to the cancer survivorship care initiative. The body of research pertaining to quality of life, health-related quality of life, and multidimensional symptom burden of neuro-oncology patients and their caregivers has grown significantly, yielding a wealth of data and information indicating interventions and actions targeting symptoms and needs are both warranted and desired. The provision of survivorship care aiming to deliver care in a patient-centered, whole-person model offers a means by which these interventions and actions can be actualized. The research specific to survivorship care models and survivorship care plans and their delivery remains a large opportunity, one worth the careful consideration and participation of neuro-oncology healthcare providers for the benefit of their highly deserving patients and their caregivers and families.

Access source material through DOI

Students growing up with a chronically ill family member; a survey on experienced consequences, background characteristics, and risk factors

Background: Students living with a chronically ill family member may experience significant pressure, stress, and depression due to their caregiving situation. This may also lead to them delaying or dropping out of school when the combination of being a caregiver and their education program are too demanding. This survey study aims to explore the consequences for students of bachelor or vocational education programs when they are growing up with a chronically ill family member and the influence of various background characteristics and risk factors.; Methods: A survey was sent to 5997 students (aged 16-25 years) enrolled in bachelor or vocational education programs in the north of the Netherlands. The content of the survey was based on a literature study and consultation with experts. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests, and logistic regression analyses were performed.; Results: A total of 1237 students (21%) responded to the survey. A sub group of 237 (19%) students (mean age 21(2.2); 87% female) identified themselves as growing up with a chronically ill family member. More than half (54.9%) of these students indicated that they experienced negative consequences in daily life. A significant association (OR .42, p < .02) was found for these consequences and the level of education for which attending vocational education yields a higher risk. In addition, growing up with a mentally ill family member was associated with a 2.74 (p = .04) greater risk of experiencing negative consequences in daily life compared to students living with a family member with a physical disorder or multiple disorders.; Conclusion: Since a substantial number of students growing up with a chronically ill family member indicate serious physical, mental, and social consequences as a result of this care situation, awareness for this specific age-group is needed. Students with a mentally ill family member and students undertaking vocational education appear to be especially at risk. Further research is required in order to gain insight that is more in-depth into the exact type of problems that these students encounter and the specific needs that they have regarding support.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life in family caregivers of patients in the intensive care unit: A longitudinal study

Background: Family caregivers of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) experience impairments in the quality of life. Previous studies report that psychological quality of life improves over time, but there has been limited longitudinal research, and measurement points have differed. Factors such as age, gender, and posttraumatic stress symptoms have been found to be associated with the quality of life, but level of hope and its associations with the quality of life have not been investigated.; Objectives: The objective of this study was (1) to evaluate changes in the quality of life in family caregivers during the first year after a patient's admission to the ICU and (2) to identify associations between patients' and family caregivers' background characteristics, posttraumatic stress symptoms, hope, and quality of life.; Methods: A longitudinal study design with five measurement points was used. Family caregivers completed study questionnaires at enrolment into the study and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the patient's admission to the ICU. The quality of life was measured with the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey.; Results: Family caregivers (N = 211) reported improved psychological quality of life during the first year after the patient's admission to the ICU, but it was still lower than the psychological quality of life reported in norm-based data. Being on sick leave, consulting healthcare professionals (e.g., general practitioner), and increased level of posttraumatic stress symptoms were significantly associated with psychological quality of life, whereas hope was not. Reported physical quality of life was comparable to norm-based data.; Conclusion: Family caregivers of patients in the ICU reported impairments in quality of life during the first year after the patient's admission to the ICU. Being on sick leave, consulting healthcare professionals, and reduced posttraumatic stress symptoms may improve mental quality of life.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life assessment in family members of patients with chronic wounds

Familial caregivers are often directly involved in treatment of patients with chronic wounds, however, less is known about their personal impairment, and specific support is lacking for these important members of the therapeutic team regarding wound care. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of wound care provided by family members on their quality of life, and to create a suitable questionnaire to describe the affected personal aspects. A five-part questionnaire, named ELWA, was created by the authors and answered by 30 familial caregivers of 30 respective patients with chronic leg ulcers. One third of the caregivers reported receiving no medical advice about detailed wound care at all. A lack of information regarding details of the disease correlated with personal strain. Additional costs, anxiety, frustration, and reduced spare-time activities were among the top-rated factors affecting quality of life of family members. The results from this newly created questionnaire point out the needs for familial caregivers of patients with chronic wounds and may help to establish individual support. Implementation of clinical treatment strategies is planned through multicentre application.

Access source material through DOI

Purpose in Life Among Family Care Partners Managing Dementia: Links to Caregiving Gains

Background and Objectives Purpose in life is associated with better health and has been found to minimize caregiving stress. Greater purpose may also promote caregiving gains (i.e. rewards or uplifts from providing care), yet the implications of purpose for positive aspects of the care role are largely unknown. The present study determined how perceptions of purpose in life among persons with dementia (PWDs) and their family caregivers are linked to caregiving gains. Research Design and Methods This cross-sectional study examined 153 co-resident family caregivers drawn from the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving. Linear regressions were estimated to evaluate associations between caregivers' and PWDs' reports of their own purpose in life and caregivers' perceived caregiving gains, along with whether these associations vary by caregiver gender. Models controlled for caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics, relationship to the PWD, care tasks, role overload, negative caregiving relationship quality, and both care partners' chronic health conditions. Results Caregivers' higher purpose in life was significantly linked to greater caregiving gains. Beyond this association, PWDs' higher purpose in life was significantly associated with greater caregiving gains for women but not for men. Discussion and Implications Purpose in life is a psychological resource that contributes to positive caregiving outcomes. Interventions to improve caregiver well-being could benefit from strategies that strengthen and maintain feelings of purpose among caregivers and PWDs. 

Access source material through DOI

Psychosocial Interventions for Informal Caregivers of Lung Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review

Objective: Caregivers of patients with lung cancer often face physical, emotional, and financial distress, which not only negatively affects the caregivers' mental health and quality of life but may also impact patients' well-being. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the content, delivery, and efficacy of psychosocial interventions targeting caregivers of lung cancer patients.; Methods: Studies included in this systematic review assessed psychosocial interventions for caregivers of lung cancer patients that were published in English between January 2009 and December 2017. These interventions focused on burden, mental health, quality of life, self-efficacy, and/or coping as outcome measures. CINAHL, PubMed, PsycInfo, Science Direct, and Web of Science databases were searched using the terms (lung cancer OR lung neoplasms OR thoracic cancer) AND (caregiver OR caregiving) AND (intervention OR program) to systematically review the relevant literature on this topic.; Results: From the 22 studies included in this systematic review, interventions were classified into four categories: communication-based interventions, coping skills training interventions, multicomponent interventions, and stress reduction interventions. The majority of the interventions (especially communication-based and multicomponent) led to improvement, albeit not always statistically significant, in one or more outcomes; however, the most frequently reported improvements included, burden, distress, anxiety, depression, overall quality of life, self-efficacy, and coping abilities.; Conclusions: The unmet needs of informal caregivers of lung cancer patients have a significant impact on their mental health and quality of life, but this burden can be alleviated by psychosocial interventions that offer appropriate support, education, and resources.

Access source material through DOI

Occupational therapy for people with dementia and their family carers provided at home: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Objective: To determine the effect of occupational therapy provided at home on activities of daily living, behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and quality of life (QOL) for people with dementia, and the effect on family carer burden, depression and QOL.; Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.; Methods: Eight databases were searched to February 2018. Randomised controlled trials of occupational therapy delivered at home for people with dementia and their family carers that measured ADL, and/or BPSD were included. Two independent reviewers determined eligibility, risk of bias and extracted data.; Results: Fifteen trials were included (n=2063). Occupational therapy comprised multiple components (median=8 sessions). Compared with usual care or attention control occupational therapy resulted in improvements in the following outcomes for people with dementia: overall ADL after intervention (standardised means difference (SMD) 0.61, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.05); instrumental ADL alone (SMD 0.22, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.37; moderate quality); number of behavioural and psychological symptoms (SMD -0.32, 95% CI -0.57 to -0.08; moderate quality); and QOL (SMD 0.76, 95% CI 0.28 to 1.24) after the intervention and at follow-up (SMD 1.07, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.55). Carers reported less hours assisting the person with dementia (SMD -0.33, 95% CI -0.58 to -0.07); had less distress with behaviours (SMD -0.23, 95% CI -0.42 to -0.05; moderate quality) and improved QOL (SMD 0.99, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.33; moderate quality). Two studies compared occupational therapy with a comparison intervention and found no statistically significant results. GRADE ratings indicated evidence was very low to moderate quality.; Conclusions: Findings suggest that occupational therapy provided at home may improve a range of important outcomes for people with dementia and their family carers. Health professionals could consider referring them for occupational therapy.; Prospero Registration Number: CRD42011001166.

Access source material through DOI

The moderating role of age in the relationship between different stressors and the quality of life of the relatives of people with intellectual disabilities

Purpose: The level of support needed for adaptive functioning and behavioral problems of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) can be a source of stress for caregivers. The aim of this study was to explore the moderating role of caregivers' age on the associations between these stressors and quality of life (QoL) of the family caregivers. As these sources of stress in people with ID can coexist, the triple interaction between stressors and age was also examined. Methods: 208 relatives (mean age = 50.98 years, SD = 12.86) of people with ID participated in the research. Participants answered a questionnaire with sociodemographic variables, measures of stressors (level of support for adaptive functioning of the people with ID and behavioral problems) and measures of QoL (WHOQOL-BREF). Results: The association between the level of support needed for adaptive functioning and lower QoL was only significant among older relatives, whereas the association between behavioral problems and lower QoL was only significant among younger relatives. A three-way interaction between behavioral problems, level of support needed, and age indicated that the association between the level of support for adaptive functioning and QoL in older relatives was greater when there were higher levels of behavioral problems. Conclusions: The role of caregivers' age in their QoL differs depending on the nature of the stressor, and an accumulation of stressors can have a particularly negative impact on older caregivers. Interventions should be adapted for caregivers of different ages and take into account the particular sources of stress they have to cope with. 

Access source material through DOI

Measuring Quality of Life in Carers of People With Dementia: Development and Psychometric Evaluation of Scales measuring the Impact of DEmentia on CARers (SIDECAR)

Background and Objectives: A 2008 European consensus on research outcome measures in dementia care concluded that measurement of carer quality of life (QoL) was limited. Three systematic reviews (2012, 2017, and 2018) of dementia carer outcome measures found existing instruments wanting. In 2017, recommendations were published for developing reliable measurement tools of carers' needs for research and clinical application. The aim of this study was to develop a new instrument to measure the QoL of dementia carers (family/friends).; Methods: Items were generated directly from carers following an inductive needs-led approach. Carers (n = 566) from 22 English and Welsh locations then completed the items and comparator measures at three time points. Rasch, factor, and psychometric (reliability, validity, responsiveness, and minimally important differences [MIDs]) analyses were undertaken.; Results: Following factor analysis, the pool of 70 items was refined to three independent scales: primary SIDECAR-D (direct impact of caring upon carer QOL, 18 items), secondary SIDECAR-I (indirect impact, 10 items), and SIDECAR-S (support and information, 11 items). All three scales satisfy Rasch model assumptions. SIDECAR-D, I, S psychometrics: reliability (internal ≥ .70; test-retest ≥ .85); convergent validity (as hypothesized); responsiveness (effect sizes: D: moderate; I and S: small); MIDs (D = 9/100, I = 10/100, S = 11/100).; Discussion and Implications: SIDECAR scales demonstrate robust measurement properties, meeting COSMIN quality standards for study design and psychometrics. SIDECAR provides a theoretically based needs-led QoL profile specifically for dementia carers. SIDECAR is free for use in public health, social care, and voluntary sector services, and not-for-profit organizations.

Access source material through DOI

Implementation and feasibility considerations of an avatar-based intervention for military family caregivers

Objective: Military family caregivers (MFCGs) are a growing population with well-being and quality of life (QOL) challenges. New technologies can help meet their needs while minimizing disruption to caregiving responsibilities. Preliminary research needs to address intervention implementation challenges before larger-scale efficacy studies are conducted. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of implementing an avatar-based intervention and preliminarily investigate outcomes.; Methods: One-hundred twenty-four MFCGs were recruited to participate in this feasibility study. Sixty-four MFCGs completed the intervention. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance to assess 3- and 6-month differences.; Results: Meeting the a priori goal of 50 MFCGs completing the program supported feasibility. Preliminary results indicated significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms, and significant improvements in physical health and overall QOL.; Conclusions: Findings support for the feasibility of implementing an avatar-based intervention for MFCGs and present promising findings related to improving caregiver well-being and overall QOL.

Access source material through DOI

Impact of informal cancer caregiving across the cancer experience: A systematic literature review of quality of life

Objective: Informal caregiving may likely increase as the number of cancer survivors grows. Caregiving responsibilities can impact caregivers' quality of life (QOL). Understanding the current state of the science regarding caregiving QOL could help inform future research and intervention development.; Methods: A systematic literature review in PubMed/Medline examined research on QOL among informal cancer caregivers and related psychosocial health outcomes. Original research articles in English, published between 2007 and 2017 about caregivers (aged >18 years) of adult cancer patients in the United States were included. Abstracted articles were categorized according to caregiving recipient's phase of survivorship (acute, middle to long-term, end of life/bereavement).; Results: Of 920 articles abstracted, 60 met inclusion criteria. Mean caregiver age ranged from 37 to 68 with the majority being female, non-Hispanic white, with at least a high school degree, and middle income. Almost half of the studies focused on caregivers who provided care for survivors from diagnosis through the end of active treatment. Studies examined physical health, spirituality, psychological distress, and social support. Differences in QOL were noted by caregiver age, sex, and employment status.; Significance Of Results: Additional research includes the examination of the needs of diverse cancer caregivers and determines how additional caregiver characteristics (e.g., physical functioning, financial burden, etc.) affect QOL. This includes studies examining caregiver QOL in the phases following the cessation of active treatment and assessments of health systems, support services, and insurance to determine barriers and facilitators needed to meet the immediate and long-term needs of cancer caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Effects of Parkinson's on employment, cost of care, and quality of life of people with condition and family caregivers in the UK: a systematic literature review

Background: Parkinson's is an incurable, neuro-degenerative condition with multiple symptoms substantially impacting on living conditions and quality of life (QoL) for people with Parkinson's (PwP), most whom are older adults, and their families. The study aimed to undertake a literature review of studies conducted in the UK that quantify the direct or indirect impact of Parkinson's on people with the condition, their families, and society in terms of out-of-pocket payments and financial consequences.; Methods: Literature was searched for Parkinson's-related terms plus condition impact (eg, financial, employment, pension, housing, health care costs, and QoL) in the UK setting. The strategy probed several electronic databases with all retrieved papers screened for relevancy. The instruments used to measure patient-related outcomes were then examined for their relevancy in justifying the results.; Results: The initial search retrieved 2,143 papers of which 79 were shortlisted through title and abstract screening. A full-text reading indicated 38 papers met the inclusion and quality criteria. Summary data extracted from the articles on focus, design, sample size, and questionnaires/instruments used were presented in four themes: (a) QoL and wellbeing of PwP, (b) QoL and wellbeing of caregivers and family members, (c) employment and living conditions, and (d) direct and indirect health care and societal cost.; Conclusion: UK results substantiated global evidence regarding the deterioration of QoL of PwP as the condition progressed, utilizing numerous measures to demonstrate change. Many spouses and family accept care responsibilities, affecting their QoL and finances too. The review highlighted increased health care and privately borne costs with condition progression, although UK evidence was limited on societal costs of Parkinson's in terms of loss of employment, reduced work hours, premature retirement of PwP and caregivers that directly affected their household budget.

Access source material through DOI

Effectiveness of an in-home respite care program to support informal dementia caregivers: A comparative study

Objectives: Dementia is a major public health problem with important physical, psychosocial, emotional, and financial consequences for patients, their caregivers, and society. Since patients prefer to be managed at home, extensive research has been conducted into effectiveness of psychosocial interventions to support informal caregivers. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an in-home respite care program. Methods: In a prospective quasi-experimental study, 99 dyads who received an in-home respite care program were compared at 6 months post-baseline, with 99 matched dyads receiving standard dementia care. Additionally, the short-term effect of the program was evaluated 14 to 15 days post-intervention. The primary outcome was caregiver burden. The secondary outcomes were: desire to institutionalize the patient, caregiver quality of life, and frequency and impact of behavioral problems. Mixed model analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of the intervention. Results: After 6 months, no significant difference on caregiver burden was observed, but intervention group caregivers had a significant lower desire to institutionalize the patient compared with control group caregivers (adj.diff = -0.51; p = .02). Shortly after the program, intervention group caregivers also had a significant lower role strain (adj.diff = 0.75; p = .05), and a lower burden on social and family life (adj.diff = 0.55; p = .05) compared with baseline. Conclusions: This study was the first comparative study to investigate effectiveness of an in-home respite care program to support informal caregivers of persons with dementia. The results partly confirm earlier positive findings from explorative studies. 

Access source material through DOI

Effect of caregiving at end of life on grief, quality of life and general health: A prospective, longitudinal, comparative study

Background: Determining the effect of caregiving and bereavement remains a challenge. To date, no study has employed a comparison group to investigate caregivers' grief, quality of life and general health in relation to non-caregivers.; Aim: We aimed to determine how caregivers' grief, quality of life and general health changed following death compared to non-caregivers and whether pre-death grief predicted these outcomes.; Design: A prospective, longitudinal study of family caregivers and a comparison group matched for age, gender and postcode was conducted. All participants completed questionnaires at four points - once pre-death and three times post-death (3-4 months, 6-7 months and 9-10 months).; Setting/participants: Participants (N = 70) were family caregivers of persons receiving palliative care, mostly for cancer, recruited from three palliative care providers in Western Australia and matched comparisons recruited from advertisements.; Results: There were significant differences between the caregivers' and comparisons' grief, general health and quality of life at pre-death, 3-4 months and 6-7 months post-death, but not at 9-10 months post-death. The rate of progression in these constructs following death was independent from the intensity of pre-death grief. However, caregiver prolonged grief score significantly predicted prolonged grief score at 6-7 and 9-10 months post-death.; Conclusion: It took 9-10 months for the caregivers' grief, general health and quality of life to correspond to the comparison group. These findings present an opportunity for palliative care research and practice to consider how best to support the majority of caregivers without grief complications so that their pre- and post-death support needs are realised.

Access source material through DOI

Dyadic quality of life among heterosexual and sexual minority breast cancer survivors and their caregivers

Purpose: The number of informal caregivers to cancer survivors is increasing, and limited information is available about caregivers to sexual minority breast cancer survivors. The purpose of this study was to assess dyadic quality of life among sexual minority cancer survivors and their caregivers compared with heterosexual cancer survivors and their caregivers.; Methods: We recruited 167 survivors of non-metastatic breast cancer of different sexual orientations and their caregivers, who were surveyed via telephone after obtaining consent. We used inverse propensity score weighting to account for differences by sexual orientation in age and length of the survivor-caregiver relationship, and simultaneous equation models consistent with the needs for analyzing dyadic data.; Results: About 6-7 years after diagnosis, survivors and caregivers reported quality of life scores consistent with population norms, and there were no differences by survivors' sexual orientation. With few exceptions, caregivers' and survivors' quality of life influenced one another directly, and these effects were stronger among sexual minority dyads than heterosexual dyads.; Conclusions: Because of the strength of sexual minority, survivors' and their caregivers' mutual influence on each other's quality of life, interventions, and clinical care for sexual minority breast cancer survivors should consider their caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Determinants of Burden and Satisfaction in Informal Caregivers: Two Sides of the Same Coin? The CUIDAR-SE Study

The aim of this study conducted in Spain was to analyze and compare burden, severe burden, and satisfaction among informal caregivers in relation to health-related quality of life (HRQoL), type and duration of caregiving, perceived social support, and use of social and health care services. We performed multivariate analyses to identify variables associated with caregiver burden, severe burden, and satisfaction with caregiving, stratified by gender. The results showed that secondary or third-level education, performance of ungratifying tasks, negative coping with caregiving, and more years providing care were associated with greater burden. Variables with protective effect were better perceived health of the person being cared for, better caregiver HRQoL, and high perceived social support. Women were 75% more likely to experience severe burden compared with male caregivers. Burden was reduced by high perceived social support in the case of women and by high caregiver HRQoL in the case of men. The main determinant of caregiving satisfaction for both men and women was perceived social support (OR = 3.11 and OR = 6.64). This study shows the need for interventions that promote gender equality and social support as a means of relieving burden and severe burden and improving satisfaction in both male and female caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Correlation between Supportive Care Needs of Women with Breast Cancer and Quality of Life of their Family Caregivers

Background: Breast Cancer is highly prevalent among women. The supportive care needs of such patients not only affect their quality of life (QoL) but also that of their family caregivers. The present study aimed to assess the correlation between the supportive care needs of women with breast cancer and the QoL of their family caregivers.; Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2017 to June 2018. The target populations were breast cancer patients (N=150) and their primary family caregivers (N=150) who attended the Omid Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Center affiliated with Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran. Data collection tools included a demographic information form, the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form 34, and the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer Scale. The data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 22.0) with descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficient. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.; Results: The mean age of the patients was 45.76±10.44 years. Of the family caregivers, 99 (66%) were the patients' spouses. Of the different dimensions of the supportive care needs, the score for the physical needs (40.60±23.50) was the highest. In terms of the QoL of the family caregivers, mental and emotional burden scored the highest (20.19±7.38). There was a significant correlation between the caregivers' mental and emotional burden and the physical needs of the patients (r=0.19, P=0.02).; Conclusion: The result of the present study showed that physical needs were the most common supportive care needs of patients with breast cancer. Such needs also significantly undermined the QoL of the caregivers in terms of emotional burden and financial concerns.

Access source material through DOI

Carer Social Care-Related Quality of Life Outcomes: Estimating English Preference Weights for the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers

Background: There is increasing interest in assessing the effects of interventions on older people, people with long-term conditions and their informal carers for use in economic evaluation. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers (ASCOT-Carer) is a measure that specifically assesses the impact of social care services on informal carers. To date, the ASCOT-Carer has not been preference-weighted. Objectives: To estimate preference-based index values for the English version of the ASCOT-Carer from the general population in England. Methods: The ASCOT-Carer consists of 7 domains, each reflecting aspects of social care-related quality of life in informal carers. Preferences for the ASCOT-Carer social care-related quality of life states were estimated using a best-worst scaling exercise in an online survey. The survey was administered to a sample of the general adult population in England (n = 1000). Participants were asked to put themselves into the hypothetical state of being an informal carer and indicate which attribute they thought was the best (first and second) and worst (first and second) from a profile list of 7 attributes reflecting the 7 domains, each ranging at a different level (1-4). Multinomial logit regression was used to analyze the data and estimate preference weights for the ASCOT-Carer measure. Results: The most valued aspect by English participants was the 'occupation' attribute at its highest level. Results further showed participants rated having no control over their daily life as the lowest attribute-level of all those presented. The position of the 7 attributes influenced participants' best and worst choices, and there was evidence of both scale and taste heterogeneity on preferences. Conclusion: This study has established a set of preference-based index values for the ASCOT-Carer in England derived from the best-worst scaling exercise that can be used for economic evaluation of interventions on older individuals and their informal carers.

Access source material through DOI

Caregivers in home palliative care: gender, psychological aspects, and patient's functional status as main predictors for their quality of life

Purpose: This study aims to investigate the impact of possible predictors of quality of life (QoL) in a group of Italian caregivers assisting a cancer patient in home palliative care.; Methods: Data from 570 adult informal caregivers and their cancer-affected relatives were collected. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to assess the effect of three groups of variables on Caregivers Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC) scale: (a) socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers; (b) psychological characteristics of caregivers assessed by Profile Mood of States (POMS), Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI), and Preparedness for Caregiving Scale (PCS); (c) Socio-demographic characteristics and functional status of the patients assessed by Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).; Results: Regression analysis shows that some variables from each of these clusters are significantly associated with CQOLC, in particular: (a) the gender of the caregiver (st.β = .115, t = 2.765, p = .006) and the time spent for caregiving (st.β = - .165, t = - 3.960, p < .001); (b) the scores obtained by the caregivers in POMS,CBI (st.β = - .523, t = - 16.984, p < .001 and st.β = - .373, t = - 12.950, p < .001, respectively) and PCS (st.β = .092, t = 3.672, p < .001); (c) the gender (st.β = - .081, t = - 1.933, p = .045) and the IADL score (st.β = .195, t = 4.643, p < .001) of the patient.; Conclusions: A multidimensional evaluation is a key strategy to identify the most vulnerable caregivers. Apart from the condition of the patient, the gender of the caregivers, the time spent for caregiving and, above all, their psychological condition are strong predictors of caregivers' QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Burden of Care and Quality of Life in Home Caregivers of Patients With Stroke in Iran

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between Burden of Care and Quality of Life in informal home caregivers of stroke patients in Iran. Also we were trying to explore the factors that affect the burden of care. In this cross-sectional study, we have selected 62 informal home caregivers of the patients admitted to "the stroke outpatient unit of the neurology clinic" of the central hospital in Semnan province, Iran, to take part in the investigation. We interviewed them using the Caregiver Burden Inventory and SF-36 Questionnaire for assessing their quality of life. There was a negative and significant correlation between different aspects of quality of life and burden of care. In the bivariate regression model, being married and having lower levels of education (minimum years of schooling) were associated with higher levels of the burden. Our study shows that increasing burden of care in informal home caregivers reduces the quality of life in all domains. Thus, the results of this study indicate that an increase in the burden of caregiving on caregivers lowers their quality of life in all aspects; especially, caregivers who provide care to their spouses encountered more burden. Therefore, these caregivers must be in the center of interest while planning to reduce the burden of care.

Access source material through DOI

Burden in caregivers of adults with epilepsy in Asian families

Purpose: The literature on caregiver burden tends to focus on children and teenagers with epilepsy and less on adults. As caregiving is a dynamic, complex process across the trajectories, this study aims to examine the factors associated with caregiving burden in those caring for adults with epilepsy.; Method: This is a cross-sectional, survey-based study in which participants responded to questionnaires regarding perceived burden (ZBI), quality of life (IEQoL), psychological distress (DASS-21), family functioning (FAD) and perceived social support (MSPSS). Additional measures include socio-demographics and clinical characteristics of the care-recipient.; Results: A total of 111 caregivers participated, of whom 72.1% were females, 55% parents, 59.5% Chinese, 51.4% unemployed and 46.0% with tertiary education. Approximately half (42.3%) reported mild-to-moderate levels of burden (mean ZBI score 29.93, SD 16.09). Furthermore, multiple regression analysis identified10 predictors of caregiver burden, namely family functioning, weekly caregiving hours, number of caregivers per family, attitude towards epilepsy, family support, caregivers' gender, personal income and as well as care-recipients' age of onset, seizure frequency and ADL dependency (F(10, 85) = 11.37, p < 0.001). Stepwise regression highlighted family functioning as the main predictor (β = 0.299, p < 0.001). The total ZBI score was positively correlated with caregivers' reported levels of depression (r = 0.549, p < 0.001), anxiety (r = 0.599, p < 0.001) and stress (r = 0.576, p < 0.001) subscales in DASS-21, and negatively correlated with IEQoL (r=-0.637, p < 0.001).; Conclusion: This study shows that caregivers' burden is highly associated with the family system (family functioning, support and number of caregivers), besides demographics, psychosocial and clinical characteristics. Future research is required to learn how to support this sub-group of caregivers within the family system.

Access source material through DOI

Associations of preloss and postloss factors with severe depressive symptoms and quality of life over the first 2 years of bereavement for family caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients

Background: Family caregivers carry heavy end-of-life (EOL) caregiving burdens, with their physical and psychological well-being threatened from caregiving to bereavement. However, caregiving burden has rarely been examined as a risk factor for bereavement adjustment to disentangle the wear-and-tear vs relief models of bereavement. Objective/Methods Preloss and postloss variables associated with severe depressive symptoms and quality of life (QOL) for 201 terminally ill cancer patients' caregivers over their first 2 years of bereavement were simultaneously evaluated using multivariate hierarchical linear modeling. Severe depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score > 16) and QOL (physical and mental component summaries of the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey) were measured 1, 3, 6, 13, 18, and 24 months postloss. Results: Caregivers' likelihood of severe depressive symptoms and mental health-related QOL improved significantly from the second year and throughout the first 2 years of bereavement, respectively, whereas physical health-related QOL remained steady over time. Higher subjective caregiving burden and postloss concurrent greater social support and better QOL were associated with bereaved caregivers' lower likelihood of severe depressive symptoms. Bereaved caregivers' mental health-related QOL was facilitated and impeded by concurrent greater perceived social support and severe depressive symptoms, respectively. Conclusion: Severe depressive symptoms and mental health-related QOL improved substantially, whereas physical health-related QOL remained steady over the first 2 years of bereavement for cancer patients' caregivers. Timely referrals to adequate bereavement services should be promoted for at-risk bereaved caregivers, thus addressing their support needs and facilitating their bereavement adjustment.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver outcomes of the REACH-HF multicentre randomized controlled trial of home-based rehabilitation for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

Background: Caregivers frequently provide support to people living with long-term conditions. However, there is paucity of evidence of interventions that support caregivers in their role. Rehabilitation EnAblement in Chronic Heart Failure (REACH-HF) is a novel home-based, health-professional-facilitated, self-management programme for patients with heart failure (HF) and their caregivers. Methods: Based on the random allocation of individual adult patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and left ventricular ejection fraction <45% within the past five years, the caregiver of patients was allocated to receive the REACH-HF intervention over 12 weeks (REACH-HF group) or not (control group). Caregiver outcomes were generic health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-5L), Family Caregiver Quality of Life Scale questionnaire (FamQol), Caregiver Burden Questionnaire HF (CBQ-HF), Caregiver Contribution to Self-care of HF Index questionnaire (CC-SCHFI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Outcomes were compared between groups at 4, 6 and 12 months follow-up. Twenty caregivers receiving REACH-HF were purposively selected for qualitative interviews at 4 and 12 months. Results: Compared with controls (44 caregivers), the REACH-HF group (53 caregivers) had a higher mean CC-SCHFI confidence score at 12 months (57.5 vs 62.8, adjusted mean difference: 9.3, 95% confidence interval: 1.8–16.8, p = 0.016). No significant between group differences were seen in other caregiver outcomes. Qualitative interviews showed that most caregivers who received the REACH-HF intervention made positive changes to how they supported the HF patient they were caring for, and perceived that they had increased their confidence in the caregiver role over time. Conclusion: Provision of the REACH-HF intervention for caregivers of HF patients improved their confidence of self-management and was perceived for some to be helpful in supporting their caregiver role.

Access source material through DOI

The Capacity of Learning in the Quality of Life of the Informal Caregiver

Introduction The presence in the home of a dependent family member is a problematic situation for the whole family. By implementing training programs it is possible to achieve health gains and improve care management, as well as increase the capacity to seek information and take responsibility. Objectives To synthesize the effects of training programs of the informal caregiver in a home context in their quality of life. Methods Integrative review of the literature carried out during the month of March 2019, in the databases: Scielo, Mediclatina, Scopus, Cinahl and Medline, through the PICO methodology, whose guiding question was: “What are the effects caused on the quality of life by... [The remainder of the abstract is not freely accessible]

Access source material through DOI

The impact of relationship quality on life satisfaction and well-being in dementia caregiving dyads: findings from the IDEAL study

Objectives: The quality of the relationship between people with dementia and their informal caregiver maybe an important determinant of life satisfaction and well-being for both members of the dyad. Taking a dyadic perspective, the aim of this study was to examine whether self- and partner-rated relationship quality influences life satisfaction and well-being for both people with dementia and their caregivers. Design and methods: Using data from 1283 dyads in the Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) cohort, we examined the impact of current relationship quality on life satisfaction and well-being in dementia caregiving dyads. Data were analysed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) framework. Results: Self-rated relationship quality was associated with own life satisfaction and well-being for both people with dementia and caregivers. Partner-rated relationship quality did not influence own life satisfaction or well-being for either member of the dyad. Conclusion: This study is the first to use the APIM framework to explore the dyadic associations between relationship quality and life satisfaction and well-being in a large cohort of dementia caregiving dyads. The obtained findings suggest that the individual perception of the quality of the caregiving relationship held by each member of the caregiving dyad is an important factor for that member's life satisfaction and well-being, while the partner's perception of relationship quality is not. The findings highlight the importance of considering the individual perspective of both the person with dementia and the caregiver and enabling each to maintain positive perceptions of relationship quality.

Access source material through DOI

Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and optimism as psychological resources among caregivers of people with dementia: findings from the IDEAL study

Objectives: Being a family caregiver, and in particular giving care to someone with dementia, impacts mental and physical health and potentially reduces the ability of caregivers to "live well." This paper examines whether three key psychological resources-self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem-are associated with better outcomes for caregivers of people with dementia. Design and Participants: Caregivers of 1,283 people with mild-to-moderate dementia in the Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) project responded to measures of self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem, and "living well" (quality of life, life satisfaction, and well-being). Multivariate linear regression was used to examine the association between psychological resources and "living well". Results: Self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem were all independently associated with better capability to "live well" for caregivers. This association persisted when accounting for a number of potential confounding variables (age group, sex, and hours of caregiving per day). Conclusions: Low self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem might present a risk of poor outcomes for caregivers of people with dementia. These findings encourage us to consider how new or established interventions might increase the psychological resilience of caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Reply to: "Informal caregiver quality of life in a palliative oncology population"

To the editor,

We read with interest, the recent article titled, “Informal caregiver quality of life in a palliative oncology population” by Duimering et al. [1], in which the authors concluded that identification of factors relating to lower quality of life (QOL) for informal caregivers, including additional employment, cohabitation with the patient, poor patient performance status, and expressing the wish to provide more assistance, should actuate the healthcare team to identify the vulnerable informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Interventions to support family caregivers of people living with dementia in high, middle and low-income countries in Asia: A scoping review

Introduction Despite increasing numbers of persons living with Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's-related dementias (AD/ADRD) in Asia, particularly in low-income countries (LIC) and middle-income countries (MIC), surprisingly little is known about the current state of the evidence for family caregiver interventions. The objectives of this scoping review were to: (1) describe the evidence for efficacy of family dementia-caregiver psychosocial interventions in Asian countries, (2) compare evidence across LIC, MIC, and high-income countries (HIC), and (3) characterise cultural adaptions to interventions developed outside Asia. Methods The inclusion criteria included: (1) conducted in Asia (2) included an intervention delivered to a family caregiver of a person living with AD/ADRD, (3) reported quantitative outcomes for the family caregiver and (4) published in a peer-reviewed journal with full text available in English. Results Thirty intervention trials were identified meeting inclusion criteria and all reported statistically significant (p<0.05) improvement in one or more caregiver outcomes. Interventions usually included multiple components. The most frequently reported outcomes (ie, by ≥20% of studies) were caregiver depression, burden, quality of life and self-efficacy. Overall, 26 (87%) of the studies were conducted in HIC in Asia, primarily in Hong Kong SAR-China and Taiwan, and only 4 (13%) in LIC and MIC in Asia. Seven studies (23%) used interventions developed in USA and several described cultural adaptations. Conclusion This scoping review found substantial evidence, particularly from high-income Asian countries, that a wide range of interventions improve AD/ADRD family caregiver outcomes. However, critical knowledge gaps exist, particularly for LIC and MIC in Asia, where the number of persons with dementia is numerically largest and projected to increase dramatically in coming decades. The field could also benefit from more detailed descriptions of the process and types of cultural adaptations to interventions. 

Access source material through DOI

Influence of time lapse after cancer diagnosis on the association between unmet needs and quality of life in family caregivers of Korean cancer patients

Objective This study explored the association between healthcare needs and quality of life (QoL) of Korean cancer family caregivers according to the time lapse after cancer diagnosis. Methods Self‐administered comprehensive needs assessment tool and EuroQol‐5‐dimension index for 686 cancer family caregivers were classified into four groups according to time lapse after cancer diagnosis (≤12, 13–36, 37–60,>60 months). We estimated the association between unmet needs and QoL by multiple linear regression analyses after adjusting for age, sex, cancer site and caregivers’ comorbid conditions. Results Female or elder caregivers had lower QoL and higher unmet needs. The highest unmet needs existed in healthcare staff domain followed by information/education domain persistently along all periods. QoL of caregivers was significantly associated with family/social support and health/psychological problem during the time lapse of ≤12 months as well as >60 months. Practical support was consistently associated with QoL across all time lapses. Religious/spiritual support and hospital facilities and services showed significant association with QoL only in ≤12 months and >60 months respectively. Conclusions The QoL of Korean cancer family caregivers was differentially associated with their unmet needs according to the time lapse after cancer diagnosis and by specific domains of needs.

Access source material through DOI

Influence of Positive and Negative Dimensions of Dementia Caregiving on Caregiver Well-Being and Satisfaction With Life: Findings From the IDEAL Study

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the potential impact of positive and negative dimensions of caregiving on caregiver well-being and satisfaction with life (SwL). Methods: This study used time-point one data from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (also known as IDEAL)cohort study that involved 1,283 informal caregivers of people in the mild-to-moderate stages of dementia recruited from 29 sites within Great Britain. Multivariate linear regression modeling was used to investigate the associations between positive dimensions of caregiving (measured by caregiving competence and perceptions of positive aspects of caregiving), negative dimensions of caregiving (measured by caregiving stress and role captivity), and caregiver well-being and SwL. Results: Lower well-being was associated with low caregiving competence (–13.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]:–16.67, –10.87), perceiving fewer positive aspects of caregiving (–7.67; 95% CI:–10.26, –5.07), high caregiving stress (–24.45; 95% CI:–26.94, –21.96), and high role captivity (–15.61; 95% CI:–18.33, –12.89). Lower SwL was associated with low caregiving competence (–4.61; 95% CI:–5.57, –3.66), perceiving fewer positive aspects of caregiving (–3.09; 95% CI:–3.94, –2.25), high caregiving stress (–7.88; 95% CI:–8.71, –7.06), and high role captivity (–6.41; 95% CI:–7.27, –5.54). When these four measures were combined within the same model, only positive aspects of caregiving and caregiving stress retained independent associations with well-being and SwL. Conclusion: Both positive and negative dimensions of caregiving were associated with caregiver well-being and SwL. Psychological therapies and interventions need to consider not only the negative aspects of caregiving but also positive caregiving experiences and their implications for caregiver well-being and SwL. 

Access source material through DOI

Commentary: The psychosocial needs and quality of life of family caregivers of patients with organ transplant

The reviewed study addresses the needs of the family caregivers of transplant patients in Iran and as the title suggests examines both psychosocial needs and quality of life (QoL), the results of which highlighted the importance of the provision of assurance and information for family caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Predictors of caregiver burden after stroke in Nigeria: Effect on psychosocial well-being

Background: Family caregivers (CGs) are critical to the care and recovery of stroke survivors (SSs), particularly in the community. However, little is known about their psychosocial well-being, especially in developing countries. In this study, we assessed CG burden, psychiatric morbidity, quality of life (QoL), and predictors of burden. Materials and Methods: We recruited 150 dyads of CGs/SSs from two outpatient clinics in Nigeria. Data were collected through sociodemographic/clinical questionnaire, the Zarit caregiver burden interview, the World Health Organization QoL-BREF, and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Disability in SSs was graded with the Modified Rankin Scale. Results: Compared to CGs who were mostly females (86.7%) with a mean age of 42.8 (±12.6) years, SSs were older with a mean age of 61.6 (±12.5) years and were mainly males (62.7%). The mean CG burden score was 31.6 (±10.5) and eight in 10 CGs, 124 (82.7%) reported moderate-to-severe burden scores. Mental disorders in the form of depression and/or anxiety disorders were diagnosed in 26 (17.3%) CGs. Significant predictors of high-burden scores (P < 0.05) were incontinence in SSs, psychological symptoms in SS, worse poststroke disability, and performance of more CG tasks (B = 8.3, 4.5, 3.9, and 3.5, respectively). CGs QoL scores correlated negatively with burden scores, with medium-to-large effect sizes (r =-0.4-0.6) across QoL spheres. Conclusion: In this study, psychosocial burden in CGs was indexed by various determinants and impacted QoL negatively. Given the integral role of CGs to the care of SSs in the community, mental health services, psychosocial support programs, and stratification based on known vulnerability factors seems viable options for intervention, assessment, and planning. 

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with marital satisfaction and quality of life in family caregivers of patients with mental disorders

(1) Background: The aim of this research was to analyze factors associated with quality of life (QoL) and marital satisfaction in married family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in all community mental health services in Goiania municipality, Brazil, in 2016–2017. Married family caregivers of patients with severe and persistent mental disorders were recruited and their QoL and marital satisfaction was assessed by using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument Abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF) and Marital Satisfaction Scale. Multiple linear regressions were performed to identify factors associated with QoL and marital satisfaction. (3) Results: For 163 family caregivers, the psychological and environmental QoL domains presented the best and the worst scores, respectively. Factors independently associated with better QoL for caregivers were male caregiver, the younger age of a caregiver, >8 years of schooling, ≥5 years as a caregiver who performed physical activities, caregiver without chronic disease, and no patient’s crisis in the last 30 days. Factors independently associated with marital satisfaction of the caregiver were male caregiver, caregiver with >8 years of schooling, caregiver who received support by relatives to care for the patient, caregiver who performed physical activities, no patient’s crisis in the last 30 days, and patient hospitalization in the last six months; (4) Conclusions: The main predictor for marital satisfaction was support by relatives, and for QoL it was no patient’s crisis in the last 30 days. 

Access source material through DOI

A swift travel to stormy shore: Burden and distress experience by caregivers availing neuro-rehabilitation services

Background: Persons with neurological conditions predominantly receive their care from informal caregivers in India. The day-to-day caring of these persons requires tireless effort, energy, and empathy, and can often impact the quality of life of caregivers. In this study, we assess the impact of caregiving on the quality of life of informal caregivers. Materials and Methods: Fifty caregivers of patients with neuro-rehabilitation needs admitted in the neuro-rehabilitation ward of our hospital were recruited for this study. A descriptive research design, burden assessment schedule, and a self-reporting questionnaire were used to assess the distress level. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive, parametric, and nonparametric statistics. Results: Of the 50 caregivers recruited, 32 were female and 28 were male. The caregivers in our cohort were predominantly over 40 years of age. Thirty caregivers were from nuclear family and 36 families had below poverty line card. Majority of the caregivers reported physical and mental health burden due to their caregiving role. This was followed by need for external support to facilitate their caregiving role. Overall, the burden perceived by the caregivers ranged from moderate to severe. Conclusion: The caregivers come from diverse backgrounds, but nonetheless, they experienced significant physical and emotional burden while caring for the ill person at home. Providing adequate training and socioeconomic support to the caregivers may be helpful in reducing their burden. 

Access source material through DOI

Validity and reliability of the EQ-5D-5 L in family caregivers of leukemia patients

Purpose: This study aimed to test the validity and reliability of the five-level EuroQol five-dimensional (EQ-5D-5 L) instrument in family caregivers (FCs) of leukemia patients in Heilongjiang of China. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 298 family caregivers (FCs) of leukemia patients from three major cancer centers in the capital city of Heilongjiang province of China. Their dimensional scores of the EQ-5D-5 L were compared with those of the WHOQOL-BREF to test the convergent validity (constructs measuring the same concept) and divergent validity (constructs measuring different concepts) of the EQ-5D-5 L. Repeated surveys were conducted on 271 participants to determine the test-retest reliability of the EQ-5D-5 L. Results: The four physical dimensions (mobility, self-care, usual activities, and pain/discomfort) of the EQ-5D-5 L had moderate or high correlations with the physical health domain of the WHOQOL-BREF, with a correlation coefficient (r) ranging from 0.459 to 0.559. The anxiety/depression dimension of the EQ-5D-5 L had a high correlation (r = 0.667) with the psychological domain of the WHOQOL-BREF. By contrast, lower but still significant physical-to-psychological correlations were found between the two instruments (r ranging from 0.219 to 0.396). In addition, the EQ-5D-5 L dimensional scores showed no or weak correlations with the environment and social domains of the WHOQOL-BREF (r ranging from 0.016 to 0.207). High test-retest reliability (> 0.7) was evident. Conclusion: The Chinese version of the EQ-5D-5 L has satisfactory reliability and validity in FCs of leukemia patients. It can be used to elicit utility of health-related quality of life in FCs of leukemia. 

Access source material through DOI

A Formative Evaluation of Patient and Family Caregiver Perspectives on Early Palliative Care in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease across Disease Severity

Rationale: Little direction exists on how to integrate early palliative care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Objectives: We sought to identify patient and family caregiver early palliative care needs across stages of COPD severity. Methods: As part of the Medical Research Council Framework developmental phase for intervention development, we conducted a formative evaluation of patients with moderate to very severe COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1]/FVC < 70% and FEV1 < 80%-predicted) and their family caregivers. Validated surveys on quality of life, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and social isolation quantified symptom severity. Semi-structured interviews were analyzed for major themes on early palliative care and needs in patients and family caregivers and across COPD severity stages. Results: Patients (n = 10) were a mean (±SD) age of 60.4 (±7.5) years, 50% African American, and 70% male, with 30% having moderate COPD, 30% severe COPD, and 40% very severe COPD. Family caregivers (n = 10) were a mean age of 58.3 (±8.7) years, 40% African American, and 10% male. Overall, 30% (n = 6) of participants had poor quality of life, 45% (n = 9) had moderate-severe anxiety symptoms, 25% (n = 5) had moderate-severe depressive symptoms, and 40% (n = 8) reported social isolation. Only 30% had heard of palliative care, and most participants had misconceptions that palliative care was end-of-life care. All participants responded positively to a standardized description of early palliative care and were receptive to its integration as early as moderate stage. Five broad themes of early palliative care needs emerged: 1) coping with COPD; 2) emotional symptoms; 3) respiratory symptoms; 4) illness understanding; and 5) prognostic awareness. Coping with COPD and emotional symptoms were commonly shared early palliative care needs. Patients with very severe COPD and their family caregivers prioritized illness understanding and prognostic awareness compared with those with moderate-severe COPD. Conclusions: Patients with moderate to very severe COPD and their family caregivers found early palliative care acceptable and felt it should be integrated before end-stage. Of the five broad themes of early palliative care needs, coping with COPD and emotional symptoms were the highest priority, followed by respiratory symptoms, illness understanding, and prognostic awareness.

Access source material through DOI

Understanding the psychosocial impact of oral cancer on the family caregivers and their coping up mechanism: A qualitative study in Rural Wardha, Central India

A family caregiver is the one who provides care to their near and dear one who is suffering from some debilitating disease like oral cancer. Apart from providing physical care, they also provide emotional and financial support to their close relatives. They can be the patient's spouse, children, and siblings. This study was, hence, designed to understand the psychosocial impact of caregivers of oral cancer patients. Methodology: This was a qualitative study using in-depth interviews of 24 purposively chosen family caregivers irrespective of age, sex, and relationship with patients, who provided deep insight into the psychosocial impact of the disease on themselves during caregiving of their loved ones and how they coped with it. Interviews were taken in Hindi, in the houses of caregivers. Care was taken to maintain utmost privacy while taking the interviews, which were either audio recorded or noted down. Informed written consent was obtained from participants before the start of the study. Themes were evolved from the interviews and content analysis was performed using ATLAS.ti. Results: Six themes emerged after data analysis. Those were the impact on physical health and lifestyle, emotional impact, impact on family and social relationship, impact on financial and work status, improvement of hospital services, spiritual concern, and acceptance of the disease. A concept map was made to provide a vivid explanation of how oral cancer caused these impacts on caregivers and their interrelationship. Conclusion: Caregiving is not an easy job. This study recommends extra care to be taken in preparing them for caregiving to the oral cancer patients with adequate knowledge of the disease process and its consequences along with counseling facilities in the hospital to address the different psychosocial needs of the patients. 

Access source material through DOI

Perceived stress, resilience, and health‐related quality of life among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico

The stress process model of caregiving posits that caregivers' internal psychosocial resources may serve as buffers between the stress associated with caregiving and well‐being. Empirical support for the stress process model exists for several caregiving contexts, but little research has investigated the Parkinson's disease caregiving experience in Mexico. Using a cross‐sectional, correlational design, the objective of this study was to examine whether resilience moderates the relation between perceived stress and health‐related quality of life (HRQOL) among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico. Data were collected from April 2015 to February 2016 during outpatient neurology appointments in Mexico City, Mexico. Participants included informal caregivers (N = 95) for a family member with Parkinson's disease. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires assessing their level of perceived stress, resilience, and HRQOL. Regression analyses indicated that resilience moderated the inverse relation between perceived stress and mental HRQOL. However, contrary to hypotheses, resilience did not moderate the relation between stress and physical HRQOL. Findings shed light on resilience as a potential protective factor for mental HRQOL among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico and indicate that resilience may be beneficial to target in mental health promotion interventions.

Access source material through DOI

The psychosocial needs and quality of life of family caregivers of patients with organ transplant

Background: Families of patients with organ transplants experience many problems, both with the onset of illness and during the hospitalisation of their relative for an organ transplant. The healthcare providers try their best to give high-quality care to patients. However, they neglect quality of life and psychosocial needs of family caregivers. Aims: This study aimed to assess the psychosocial needs and quality of life of the family caregivers of post-transplant patients and the relationship between these two variables. Methods: This descriptive correlational study was conducted on liver, kidney and bone marrow transplant wards in the largest transplant centre affiliated with a university of medical science in south-eastern Iran. The sample included 230 family caregivers of post-transplant patients, who were selected using quota sampling. Data were collected using the 45-item questionnaire of psychosocial needs (the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory) with five dimensions (assurance, comfort, information, proximity and support), and the Short Form-36 Quality of Life questionnaire with eight scales (physical functioning, physical problems, emotional problems, social functioning, pain, vitality, mental health and perception of health). In the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory, 1 indicates not important and 4 very important. In the Short Form-36 Quality of Life questionaire, 0 indicates the worst health and 100 the best health. Results: The participants rated the mean of their psychosocial needs as important (3.18 ± 0.27). Also, the mean of quality of life of participants was at an undesirable level (45.17 ± 92.66). The psychosocial needs of the caregivers showed a poor, inverse significant relationship with their quality of life (r = −0.16, p = 0.01). Conclusion: The results showed that with increasing psychosocial needs of family caregivers of post-transplant patients, their quality of life declines. Healthcare providers should implement developed plans and appropriate strategies to fulfil psychosocial needs and improve the quality of life of family caregivers of these patients.

Access source material through DOI

The hidden patient: chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and quality of life in caregivers of older adults

Aim Increasing demands for care provision to older adults require good physical and mental health among caregivers. Few studies have examined the health status and correlates of quality of life among caregivers of older adults. The present study therefore sought to examine the prevalence of chronic physical conditions, psychological distress, and correlates of physical and mental quality of life among caregivers of older adults (≥60 years) in Singapore. Methods Participants were 285 informal caregivers who were providing care to an older relative. Participants were recruited at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, and they completed self-report measures on chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and physical and mental quality of life. Multiple regression models were constructed to examine correlates of physical and mental quality of life. Results More than half of the caregivers had at least one chronic physical condition (58.6%) and psychological distress (52.6%). Chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and secondary education status were associated with lower physical quality of life. Psychological distress, younger age, primary education status, and more time spent caregiving were associated with lower mental quality of life. Conclusion Poor physical and mental health among caregivers may impair their ability to provide adequate care to older adults with progressive medical needs. It is important for medical practitioners not to neglect the physical and mental health of caregivers through continued assessment of chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and quality of life.

Access source material through DOI

Anxiety, depression and quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients and caregivers: an actor–partner interdependence model analysis

Purpose: We aimed to assess the influence of anxiety and depression on the physical and mental quality of life (QoL) in patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and caregiver dyads, detect the simultaneous effect of anxiety and depression of each partner on the other’s QoL and determine the dyadic patterns. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used. The actor–partner interdependence model estimated by structural equation modeling was used for the dyadic analysis. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) were used to measure depression, anxiety and QoL, respectively. Results: Eighty COPD dyads were enrolled in the study. Patients presented higher depression symptoms and poorer physical and mental QoL than their caregivers, whereas comparable levels of anxiety were found in patients and caregivers. The model exploring the effects of depression and anxiety on mental QoL found that patients’ depressive symptoms negatively influence their mental QoL, and caregivers’ anxiety and depression symptoms negatively impact their mental QoL. The model exploring the effects of anxiety and depression on physical QoL detected one statistically significant actor effect with patients’ depressive symptoms negatively influencing their physical QoL, and two partner effects with caregivers’ anxiety worsening patients’ physical QoL and caregivers’ depression improving patients’ physical QoL. Conclusions: The results suggest that caregivers’ psychological distress influences caregivers’ mental QoL and patients’ physical QoL. Therefore, health-care professionals should assess and treat anxiety and depression in both members of the COPD dyad to improve their QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver expressed emotion as mediator of the relationship between neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia patients and caregiver mental health in Hong Kong

Objectives: Quality of life among Hong Kong's family dementia caregivers is a current heightened public health concern. This was one of the first East Asian studies to examine the role of family expressed emotion (EE) in the negative caregiver outcomes associated with dementia caregiving. EE comprises overinvolved and critical communications in families of people with mental illness. In this research, caregiver EE was evaluated as a mediator of the relationship between behavioral and psychological problems associated with dementia (BPSD) and negative caregiver outcomes. Method: Participants were 89 Hong Kong family caregivers (79% female, 84% married, 43% >50 years of age) of people with diagnosed dementia, recruited from elder day care centers. Caregivers completed the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Cohen Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), Level of Expressed Emotion scale (LEE), Zarit Burden Interview, and Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Agitation, delusions, hallucinations, aggression and irritability were BPSD most associated with caregiver burden and depression. EE significantly mediated the BPSD-negative caregiver outcome relationship. Among EE subscales, intrusiveness was significantly more common and less associated with negative caregiver outcomes. Caregiving hours, low family support, and religious nonaffiliation were associated with EE and poorer caregiver outcomes. Conclusions: The negative impact of BPSD on dementia caregivers in Hong Kong is influenced by EE. Higher scores on EE intrusiveness may be partly accounted for by filial piety, a strong sense of family responsibility characterized by high attentiveness to elderly family members. As EE is a potentially modifiable factor, interventions are considered.

Access source material through DOI

Care Burden and Mental Ill Health in Spouses of People With Parkinson Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia

Objectives: To explore and compare levels of mental health, care burden, and relationship satisfaction among caregiving spouses of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia in Parkinson disease (PD-MCI or PDD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Methods: Spouses (n = 136) completed measures of mood, stress, resilience, general health, quality of life, care burden, and relationship satisfaction, as well as sociodemographic factors. Additionally, data on motor and neuropsychiatric symptom severity of people with PD-MCI, PDD, or DLB were obtained in a subsample. Results: Most spouses were married women (>85%) who provided a median of 4 years of care and 84 hours of weekly care. Among these, relationship dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, care burden, and feelings of resentment were common. Spouses of people with PDD and DLB had significantly higher rates of burden, resentment, and depression compared to spouses of people with PD-MCI. Furthermore, unique group differences emerged whereby spouses of people with PDD had significantly longer duration of care provision, higher stress, more relationship dissatisfaction, and fewer positive interactions, compared to PD-MCI group, whereas anxiety and lower levels of mental health were prominent in spouses of people with DLB, compared to PD-MCI group. Despite this, the majority of spouses reported good quality of life, resilience, and satisfaction with the caring role. Conclusion: Both PDD and DLB significantly contribute to poorer mental health and higher levels of care burden in spouses. Clinicians should actively screen the risk of burden, stress, depression, and anxiety among caregiving spouses of people with these conditions.

Access source material through DOI

Exploring the associations between spiritual well-being, burden, and quality of life in family caregivers of cancer patients

Objective: The spiritual dimension is important in the process of coping with stress and may be of special relevance for those caring for cancer patients in the various phases of caregivership, although current attention is most prevalent at the end of life. This study explores the associations among spiritual well-being (SWB), caregiver burden, and quality of life (QoL) in family caregivers of patients with cancer during the course of the disease. Method: This is a cross-sectional study. All participants (n = 199) underwent the following self-report questionnaires: the SWB-Index, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, and the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). SWB scores were dichotomized at a cutoff corresponding to the 75th percentile. Statistical analyses were made using the Student t or by chi-square test to compare high and low SWB groups. Result The high SWB group reported significantly better Medical Outcomes Study Short Form scores in bodily pain (p = 0.035), vitality (p < 0.001), social activities (p = 0.001), mental health (p < 0.001), and in standardized mental component subscales (p < 0.001) than the low SWB group. No significant differences were detected between the two SWB groups in physical activity, physical role, general health, emotional status, and standardized physical component scale. The high SWB group also had better CBI scores in the physical (p = 0.049) and developmental burden (p = 0.053) subscales. There were no significant differences in the other CBI scores (overall and sections). Significance of results This study points out that high SWB caregivers have a more positive QoL and burden. Knowledge of these associations calls for more attention on the part of healthcare professionals toward spiritual resources among family cancer caregivers from the moment of diagnosis and across the entire cancer trajectory.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life predictors in informal caregivers of seniors with a functional performance deficit - an example of home care in Poland

Background: There is insufficient research into informal caregivers' quality of life (QoL) in Poland. The purpose of this work is to study predictors that considerably affect QoL of informal caregivers (IC) providing home care for seniors with chronic diseases and a functional performance deficit. Materials and methods: In the cross-sectional research design, ICs were randomly chosen among the geriatric population receiving care in 5 primary health care settings. The WHOQoL-AGE questionnaire was used to assess QoL of ICs (n=138). The Barthel scale and Polish version of the Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS) were applied to assess individuals with chronic diseases and functional and mental performance deficits (n=138). The Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form (GDS-SF) was used to measure the extent of risk of depressive symptoms in care-receivers. A hierarchical regression analysis was carried out to determine predictors of caregivers' QoL. Results: Mean values in the group of seniors provided with home care were as follows: the Barthel scale M=43.20, SD=27.06, the AMTS M=7.78 (SD=1.65), and the GDS-SF M=7.34 (SD=3.10). QoL of ICs (the WHOQoL-AGE) was M=70.14 (SD=15.31). Significant predictors of caregivers' QoL turned out to be support in care given by others β =0.605, p<0.001, experience in care β =-0.220; p<0.001, caregivers' health self-assessment β =0.174, p<0.001, and depressive disorders in care-receivers GDS β = −0.178, p<0.001. Conclusions: The QoL of ICs who provide care for individuals with chronic diseases and a functional performance deficit improves with an increase in the support they receive from others, their higher health self-assessment, and greater experience in care. An increase in depressive symptoms in care-receivers determines a lower level of caregivers' QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregivers in stroke: Life impact, support, and psychological well-being-A Swedish Stroke Register (Riksstroke) study

Background: Informal caregivers provide a large amount of day-to-day assistance and are crucial for the ability of survivors to recover and adapt to life after stroke.; Aim: The development of caregiver support programs is limited by lack of large long-term follow-up studies. We present a comprehensive study of Swedish stroke caregivers' life situation in relation to degree of functional dependency of the survivor.; Patients and Methods: In 2016, the Swedish Stroke Register, Riksstroke, conducted a long-term follow-up survey on caregivers to patients with stroke three and five years earlier. Items on psychological well-being were adapted from the 36-item short-form health survey and poor outcome was defined using the 36-item short-form health survey reference material. Survivor degree of dependency was indicated by the caregiver as independent, partially dependent, or completely dependent.; Results: A total of 5063 community dwelling dyads were included: 56.5% of survivors were independent, 33.4% partially dependent, and 10.1% completely dependent. Caregiver life impact, need of support, and proportion of poor psychological well-being increased incrementally with survivor degree of dependency. In the completely dependent group where 41.1% of survivors could not be left unattended for more than 1 h, 23.7% of caregivers expressed unmet need of caregiver support; 51.4% reported poor psychological well-being compared to 19.3% in the independent group.; Conclusion: The caregiver situation varies greatly with degree of survivor dependency which makes generalizations of caregiver needs difficult. Our results emphasize the need for integrating support aimed specifically at caregivers to survivors of stroke with a large degree of dependency.

Access source material through DOI

Family Quality of Life: Perspectives of Family Caregivers of People with Dementia

Aims: Most caregiving literature focuses on individual-level outcomes, with sparse knowledge on family-level outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the family quality of life (FQOL) of people with dementia and identify factors that influence their FQOL, as perceived by family caregivers. Methods: A convenience sample of 31 family caregivers of people with dementia was interviewed using a modified version of the Family Quality of Life Survey (FQOLS-2006). Statistical analyses were conducted to examine domain level and global FQOL outcomes. Results: Although caregivers reported the highest level of attainment in the domain of family health, they were also least satisfied with this domain. Global FQOL was significantly associated with caregiver health, care-recipient co-morbidities of psychological and motor problems, and three (health, leisure, community) of the nine FQOL domain level outcomes. Conclusion: Encouraging families to increase leisure participation can improve their health and global FQOL

Access source material through DOI

The Contribution of Social Support, Professional Support, and Financial Hardship to Family Caregiver Life Satisfaction After Traumatic Brain Injury

Objectives: (a) To assess whether 3 changeable environmental variables (social support, professional support, and financial hardship) contribute to explaining differences in well-being of family caregivers after traumatic brain injury (TBI), above and beyond the influence of neurobehavioral functioning. (b) To assess the unique and relative contribution of social support, professional support, and financial hardship to life satisfaction of family caregivers.; Participants: Adult family caregivers (n = 136) of individuals who received inpatient rehabilitation following a TBI.; Measures: The Social Provisions Scale; Brief Scale of Financial Hardship after Brain Injury; Satisfaction with Life Scale; and adapted scales measuring professional support and neurobehavioral functioning.; Design: Cross-sectional study using survey methodology.; Results: Social support, professional support, and financial hardship explained a significant amount of variance in life satisfaction after controlling for neurobehavioral functioning (R change = 0.34, considered a large effect size). Social support and financial hardship were significant unique predictors within the model, but professional support was not.; Conclusion: Social support and financial hardship are prominent environmental variables that may hold promise for targeted intervention development and testing designed to support family adaptation after TBI.

Access source material through DOI

Investigating the economic case of a service to support carers of people with dementia: A cross-sectional survey-based feasibility study in England

Carers contribute essential support to enable people with dementia to continue living within the community. Admiral Nurses provide specialist dementia support for carers of people with dementia, including offering expert emotional support and guidance, and work to join up different parts of the health and social care system to address needs in a co-ordinated way. The cost-effectiveness of this service is not clear. We undertook a feasibility study to explore related outcomes and costs for these carers. A cross-sectional, clustered survey was undertaken in England in 2017, in areas with and without Admiral Nursing (AN). The survey questionnaire included questions on the characteristics of the carers and the person with dementia, outcomes (care-related quality of life [CRQoL], self-efficacy and subjective well-being), use of health and social care services, out-of-pocket costs and time spent on informal care. We used different econometric techniques to compare the outcomes and the costs of the carers with and without AN services: linear regression, propensity score matching and instrumental variables analysis. These techniques allowed us to control for differences in observed and unobserved characteristics between the two groups of carers which determined outcomes and costs. We concluded that AN services might have a positive effect on carers' CRQoL, self-efficacy and subjective well-being. Furthermore, we found little difference in costs between carers using AN and those using usual care, or in the costs of the people with dementia they care for. Our findings provided an initial indication as to whether AN services could be good value for money. The key limitation of the study was the difficulty in controlling for unobserved characteristics because of the cross-sectional nature of our observational data. To diminish this limitation, our survey could be used in future studies following carers with and without AN services over time.

Access source material through DOI

Determinants of quality of life among family caregivers of adult cancer patients in a resource-limited setting

Purpose: In resource-limited settings, family caregivers (FCGs) of adult cancer patients (ACPs) function in a context marred by high patient symptom burden, limited cancer care services and support and high caregiving burden. Despite this predicament, little is known about the quality of life (QoL) of FCGs in these settings. The study aimed to explore the determinants of QoL among FCGs of ACPs in Uganda.; Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to collect data from 284 FCGs of ACPs. The study questionnaire was composed of the Katz Index, Family Pain Questionnaire, modified Chronic Pain Self-efficacy Scale and the Caregiver Quality of Life-Index-Cancer.; Results: The mean age of FCGs was 36 ± 13.8 years. Most ACPs had stage 3 or 4 cancer (56%), severe pain (66.2%), reported moderate pain relief (51.1%) and were on chemotherapy (60.9%). The overall QoL of FCGs (70.2 ± 20.3) was moderate and 46.8% had low QoL. Most FCGs had high positive adaptation or financial concerns (55.3%) and low QoL in terms of burden (50.7%), disruptiveness (53.5%) and support (56.7%). The main determinants of overall QoL were FCGs' knowledge and self-eficacy for cancer pain management. The determinants of burden, disruptiveness, support and positive adaptations and financial concerns are reported.; Conclusion: The key determinants of the QoL of FCGs were knowledge and self-efficacy for cancer pain management. In Uganda and similar settings, interventions to build FCGs capacity in cancer-related pain and other symptom management may help to enhance the QoL of FCGs and the ACPs.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregivers' Involvement in Caring with Cancer and their Quality of Life

Background: Cancer is a chronic disease and a major health problem. It affects both patients and their familycaregivers multidimensionally. The family caregivers may be affected by not only the disease process but also hospital policies, economic difficulties, accessibility and communication of health care service and can be in need of help.This process may affect their quality of life. However, there have not been enough studies on quality of life of family caregivers of patients with cancer in Turkish culture. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the quality of life of family caregivers of patients with cancer in Turkey. Objectives: The purpose of study was to evaluate the quality of life of family caregivers with cancer patients in Turkey. Methods: Participants consist of the family caregivers whovolunteered to take part in this descriptive study from 11 hospitals (n =378) which has a daily chemotherapy unitsand located within the boundaries of Ankara, Turkey. ‘Sociodemographic Characteristic Form’ and ‘Quality of LifeScale-Family Version were used as data collection tool. The Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U, tests were usedfor data analysis. Resultes: It is found that there are statistically significant difference among the factors of gender,employment status, income level, and whether caregivers reside with their patients. Family caregivers’ quality of life is negatively affected during the caregiving process (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The results indicate that family caregivers’quality of life are negatively affected to care process. The results of this research are important as they highlight the need to also consider family caregivers’ quality of life when caring for patients, and study highlight possible areas inwhich support can be provided for family caregivers of cancer patients in Turkey.

Access source material through DOI

The Effect of Group Counseling Based on Quality of Life Therapy on Stress and Life Satisfaction in Family Caregivers of Individuals with Substance Use Problem: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Family caregivers of people with substance abuse are exposed to psychological problems that diminish their life quality and satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to diagnose the efficacy of quality-of-life intervention on stress and life satisfaction of family caregivers of individuals with substance use problem. This is a randomized controlled trial conducted on 80 family caregivers of individuals with substance use problem in the process of withdrawal who were referred to a psychiatric center in southeastern Iran (2018). The intervention group received seven sessions of quality-of-life group counseling every other day based on predetermined content. Twelve weeks post-intervention, data were collected from the control and intervention groups using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The results were analyzed through statistical tests. After group counseling based on quality of life, the mean stress score in the family caregivers of the intervention group (11.50 ± 4.36) was significantly lower than in those of the control group (14.67 ± 4.93) (p = 0.003). Also, in the posttest, the mean score of life satisfaction in the intervention group (24.75 ± 4.28) was significantly higher than that of the control group (19.57 ± 7.33) (p = 0.001). Group counseling based on quality of life exerted a significantly positive impact on reducing the severity of stress and improving life satisfaction among family caregivers of individuals with substance use problem. Therefore, it is highly recommended that healthcare service providers incorporate this counseling approach in substance use withdrawal programs so as to increase the well-being and mental health of family caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Characteristics and Difficulties of Informal Caregivers in Assisting Elderly People

Objective: This study aims to identify the informal caregivers' difficulties in assisting the elderly patients of the Programa Saúde da Família [Family Health Program] in Bambuí city, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Methods: This is a transversal research, approved by the Certificado de Apresentação para Apreciação Ética (CAAE) [Certificate of Presentation for Ethical Appreciation] No. 0146.0.213.000-11. Seventy elderly people and their informal caregivers were interviewed and the collected data were analyzed. Results: The treatment of cognitive disorders in the elderly (32.9%) and the lack of knowledge about the health care delivered (20%) were the main difficulties stated by the caregivers. These results also showed a bivariate relationship with "difficulty during care": the caregivers who stated that they slept less (≤ 6 hours/night) (%), "did not have a caregiver course" (%) and did not have "leisure activity" (%); regression: individuals who affirmed that they had not completed a course for caregivers of the elderly. Conclusion: It was settled that actions aiming to support the informal caregiver in face of the numerous difficulties faced in the care of the elderly are essential.

Access source material through DOI
Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Depression in partner caregivers of people with neurological conditions; associations with self-compassion and quality of life

Objectives: Informal caregivers are vulnerable to poor mental health and quality of life (QoL). Self-compassion may protect against this. This study investigated depression and QoL in partner caregivers of people with a long-term or neurological condition (e.g. dementia or spinal cord injury) and explored the extent to which QoL and self-compassion are predictive of depression. Design: A cross-sectional, questionnaire design. Methods: Participants were recruited from charities and support groups. Partner caregivers (N = 57) completed assessments of depression, QoL, and self-compassion. Results: Over half (61.8%) of caregivers experienced at least mild symptoms of depression, illustrating high prevalence among caregivers compared with the general population. Overall QoL was poor compared with non-caregivers. QoL was poorest in the physical domain (M = 51.9, SD = 10.1) and highest in the environmental domain (M = 64.9, SD = 15.8). Both self-compassion and QoL were significant predictors of depression (p < 0.05), explaining 48.8% of the variance. Hours spent providing care was also significantly predictive of depression (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Self-compassion and QoL may be important targets for supportive interventions for this population. This study underscores the importance of developing supportive interventions for informal partner caregivers, and developing self-compassion in these.

Access source material through DOI

Dementia‐friendly faith village worship services to support African American families: Research protocol

African American caregivers for persons living with dementia frequently experience emotional strain, burden, social isolation, and depression. One source of support for them when in distress is their church community. However, many African American churches do not have programs to support families and congregants living with dementia. Dementia often restricts persons living with dementia and their caregivers from attending church. Both become increasingly uncomfortable in church settings due to fear of embarrassment, uncertainty about the behavior of the person living with dementia, and shame. Church attendance and religion has been shown to be beneficial for caregivers and elders living with dementia. However, there is little work exploring how involvement in religious practices together (caregivers and persons living with dementia) might enhance the quality of life for these families. This protocol is written to detail the designing and testing of the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a dementia‐friendly faith village worship service. In the study, we will examine how dementia‐friendly faith village worship services support the well‐being of caregivers and care recipients in three African American churches through observation, interviews, and surveys. A sample of 30 dyads of African American caregivers and persons living with dementia will be asked to attend six modified worship services together over 6 months. In this study, we hope to demonstrate the significant role of churches in the lives of African American family caregivers and persons living with dementia and show that a faith‐based, family‐oriented approach can promote a greater quality of life for African American families living with dementia.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life perceptions of family caregivers of older adults stroke survivors: A longitudinal study

There are few formal outreach and out-patient support services to help family caring for older adults who have had a stroke in developing countries. Family caregivers experience negative changes in their quality of life. To assess quality of life perceptions of spouse and non-spouse caregivers of older adult stroke survivors. A longitudinal survey study. A convenience sample of forty-eight family caregivers was recruited from the Special Care Stroke Unit at a University Hospital in South Brazil. Quality of life was measured using the World Health Organization's Quality of Life BREF survey upon discharge from the hospital (Time 1) and two months after (Time 2). Non-spouse caregivers had the lowest Social Relationship scores at Time 1 (p <.001) and at Time 2 (p =.005), both in terms of personal relationship, the quality of their sex lives and support received from others. Unfortunately, formal community support programs for family caregivers in Brazil are lacking. Post-stroke caregiving is largely a family affair. Quality of Life assessments among family caregivers of older adult stroke survivors are crucial, particularly after discharge.

  • Non-spouse caregivers of older adults stroke survivors have lower quality of life regarding social relationships.
  • QOL among family caregivers should be assessed before and after discharge from a Stroke Care Unit.
  • Our findings provide knowledge of the QOL priorities of family caregivers and recommendations for nurse practitioners.
Access source material through DOI

Exploring the Reliability and Validity of the Huntington's Disease Quality of Life Battery for Carers (HDQoL-C) within A Polish Population

Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare genetic neurodegenerative disorder that causes motor disorders, neuropsychiatric symptoms and a progressing deterioration of cognitive functions. Complex issues resulting from the hereditary nature of HD, the complexity of symptoms and the concealed onset of the disease have a great impact on the quality of life of family carers. The caregivers are called the "forgotten people" in HD, especially with relation to genetic counseling. This study aims to explore the reliability and validity of the Huntington's Disease Quality of Life Battery for carers (HDQoL-C) within a Polish population. A total of 90 carers recruited from the Enroll-HD study in Polish research centers of the European Huntington's Disease Network completed a polish translation of the HDQoL-C. Data were subjected to Principle Components Analysis (PCA) and reliability measures. The Polish version of the shortened versions of the HDQoL-C is similarly valid compared to the original English version and suitable for use within this population. The HDQoL-C has previously demonstrated a wide range of benefits for practitioners in capturing and understanding carer experience and these benefits can now be extended to Polish speaking populations.

Access source material through DOI

The burden of informal caregiving in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia: results from national representative surveys

Background We aimed to investigate the burden of informal care in Hungary (HU), Poland (PL) and Slovenia (SI). Methods A cross-sectional online survey was performed involving representative samples of 1000 respondents per country. Caregiving situations were explored health status of informal caregivers/care recipients and care-related quality of life were assessed using the EQ-5D-5L and CarerQol-7D. Results The proportion of caregivers was (HU/PL/SI) 14.9, 15.0 and 9.6%, respectively. Their mean age was 56.1, 45.6 and 48.0, and the average time spent on informal care was 27.6, 35.5 and 28.8 h/week. Chronic care was dominant (> 1 year: 78.5%, 72.0%, 74.0%) and care recipients were mainly (own/in-law) parents. Average EQ-5D-5L scores of care recipients were 0.53, 0.49 and 0.52. For Poland and Slovenia, EQ-5D-5L scores of informal care providers were significantly lower than of other respondents. Average CarerQol-7D scores were (HU/PL/SI) 76.0, 69.6 and 70.9, and CarerQol-VAS was 6.8, 6.4 and 6.6, respectively. Overall, 89, 87, and 84% of caregivers felt some or a lot fulfilment related to caring. Problems with combining tasks with daily activities were most important in Hungary and Slovenia. Women had a higher probability of being a caregiver in Hungary. CarerQol-7D scores were significantly associated with caregivers’ EQ-5D-5L scores. In Hungary and Poland, living in a larger household was positively, while caring for patients with mental health problems was negatively associated with CarerQol-7D scores. Conclusions These first results from the Central and Eastern European region using preference-based measures for the evaluation of informal care can serve as a valuable input for health economic analyses.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for the carer: quality of life and burden of female caregivers

Objective: To assess the quality of life and the burden of female caregivers.; Method: Descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative study carried out with 224 informal caregivers from March to July 2016. Three instruments were used: a characterization form for the caregiver, the WHOQOL-Bref questionnaire and the Zarit Burden Interview. The following tests were used: Cronbach's Alpha, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Kruskal-Wallis, Spearman and Mann-Whitney.; Results: The mean age of caregivers was 51.8 years with a standard deviation of 13.7. They were predominantly married, had a low income and low level of education, were first-degree relatives, had been providing care for one to five years and presented some pathology. The associations of quality of life that presented statistical significance were: income, marital status, number of people living with the caregiver and time of care.; Conclusion: The burden was negatively correlated with QOL, that is, the greater the burden, the more impaired will be the life of these caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Issues and challenges in comparing carers' quality of life in England and Japan: lessons from developing the Japanese version of the ASCOT-Carer

Improving the quality of life of carers is the ultimate goal of carers’ policy and support services. This article discusses the issues and challenges in conceptualising and comparing carers’ quality of life in England and Japan, based on developing a Japanese version of the self-completion Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers (ASCOT-Carer). Since supporting carers in employment is a key concern in both countries, we particularly focus on this group of carers.

Access source material through DOI

Dementia caregiver interventions in Chinese people: A systematic review

Aims: The aim of this systematic review was to examine the characteristics and the efficacy of dementia caregiving interventions among the Chinese population. Background: In recent years, an increasing number of dementia caregiving interventions have been developed for Chinese older adults living in Asia that aim to reduce caregivers' burden, depression and distress, and enhance quality of life. Little is known, however, on the nature and the efficacy of these interventions. Design: Systematic review with narrative summary. Data sources: We searched four databases for studies published in English between 1 January 1994–30 December 2017. Nineteen studies reported in 23 articles were included in the final analysis. Review methods: We used a set of criteria from the Cochrane Collaboration tool to assess for the risk of bias across studies. Results: We found that interventions varied in length, frequency, approach, and content, making comparisons across studies challenging. Caregivers' burden, depression, and distress were improved among most included studies. All studies that examined quality of life of caregivers (N = 6) showed improvement. Most of the interventions showed beneficial effects on care recipients' behavioural symptoms, agitation, and depression; cognitive function, however, failed to improve. Conclusion: Although the review found mixed results on intervention outcomes, the majority of interventions showed a potential to improve the health and well‐being of dementia caregivers and care recipients. This review provides suggestions for future dementia caregiving research in the Chinese population, such as inclusion of relevant theoretical frameworks and more rigorous research designs

Access source material through DOI

Spillover Effects on Caregivers' and Family Members' Utility: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Background: A growing body of research has identified health-related quality-of-life effects for caregivers and family members of ill patients (i.e. 'spillover effects'), yet these are rarely considered in cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs).; Objective: The objective of this study was to catalog spillover-related health utilities to facilitate their consideration in CEAs.; Methods: We systematically reviewed the medical and economic literatures (MEDLINE, EMBASE, and EconLit, from inception through 3 April 2018) to identify articles that reported preference-based measures of spillover effects. We used keywords for utility measures combined with caregivers, family members, and burden.; Results: Of 3695 articles identified, 80 remained after screening: 8 (10%) reported spillover utility per se, as utility or disutility (i.e. utility loss); 25 (30%) reported a comparison group, either population values (n = 9) or matched, non-caregiver/family member or unaffected individuals' utilities (n = 16; 3 reported both spillover and a comparison group); and 50 (63%) reported caregiver/family member utilities only. Alzheimer's disease/dementia was the most commonly studied disease/condition, and the EQ-5D was the most commonly used measurement instrument.; Conclusions: This comprehensive catalog of utilities showcases the spectrum of diseases and conditions for which caregiver and family members' spillover effects have been measured, and the variation in measurement methods used. In general, utilities indicated a loss in quality of life associated with being a caregiver or family member of an ill relative. Most studies reported caregiver/family member utility without any comparator, limiting the ability to infer spillover effects. Nevertheless, these values provide a starting point for considering spillover effects in the context of CEA, opening the door for more comprehensive analyses.;

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregivers' Subjective Caregiving Burden, Quality of Life, and Depressive Symptoms Are Associated With Terminally Ill Cancer Patients' Distinct Patterns of Conjoint Symptom Distress and Functional Impairment in Their Last Six Months of Life

Context: Family caregivers constitute a critical component of the end-of-life care system with considerable cost to themselves. However, the joint association of terminally ill cancer patients' symptom distress and functional impairment with caregivers' subjective caregiving burden, quality of life (QOL), and depressive symptoms remains unknown. Objectives/methods: We used multivariate hierarchical linear modeling to simultaneously evaluate associations between five distinct patterns of conjoint symptom distress and functional impairment (symptom-functional states) and subjective caregiving burden, QOL, and depressive symptoms in a convenience sample of 215 family caregiver-patient dyads. Data were collected every 2 to 4 weeks over patients' last 6 months. Results: Caregivers of patients in the worst symptom-functional states (States 3-5) reported worse subjective caregiving burden and depressive symptoms than those in the best two states, but the three outcomes did not differ between caregivers of patients in State 3 and States 4-5. Caregivers of patients in State 5 endured worse subjective caregiving burden and QOL than those in State 4. Caregivers of patients in State 4 suffered worse subjective caregiving burden and depressive symptoms but comparable QOL to those in State 2. Conclusion: Patients' five distinct, conjoint symptom-functional states were significantly and differentially associated with their caregivers' worse subjective caregiving burden, QOL, and depressive symptoms while caring for patients over their last 6 months.

Access source material through DOI

The influence of attachment style and relationship quality on quality of life and psychological distress in carers of people with epileptic and nonepileptic seizures

Seizure disorders affect not only the individual living with seizures, but also those caring for them. Carer–patient relationships may be influenced by, and have an influence on, some aspects of living with seizure disorders — with potentially different interactions seen in epilepsy and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). We studied the influence of patient and carer attachment style and relationship quality on carer wellbeing and psychological distress, and explored whether these associations differ between carers for people with epilepsy and for those with PNES. Consecutive adult patients with epilepsy (N = 66) and PNES (N = 16) and their primary informal carers completed questionnaires about relationship quality, attachment style, and psychopathological symptom burden. We used correlation analysis to identify associations between relationship quality, attachment style, and carer depression, anxiety, and wellbeing; and to explore differences in these associations between carers for people with epilepsy and for those with PNES. Overall, 25.3% of carers for people with epilepsy or PNES had scores above the clinical cutoff for depression and 39.6% for anxiety; significantly more carers for people with PNES reported clinically significant depression (47.1% vs. 20.0%), but there was no difference in anxiety rates likely to be of clinical relevance. Correlations differed significantly between carers for people with epilepsy and for those with PNES in terms of patient quality of life and carer anxiety (r E = − 0.577, r PNES = − 0.025); seizure severity and carer depression (r E = 0.248, r PNES = − 0.333) and mental wellbeing (r E = − 0.356, r PNES = 0.264); patient depression and carer anxiety (r E = 0.387, r PNES = − 0.266); and patient anxious attachment and carer anxiety (r E = 0.382, r PNES = 0.155). Clinically evident levels of psychological distress are prevalent among carers for people with epilepsy and PNES. Clinical and relationship variables affect carer quality of life differently depending on whether care is provided for individuals with epilepsy or PNES. • Carers for people with seizure disorders experience high levels of depression and anxiety. • Mental wellbeing in this group correlates with relationship conflict, and patient and carer attachment styles. • These associations differ between carers for people with epilepsy and for those with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. 

Access source material through DOI

Is living well with dementia a credible aspiration for spousal carers?

In England there has been substantial policy development and an academic drive to promote the goal of 'living well' for people with dementia and their family members. This article critically evaluates the feasibility of this intention, with reference to the experience of those caring for people with the condition. Qualitative data are utilised from a study which explored how couples negotiate relationships and care. The focus of this paper is the perspectives of spousal carers and the challenges they encounter within their caring role. Views were obtained via semi-structured joint interviews where the carer participated alongside the person with dementia. The extent to which living well with dementia is a credible aspiration for carers is examined via three themes: identity subsumed under care responsibilities; the couple as an isolated family unit; and barriers to professional support. The findings highlight that experience of caring is highly complex and fraught with multiple practical, emotional and moral pressures. It is asserted that research into dementia and care relationships must avoid a zero sum situation, prompted by living well discourses, where attempts to bolster the position of people with dementia compound the marginalisation and stigmatisation of informal carers

Access source material through DOI

Sense of coherence in family caregivers of people living with dementia: a mixed-methods psychometric evaluation

Background: Family caregivers of people living with dementia can experience feelings of burden and stress but the concept of sense of coherence has been identified as an important protective trait against the negative impact of caregiving. Despite this, there has been no psychometric evaluation of the Sense of Coherence scale-13 with this population. Therefore, a psychometric evaluation was conducted using a mixed-methods approach.; Method: Five hundred and eighty-three caregivers of people living with dementia participated in the study. We examined the feasibility, internal consistency, construct validity, floor and ceiling effects, concurrent validity and face validity of the Sense of Coherence scale-13.; Results: The Sense of Coherence scale-13 demonstrated adequate internal consistency. Sense of coherence was positively related to resilience, sense of competence and health related quality of life, demonstrating good concurrent validity. However, the face validity of the scale was assessed as poor.; Conclusion: The sense of coherence scale performed well under psychometric evaluation however guidance for caregivers should be examined and revised to reflect feedback from caregivers who completed this study, which could lead to improved face validity for this scale.; Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN10748953 . Registered 18th September 2014.

Access source material through DOI

Development and validation of the caregiver roles and responsibilities scale in cancer caregivers

Purpose: The caregiver roles and responsibilities scale (CRRS) was developed to facilitate formal assessment of broad life impacts for informal (i.e. unpaid) caregivers to people with cancer. Here we report the development and initial validation.; Methods: The CRRS was developed from the thematic analysis of two interview studies with cancer patients (stage III-IV breast, gynaecological, lung or melanoma) and caregivers. In the evaluation studies, participants completed the CRRS alongside the Caregiver Quality of Life-Cancer, the main criterion measure for concurrent validity, and the WHOQOL-BREF for additional convergent validity data. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, 7-days and 2-months. Demographic data and patient characteristics were collected at baseline.; Results: Two-hundred and forty-five caregivers to people with stage I-IV breast, colorectal, gynaecological, head and neck, lung or renal cancer or melanoma completed the CRRS at least once. The final 41 core items selected comprised five subscales: Support and Impact, Lifestyle, Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Self-care and Financial Wellbeing as well as three standalone items. Missing data rate was low (0.6%); there were no ceiling or floor effects for total scores. Cronbach's alpha was 0.92 for the CRRS-41; 0.75-0.87 for the subscales. CRRS showed good test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.91), sensitivity to change and the predicted pattern of correlation with validation measures r = 0.75-0.89. The standalone 7-item jobs and careers subscale requires further validation.; Conclusions: Initial evaluation shows the CRRS has good validity and reliability and is a promising tool for the assessment of the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the lives and wellbeing of informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

A dyadic analysis of loneliness and health-related quality of life in Latinas with breast cancer and their informal caregivers

Objective: The primary aim of this investigation is to provide a novel dyadic test of a model of loneliness and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a sample of Latinas with breast cancer and their informal caregivers. Design: At baseline, dyads completed measures of loneliness and HRQoL. At a 3-month follow-up, they returned to complete the HRQoL measure. Associations were tested with the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model. Sample: About 234 Latinas with breast cancer diagnosed within the past year and their informal caregivers participated in the investigation. Findings: Loneliness was concurrently and negatively associated with HRQoL at baseline for both survivors and caregivers. Survivors' baseline loneliness, controlling for their baseline HRQoL, negatively predicted their HRQoL at 3 months. Survivors' HRQoL at baseline also predicted caregivers' HRQoL at 3 months. Conclusion: Loneliness is a risk factor for declines in HRQoL among cancer survivors. Their caregivers are also at risk for degraded HRQoL when the survivor experiences compromised HRQoL. Loneliness complicates the HRQoL of the cancer survivor–caregiver dyad.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life and Emotional Strain in Caregivers of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Background and Purpose: This study aimed was to measure the quality of life, fatigue, stress, and depression in a consecutive sample of caregivers of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.; Methods: We included data from 131 consecutive caregivers of MS patients [age=51.2±12.8 years (mean±SD), males=53.4%, duration of caregiving=10.0±6.3 years]. We assessed the quality of life, fatigue, stress, and depression of the caregivers using the 36-item Short Form Health Survey, Krupp Fatigue Severity Scale, Kingston Caregiver Stress Scale, and Hamilton Scale for Depression, respectively. The disability status of the patients was assessed using the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale. We used linear regression models to identify possible correlations between all of the aforementioned scales, while multivariable logistic regression models were employed to assess the correlations of caregiver fatigue with caregiver characteristics and patient disability.; Results: The linear regression analyses revealed that caregiver fatigue was positively associated with stress and negatively correlated with both physical health status and mental health status. Caregiver stress was positively associated with depression and negatively correlated with both physical health status and mental health status. Depression was negatively correlated with both caregiver physical health status and mental health status. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, caregiver fatigue was found to be independently associated with education status [odds ratio (OR)=0.61, 95% CI=0.37 to 0.99], history of chronic disease (OR=5.52, 95% CI=1.48 to 20.55), other chronic diseases in the family (OR=7.48, 95% CI=1.49 to 37.47), and the disability status of the patient (OR=1.36, 95% CI=1.03 to 1.80).; Conclusions: Fatigue, stress, and depression in caregivers of MS patients are negatively correlated with their physical health status and mental health status. Caregiver fatigue is independently associated with education status, history of chronic disease, other chronic disease in the family, and patient disability.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver burden and quality of life 2 years after attendance at a memory clinic

Objectives: We aimed to describe (1) the burden and health-related quality of life (HRQL) of informal caregivers of new patients attending a memory assessment service (MAS), (2) changes in these outcomes over 2 years, and (3) satisfaction with services.; Methods: Informal caregivers of patients attending one of 73 MASs throughout England completed questionnaires at the patient's first appointment, and 6 and 12 months later. Participants from 30 of these MASs were also followed up at 24 months. Questionnaires covered caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics, Zarit Burden Interview, EQ-5D-3L, and satisfaction with services. We used multivariable linear regression to assess relationships between burden, HRQL, and caregiver and patient characteristics.; Results: Of 1020 caregivers at baseline, 569 were followed up at 6 months, 452 at 12 months, and 187 at 24 months. There was a small increase in caregiver burden over 2 years (effect size 0.30 SD). These changes were not associated with most caregiver or patient characteristics, except socio-economic deprivation, which was associated with larger increases in burden at 2 years. Caregivers' HRQL was weakly associated with burden and showed a small reduction over time (0.2 SD). Most caregivers were satisfied with services, but caregivers who were not satisfied with the services they received reported greater increases in burden.; Conclusions: Increases in caregiver burden and reductions in HRQL appear to be small over the first 2 years after attending a MAS. However, the longer term impact on caregivers and those they care for needs investigating, as do strategies to reduce their burden.

Access source material through DOI

Cognitively-Based Compassion Training versus cancer health education to improve health-related quality of life in survivors of solid tumor cancers and their informal caregivers: study protocol for a randomized controlled pilot trial

Background: Cancer survivors and their informal caregivers (family members, close friends) often experience significant impairments in health-related quality of life (HRQOL), including disruptions in psychological, physical, social, and spiritual well-being both during and after primary cancer treatment. The purpose of this in-progress pilot trial is to determine acceptability and preliminary efficacy (as reflected by effect sizes) of CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) compared with a cancer health education (CHE) attention control to improve the primary outcome of depressive symptoms and secondary outcomes of other HRQOL domains (e.g., anxiety, fatigue), biomarkers of inflammation and diurnal cortisol rhythm, and healthcare utilization-related outcomes in both cancer survivors and informal caregivers. Methods: Forty dyads consisting of solid tumor survivors who have completed primary treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery) and their informal caregivers, with at least one dyad member with ≥ mild depressive symptoms or anxiety, will be recruited from Tucson, Arizona, USA. Survivor-caregiver dyads will be randomized together to complete either CBCT or CHE. CBCT is a manualized, 8-week, group meditation-based intervention that starts with attention and mindfulness and builds to contemplative practices aimed at cultivating compassion to the self and others. The goal of CBCT is to challenge unexamined assumptions about feelings and behaviors, with a focus on generating spontaneous self-compassion and increased empathic responsiveness and compassion for others. CHE is an 8-week, manualized group intervention that provides cancer-specific education on various topics (e.g., cancer advocacy, survivorship wellness). Patient-reported HRQOL outcomes will be assessed before, immediately after (week 9), and 1 month after CBCT or CHE (week 13). At the same time points, stress-related biomarkers of inflammation (e.g., plasma interleukin-6) and saliva cortisol relevant for survivor and informal caregiver wellness and healthcare utilization will be measured. Discussion: If CBCT shows acceptability, a larger trial will be warranted and appropriately powered to formally test the efficacy of this dyadic intervention. Interventions such as CBCT directed toward both survivors and caregivers may eventually fill a gap in supportive oncology care programs to improve HRQOL and healthcare utilization in both dyad members. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03459781 . Prospectively registered on 9 March 2018.

Access source material through DOI

Development of an Item Pool for a Needs-Based Measure of Quality of Life of Carers of a Family Member with Dementia

Background and Objectives: This paper describes the development of an item pool for a needs-based self-report outcome measure of the impact of caring for a relative, friend or neighbour with dementia on carer quality of life. The aims are to give a detailed account of the steps involved and describe the resulting item pool.; Methods: Seven steps were followed: generation of an initial item set drawing on 42 needs-led interviews with carers; a content and face validity check; assessment of psychometric potential; testing of response formats; pre-testing through cognitive interviews with 22 carers; administration rehearsal with two carers; and final review.; Results: An initial set of 99 items was refined to a pool of 70 to be answered using a binary response format. Items were excluded due to overlap with others, ceiling effects, ambiguity, dependency on function of the person with dementia or two-part phrasing. Items retained covered a breadth of areas of impact of caring and were understandable and acceptable to respondents.; Conclusions: The resulting dementia carer-specific item pool reflects the accounts of a diverse sample of those who provide care for a person with dementia, allowing them to define the nature of the impact on their lives and resulting in a valid, acceptable set of items.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life on the Views of Older Family Carers of People with Dementia

Older family carers of people with dementia represent an increasing but overlooked population of family carers. This research aimed to explore how these individuals make sense of their own quality of life and to identify the factors that enhance or compromise this. Four focus groups were conducted in 2014 with 19 older family carers in community-based support groups in Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Thirty-three subthemes emerged and were collated into three superordinate themes: 1) aspects of care and caregiving, 2) feelings and concerns, and 3) satisfaction with life and caregiving. This study identified a broad range of aspects that are of particular importance to the quality of life of older family carers of people with dementia. These findings are expected to inform future research as well as health and social care providers with the aim of improving life quality for this population.

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregivers' well-being and care recipients' quality of life and community reintegration - findings from a stroke survivor sample

Background: Stroke is highly debilitating and requires long-term care. Informal caregivers of stroke survivors play important roles in stroke rehabilitation. Caring for stroke survivors can negatively affect the caregivers' well-being and may adversely impact on their caregiving quality and subsequently on stroke survivors' well-being. There seems to be a dearth of research on the relationships between caregivers' and stroke survivors' well-being.; Aims and Objectives: This study was designed to determine the relationships among informal caregivers' burden and quality of life (QOL) and stroke survivors' QOL and community reintegration.; Methods: This ethically certified cross-sectional survey involved 82 stroke survivors (mean age = 60.48 ± 11.13 years) and their 82 primary caregivers (mean age = 36.13 ± 13.69 years) consecutively recruited from seven conveniently sampled tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. Caregivers Strain Index, Igbo-culture adapted Maleka Stroke Community Reintegration Measure and Short-Form 36-item Health Survey questionnaires were used to assess the caregivers' burden, survivors' community reintegration and QOL (of survivors and caregivers), respectively. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Spearman rank, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests at alpha level of 0.05.; Results: The mean stroke survivors' community reintegration and QOL were 34.05 ± 21.54% and 34.93 ± 16 ± 49%, respectively. The mean caregivers' QOL and burden scores were 74.49 ± 12.61% and 9.13 ± 3.18, respectively. About 80.5% of the caregivers experienced significant burden. Stroke survivors' QOL and community reintegration, and caregivers' QOL and burden significantly correlated with one another (p < 0.05). Poststroke duration, survivor-caregiver cohabitation duration, survivors' community-dwelling duration and daily care-giving hours significantly correlated with each of stroke survivors' community reintegration and QOL, and caregivers' burden and QOL (p < 0.05).; Conclusions: Stroke survivors' community reintegration and QOL were poor while caregivers' had moderate QOL and high prevalence of significant burden. Significant correlations exist between caregivers' well-being and stroke survivors' QOL and community reintegration. Interventions targeted at reducing caregivers' burden may help improve both caregivers and survivors' well-being.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life in caregivers of a family member with serious mental illness: Evidence from China

Purpose: To evaluate the quality of life (QoL) and social support among family caregivers of a family member with a mental illness and to identify factors associated with the QoL.; Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, where participants were recruited and independently interviewed using a questionnaire, consisting of demographic characteristics, the Medical Outcome Survey SF-36 form, and social support rating scales. Multiple stepwise regression analysis was used to analyse the factors related to QoL.; Results: 181 family caregivers were recruited in Shandong province, China. On a composite QoL score, family caregivers perceived that their QoL was poor (68.3), especially in the aspects of role-physical (61.3), role-emotional (57.6) and mental health (63.0). We also found family caregivers received low social support, especially in objective support and utilization of social support. Patient's illness state, care time, financial burden and objective support were significantly correlated to caregivers' QoL in the physical component score (PCS). Patient's illness state, patient's marital status, family monthly income, caregiver's knowledge about the illness, caregivers coordinating caring, life and work, subjective support received and utility of support were significantly associated with caregivers' QoL in the mental component score (MCS).; Conclusions: Social support had a significant correlation with caregivers' QoL. Caregivers should be encouraged to request assistance from other family members and friends in providing care, especially when caregivers are unemployed or long-time carers. Mental health education campaigns and helping families to maintain and enhance a supportive social network may provide useful means to improve caregivers' QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life of Family Caregivers of Patients With Cancer in Korçe, Albania

Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to quantify cancer family caregiver (FCG) quality of life (QOL) in a Southern Albanian population and to determine whether differences exist between 4 domains of QOL (physical, psychological, social, and spiritual). This study also sought to compare QOL in our cohort to QOL in historical studies that used the same survey instrument, and to examine correlations between demographic characteristics and QOL to identify any high-risk groups.; Methods: A sample of 40 FCGs was recruited at the Mary Potter Palliative Care Clinic in Korçe, Albania. Each participant completed the City of Hope Quality of Life (Family Version), a validated 37-question instrument that measures caregiver well-being in 4 domains: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being.; Results: There were no significant differences between the composite scores of the 4 QOL domains in our study. However, there were differences when comparing self-reported QOL between domains ("Rate your overall physical/psychological/social/spiritual well-being"). The QOL measured in our study was significantly lower than in 3 studies from the United States that used the same questionnaire. There were no significant correlations between demographic groups and QOL.; Conclusions: This study examines the impact that the paucity of palliative services has on the QOL of Albanian cancer FCGs. Although there were no domains of QOL or demographic groups identified in our study that were faring significantly worse than others, the poor overall QOL provides further evidence to support the continued development of palliative services for both patients and family members in Albania.

Access source material through DOI

Young carers in Sweden—A pilot study of care activities, view of caring, and psychological well‐being

Children who have parents with any kind of illness may become young carers who take a responsibility not expected of children for household tasks, or personal or emotional care for parents and siblings. So far, little is known about children in Sweden who are at risk of becoming young carers. The aim of this article is therefore to explore the extent and impact of children's caring activities as reported in a pilot study by a sample of children in Sweden. A number of international questionnaires measuring the amount of caring activities, impact of caring, quality of life, and psychological well‐being were translated and combined into a survey. The pilot survey was completed by 30 children 10–18 years of age. Also, when completing the survey, the children were interviewed concerning their experiences of caregiving. The participants report on a group level emotional symptoms such as fear and nervousness above the clinical cut‐off value. They also rate a lower level of caring compared with findings from the United Kingdom, but they report a higher degree of negative impact of caring than young carers in the United Kingdom. 

Access source material through DOI

Understanding Caregiver Quality of Life in Caregivers of Hospitalized Older Adults With Cancer

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Caregivers of older adults with cancer assist both with cancer care and other health issues, which may make them vulnerable to consequences of caregiving. Hospitalization may represent a time when a caregiver's ability to provide care at home is exceeded. We sought to characterize caregivers of hospitalized older adults with cancer, determine their quality of life (QOL), and identify factors associated with caregiver QOL. METHODS: Patients (n = 100), aged 65 years and older, with an unplanned hospitalization and their caregivers were included. Caregivers completed a questionnaire about their health, social support, caregiving relationship, QOL (Caregiver Quality of Life Index‐Cancer [CQOLC] tool), and patient function. Patient medical history was obtained via chart review. The association between patient, caregiving, and caregiver factors and CQOLC was determined using multivariate linear regression. RESULTS: Most patients (73%) had metastatic/advanced disease, and 71% received treatment for their cancer within 30 days of hospitalization. Median Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) was 60%, and 89% required help with instrumental activities of daily living, as reported by caregivers. Median caregiver age was 65 years (range = 29‐84 years). The majority (60%) had no major comorbidities and rated their health as excellent/good (79%), though 22% reported worsening health due to caregiving. Caregivers had a median Mental Health Inventory‐18 score of 70 (range = 0–97), a median Medical Outcomes Study (MOS)‐social activity score of 56 (range = 0–87.5), and a median MOS‐Social Support Survey score of 68 (range = 0–100). Caregivers provided a median of 35 hours of care per week (range = 0‐168 hours of care per week). Mean CQOLC was 84.6 ± 23.5. Lower caregiver QOL was associated with poorer caregiver mental health, less social support, and poorer patient KPS (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Caregivers of hospitalized older adults with cancer are older but generally in good health. Those with poorer mental health, less social support, and caring for patients with poorer performance status are more likely to experience lower QOL. 

Access source material through DOI

The effect of patient care education on burden of care and the quality of life of caregivers of stroke patients

Background: Care for stroke patients at home is a very complicated and tough activity.; Objective: The study was conducted to examine the effect of patient care education on burden of care and quality of life of caregivers of stroke patients.; Materials and methods: The study was an educational trial conducted on 100 caregivers of the stroke patients in Al-Zahra educational hospital, Isfahan, Iran. The intervention group received some training to empower caregivers in family-oriented care in form of an educational counseling program. Data were collected and analyzed using the questionnaires, including demographic, quality of life Short Form-36, and Zarit burden of care questionnaires.; Results: The mean ages of caregivers were 48.52 years in the intervention and 45.14 years in the control groups. The results indicated significant differences in mean of quality of life and burden of care in the caregivers of the intervention group after intervention (P<0.01), which was insignificant in the control group. The average burden on the caregivers of both groups was significantly associated with health status, economic status, marital status, the number of children, care hours, care days, and familial relationship of the caregivers with the patients (P<0.01) before intervention. In addition, quality of life of both groups was significantly related to their health status (P<0.01) before intervention.; Conclusion: Patient care education reduced the burden of care and improved quality of life of the caregivers of stroke patients. Thus, to reduce the complications of caring for stroke patients, family education should be the priority of nursing and discharging procedures.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregivers' Perspectives for the Effect of Social Support on their Care Burden and Quality of Life: A Mixed-Method Study in Rural and Sub-Urban Central Japan

Japan has adopted community-based integrated long-term care, which has shifted the burden of care from institutions to the home. However, family caregivers have received less attention compared with care recipients. Many family caregivers are also older adults, and it is important that caregivers receive appropriate support to alleviate the burden of care. In rural and sub-urban area with limited resources compared to urban area, it is necessary to know which support to be prioritized. Therefore, this study aimed to understand family caregivers' perceptions of social support, the type and source of support which were considered important, and how it affected their caregiving burden and quality of life (QOL). We conducted a convergent mixed-method study with 174 primary family caregivers of older adults receiving home care in rural and suburb area of Central Japan. The mixed-method approach enabled qualitative data to complement quantitative results. Strong family support and higher education had positive effects on QOL, while higher caregiving burden and longer duration of care had negative effects on QOL. Provision of tangible support from family and healthcare professionals was central in reducing caregiving burden and improving caregivers' QOL. Support from distant relatives or neighbors, which was deemed inappropriate by caregivers, had a negative effect on caregivers' emotional status. In conclusion, family caregivers perceived support positively, but the effects depended on who provided support. While tangible support from close family and professionals was perceived positively, support from neighbors or distant relatives should consider caregivers' needs and condition to avoid a negative impact.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver Burden and Quality of Life in Early and Late Stages of Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease

Objective: Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms that affects patients' quality of life and caregiver burden. The aim of our study was to assess the caregiver burden (CB) in early and late stages of disease and to search if there was a relationship between quality of life and CB.; Methods: A total of 74 patients who were diagnosed as having IPD by a movement disorder neurologist according to United Kingdom Brain Bank Criteria and their caregivers were randomly selected for participation the study. Staging of PD was performed by the neurologist based on the Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) Scale. Disease severity was determined using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). CB was evaluated using the Zarit Caregiver Burden Inventory (ZCBI). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used to assess anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with IPD and their caregivers. The Short-Form Health Survey instrument (SF-36) was used to evaluate quality of life of the patients. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered to patients to evaluate gross cognitive status.; Results: Seventy-four patients (male, 58.1%) were included in the study. The mean age of patients was 66.18±8.5 and the mean duration of disease was 67.23±41.8 months. According to the H&Y scale, the patients were divided into two groups; stage I-II as early stage and stage III-V as late stage. Group 1 (H&Y I-II) consisted of 40 patients, and group 2 (H&Y III-V) comprised 34 patients. The mean duration of disease and UPDRS scores were significantly higher in group 2 (p=0.003, p=0.001, respectively). Significant differences were found in group 2 according to BDI. There were significant differences between group 1 and 2 according to SF-36 subdomains such as general health, emotional role, social functioning, pain, and mental health (p=0.019, p=0.038, p=0.005, p=0.004, p=0.014, respectively). However, there were no significant differences between these two groups concerning CB.; Conclusion: Although CB was found in 35 (47.3%) caregivers in our study, we found no significant differences between the caregivers of patients with early and late-stage IPD patients. We thought that this might be due to strong family relationships and cultural dynamics in Turkey. Burden was found to be higher in depressive patients' CGs and CGs who had depressive symptoms. It is important to recognize depressive symptoms earlier to protect the relationship between the CG and the patient because the main providers of care are family members.

Access source material through DOI

Caring Burden and Quality of Life of Family Caregivers in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis: A Descriptive-Analytic Study

Background: Caring role, especially in chronic diseases, has a negative impact on the health of family caregivers and can affect their quality of life. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the care burden and quality of life in family caregivers of hemodialysis patients and their relationship with some characteristics of caregivers and patients.; Methods: This study was conducted as a descriptive-analytic study in Isfahan from January to February 2017. Sampling was done using census. The number of participants was 254. The data gathering tools consisted of a three-part questionnaire including demographic characteristics, the Zarit questionnaire for caring burden, and SF-36 quality of life questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficient test, Spearman's coefficient, ANOVA, and univariate general linear regression. A significant level of 5% was considered.; Results: The mean scores of the quality of life and caring burden were 30.54±9.89 and 44.98±6.82, respectively in caregivers. The age of the patient under care (P<0.001), cost of medications (P=0.008), and hours of care in 24 hours (P<0.001) had a significant relationship with care givers' quality of life. Also, univariate general linear regression revealed that care burden had a significant relationship with the quality of life (P=0.003).; Conclusion: Family caregivers who experienced more caring burden had a low quality of life. The researchers suggest that supportive and educational programs should be designed and implemented for this group of patients and their caregivers.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Outcomes of a Problem-Solving Medication Management Intervention for Informal Caregivers

Older adults with memory loss often require assistance from caregivers to manage their medications. This study examined the efficacy of a problem-solving-based intervention focused on caregiver medication management, problem solving, self-efficacy, and daily hassles. Caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and patient health care utilization were secondary outcomes. Totally, 83 patients (age 79.9±8.8 years) and their informal caregivers (age 66.9±12 years, female 69.9%, White 85.5%) were randomized; data collection occurred at baseline, 8, 16, and 24 weeks. Linear mixed modeling showed significant decreases in medication deficiencies which were sustained over time. No significant changes in caregiver problem solving, daily hassles, or patient health care utilization occurred between groups or over time. In addition, caregiver self-efficacy and mental HRQoL decreased in both groups. Physical HRQoL decreased in the intervention group, yet increased in the usual care group. Future research should investigate these outcomes in larger and more diverse samples.

Access source material through DOI

Effect of family intervention on family caregivers' burden, depression, anxiety and stress among relatives of depressed patients

Background: Depression is a major psychiatric disorder worldwide. It is a leading cause of individual disability and family burden worldwide. The aim of the study: the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of family intervention on caregivers' burden, depression, anxiety and stress among relatives of depressed patients. Subjects and method: A quasi-experimental design was conducted at the inpatient and outpatient Psychiatric Department Mansoura University Hospital, Egypt. Ninety five families participated in this study (n = 95). Pre-tests and post-tests (n = 95), and test 3 months after intervention were conducted on eighty six (n = 86). The caregivers were divided into ten groups, which ranged from 8 to 10 caregivers in each group; each group attended 12 sessions. A structured interview questionnaire for personal data for patients and their caregiver, Caregiver Burden scale, quality of life scale (QOL) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 items (DASS-21) were used to collect data. Results: The findings of the study indicate that caregivers' burden, depression, anxiety and Stress level significantly reduced, and quality of life significantly improved after implementation of family intervention. There is a negative correlation between QOL and Caregivers' burden, and their feeling of depression, anxiety and stress, while there was a positive correlation between caregivers' burden and their feeling of depression, anxiety and stress. Conclusions: Based on the current results, it can be concluded that caregivers' burden, |depression, anxiety and stress are highly prevalent among caregivers of patients with depression and significantly improved after implementation of family intervention one month after, moreover it slightly decreased three months after intervention. This conclusion leads to accept the hypothesis of the study that family interventions improve the caregivers' burden, QOL, and feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. Further research is needed to follow the intervention 6 and 12 months after family intervention.

Access source material through DOI
Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

A Problem-Solving Intervention for Hospice Family Caregivers: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Objectives: Family caregivers of hospice patients have multiple needs as they try to cope during a stressful time. Translatable interventions effective in improving caregiver outcomes are greatly needed. Our objective was to assess the impact of a problem-solving intervention (called Problem-Solving Intervention to Support Caregivers in End-of-Life Care Settings [PISCES]) to support hospice caregivers on caregiver quality of life and anxiety, and compare its effectiveness delivered face to face and via videoconferencing.; Design: In this 4-year randomized clinical trial, caregivers were randomly assigned to a group receiving standard care with added "friendly calls" (attention control [AC] group), a group receiving standard care and PISCES delivered face to face (F2F), or a group receiving standard care and PISCES delivered via videoconferencing (VC).; Setting: Home hospice.; Participants: A total of 514 caregivers participated (172 in AC, 171 in F2F, and 171 in VC). Caregivers were predominantly female (75%); mean age was 60.3 years.; Intervention: PISCES includes a structured curriculum delivered in three sessions and motivates caregivers to adopt a positive attitude, define problems by obtaining facts, set goals, and generate and evaluate solutions.; Measurements: Quality of life was measured by the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Revised; anxiety was measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item. Other measures included the Caregiver Reaction Assessment scale, demographic data, and an exit interview.; Results: Compared with AC, caregivers in the F2F condition had postintervention reduced anxiety (-1.31 [95% confidence interval [CI] = -2.11 to .50]; p = .004) and improved social (.57 [95% CI = .19-.95]; p = .01), financial (.57 [95% CI = .21-.93]; p = .004), and physical quality of life (.53 [95% CI = .19-.87]; p = .01). There were no differences in caregivers in the VC condition compared with the AC condition.; Conclusion: The PISCES intervention improves caregiver outcomes and is effective when delivered in person. How to integrate technology to reduce the intervention delivery cost warrants further investigation.

Access source material through DOI

Understanding the quality of life of family carers of people with dementia: Development of a new conceptual framework

Background: Dementia is a major global health and social care challenge, and family carers are a vital determinant of positive outcomes for people with dementia. This study's aim was to develop a conceptual framework for the Quality of Life (QOL) of family carers of people with dementia. Methods: We studied family carers of people with dementia and staff working in dementia services iteratively using in-depth individual qualitative interviews and focus groups discussions. Analysis used constant comparison techniques underpinned by a collaborative approach with a study-specific advisory group of family carers. Results: We completed 41 individual interviews with 32 family carers and nine staff and two focus groups with six family carers and five staff. From the analysis, we identified 12 themes that influenced carer QOL. These were organised into three categories focussing on person with dementia, carer, and external environment. Conclusions: For carers of people with dementia, the QOL construct was found to include condition-specific domains which are not routinely considered in generic assessment of QOL. This has implications for researchers, policy makers, and service providers in addressing and measuring QOL in family carers of people with dementia.

Access source material through DOI

Development and evaluation of a quality of life measurement scale in English and Chinese for family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers

Background: The quality of life of family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers is an important concern in oncology care. Yet, there are few suitable measurement scales available for use in Asia. This study aims to develop and evaluate a locally derived measurement scale in English and Chinese to assess the quality of life of family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers in Singapore.; Methods: Scale contents were generated from qualitative research that solicited inputs from family caregivers. Six hundred and twelve family caregivers of patients with advanced cancers were recruited, of whom 304 and 308 chose to complete the English and Chinese versions of the quality of life scale, respectively. A follow-up survey was conducted for test-retest reliability assessment. Analyses began with pooling all observations, followed by analyses stratified by language samples and ethnic groups (among English-speaking participants).; Results: Factor analysis identified 5 domains of quality of life. The Root Mean Square Error of Approximation was 0.041 and Comparative Fit Index was 0.948. Convergent and divergent validity of the total and domain scores were demonstrated in terms of correlation with the Brief Assessment Scale for Caregiver and its sub-scales and a measure of financial concern; known-group validity was demonstrated in terms of differences between groups defined by patient's performance status. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) of the total and domain scores ranged from 0.86 to 0.93. Test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient) ranged from 0.74 to 0.89. Separate analyses of the English- and Chinese-speaking samples and ethnic groups gave similar results.; Conclusion: A new, validated, multi-domain quality of life measurement scale for caregivers of patients with advanced cancers that is developed with inputs from family caregivers is now available in two languages. We call this the Singapore Caregiver Quality Of Life Scale (SCQOLS).

Access source material through DOI

The TBI-CareQOL Measurement System: Development and Preliminary Validation of Health-Related Quality of Life Measures for Caregivers of Civilians and Service Members/Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury

Objective To develop a new measurement system, the Traumatic Brain Injury Caregiver Quality of Life (TBI-CareQOL), that can evaluate both general and caregiving-specific aspects of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design New item pools were developed and refined using literature reviews, qualitative data from focus groups, and cognitive debriefing with caregivers of civilians and service members/veterans with TBI, as well as expert review, reading level assessment, and translatability review; existing item banks and new item pools were assessed using an online data capture system. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, item response theory, and differential item functioning analyses were utilized to develop new caregiver-specific item banks. Known-groups validity was examined using a series of independent samples t tests comparing caregivers of low-functioning vs high-functioning persons with TBI for each of the new measures, as well as for 10 existing Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) measures. Setting Three TBI Model Systems rehabilitation hospitals, an academic medical center, and a military medical treatment facility. Participants Caregivers (N=560) of civilians (n=344) or service members/veterans with TBI (n=216). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures The TBI-CareQOL measurement system (including 5 new measures and 10 existing PROMIS measures). Results Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, item response theory, and differential item functioning analyses supported the development of 5 new item banks for Feelings of Loss-Self, Feelings of Loss-Person with TBI, Caregiver-Specific Anxiety, Feeling Trapped, and Caregiver Strain. In support of validity, individuals who were caring for low-functioning persons with TBI had significantly worse HRQOL than caregivers that were caring for high-functioning persons with TBI for both the new caregiver-specific HRQOL measures, and for the 10 existing PROMIS measures. Conclusions The TBI-CareQOL includes both validated PROMIS measures and newly developed caregiver-specific measures. Together, these generic and specific measures provide a comprehensive assessment of HRQOL for caregivers of civilians and service members/veterans with TBI. Highlights • The TBI-CareQOL measurement system includes new and existing self-report measures. • Measures were developed specific to caring for someone with traumatic brain injury. • Generic measures also evaluate important quality of life constructs for caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life and burden of informal caregivers providing care for patients with low function agility in the home environment

Background. Providing care to patients with low function agility in the home environment becomes a burden and leads to the worsening of the informal caregiver's quality of life. Objectives. Aim of the research was to assess the quality of life of informal caregivers in the context of their burden linked to the care provided to chronically ill patients with low function agility in the home environment. Material and methods. Research was conducted in five public healthcare facilities, from September 2016 until February 2017, and included 138 informal caregivers. The WHOQoL-AGE scale was used to assess caregivers' quality of life, and the COPE Index was employed to assessed caregivers' burden. Results. According to WHOQoL-AGE, the average value of caregivers' quality of life was 70.14 points. Caregivers' burden according to the COPE Index Negative Impact of Care subscale was: M = 11.80; Positive Value of Care subscale: M = 13.71; and in Quality of Support subscale: M = 12.46. Statistical importance was at p ≤ 0.01 for WHOQoL-AGE scale, and the burden according to the COPE Index. Conclusions. Informal caregivers' quality of life according to the WHOQoL-AGE scale corresponds significantly with caregivers' burden according to the COPE-Index, in all of the analysed domains. Along with the increase of the negative influence of the care, general quality of life with all its subscales, as well as satisfaction, decreases. Caregivers' quality of life increases along with the increase of the satisfaction connected to the provided care, and with receiving support from informal and formal healthcare.

Access source material through DOI

"A Fine Line That We Walk Every Day": Self-Care Approaches Used by Family Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

Individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) often exhibit behavioral and psychological symptoms of distress that can contribute to the strain experienced by their family caregivers. This strain can increase levels of stress for family caregivers and reduce quality of life, which can have a negative impact on physical health and wellbeing for both the caregiver and the person with ADRD. This study used blogs written by family caregivers of persons with ADRD to explore self-care strategies practiced by these caregivers. Using a qualitative thematic analysis, seven themes related to self-care approaches used by caregivers of persons with ADRD were identified: (1) health and wellness; (2) altruism and activism; (3) reminiscing and legacy building; (4) social support; (5) information exchange; (6) organization and planning; and (7) spirituality. By understanding the ways in which caregivers for someone with ADRD practice self-care, interventions and services can be developed in an effort to improve caregiver quality of life.

Access source material through DOI

Is training for informal caregivers and their older persons helpful? A systematic review

Background: The steady increase in the number of people suffering from chronic diseases and increasing life expectancy raises new demands on health care. At the same time, the need for informal caregivers is increasing. This study aims to perform a systematic review of the methodologies used to identify effect of different types of training on informal caregivers and their older persons.; Methods: MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL and Ovid were searched from December 2016 and April 2017. The following keywords were used; "informal caregiver", "training" "elderly", older persons". Identified publications were screened by using the following inclusion criteria; systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, prospective cohort and multicentre studies, English language full text journals, samples or interventions that included caregivers of older persons and published in last 10 years.; Results: Twenty four studies (12 randomised control trials, 8 intervention studies and 4 systematic reviews) were included. Most of the randomized controlled trials involved both caregivers and elderly. Pretests and post-tests were used in intervention studies (5 out of the 8 studies). ICT-based, psychosocial interventions on family caregivers' education program for caregivers were applied. Caregivers following a supportive educative learning had a significantly better quality of life.; Conclusions: The findings of this systematic review suggest that support interventions for caregivers can be effective in reducing caregivers' stress, with a consequent improvement of the quality of care. However, results are based on relatively small studies, reporting somewhat controversial findings supporting the need to perform further research in this field.

Access source material through DOI

An economic evaluation of a telephone outcall intervention for informal carers of cancer patients in Australia: An assessment of costs and quality-adjusted-life-years

Objective: Carers of people with cancer provide uncompensated care that is often physically, emotionally, and financially demanding, which results in neglect of their own health. This study's objective was to conduct an economic evaluation following a randomised control trial (RCT) involving a proactive telephone outcall intervention aimed at improving health outcomes among carers of cancer patients. Methods: The trial was a single-blind, multicentre, RCT conducted across four Australian health services, comprising three outcalls from trained Cancer Council 131120 (Cancer Council telephone and information support services) nurses compared with three phone call reminders of the availability of 131120 services (control group). Outcalls consisted of telephone contacts to the caregivers initiated by the Cancer Council nurses. The primary trial outcome was reduced carer burden. Health care resource use was measured using a resource use questionnaire (RUQ), and costs were presented in 2013 $(AUS). Quality-adjusted-life-years (QALYs) were also used as health outcomes. An incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated, with bootstrapping used to quantify sampling variability. A $50 000 per QALY-gained willingness-to-pay threshold was used. Sensitivity analyses were conducted. Results: Results showed that the total mean QALYs-gained were higher (0.02 QALYs, P = 0.01) in the control group, and total mean costs were lower in the control group ($477, P < 0.001) over the trial duration. The intervention group was dominated by the control group. Results were robust to sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: Results suggest policy makers should not adopt this intervention into routine health care in its current form. Further research into the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of telephone-based interventions for carers is required. 

Access source material through DOI

Relationship quality and sense of coherence in dementia: Results of a European cohort study

Objective: Quality of life of people with dementia and their family carers is strongly influenced by interpersonal issues and personal resources. In this context, relationship quality (RQ) and sense of coherence (SOC) potentially protect and promote health. We aimed to identify what influences RQ in dyads of people with dementia and their carers and to examine differences in their perspectives. Methods: Cross-sectional data were used from the Actifcare cohort study of 451 community-dwelling people with dementia and their primary carers in eight European countries. Comprehensive assessments included the Positive Affect Index (RQ) and the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (SOC). Results: Regression analyses revealed that RQ as perceived by people with dementia was associated with carer education, stress, and spouse caregiving. RQ as perceived by carers was associated with carer stress, depression, being a spouse, social support, reported neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia, and carer SOC. Neuropsychiatric symptoms and carer stress contributed to discrepancies in RQ ratings within the dyad. The only factor associated with both individual RQ ratings and discrepancies was carer stress (negative feelings subscore). No significant differences in the overall perception of RQ were evident between spouses and adult children carers, but RQ determinants differed between the two. Conclusions: In this European sample, carer SOC was associated with carer-reported RQ. RQ determinants differed according to the perspective considered (person with dementia or carer) and carer subgroup. A deeper understanding of RQ and its determinants will help to tailor interventions that address these distinct perspectives and potentially improve dementia outcomes. 

Access source material through DOI

Mutual Effects of Depression on Quality of Life in Patients and Family Caregivers

OBJECTIVES: To elucidate the importance of mutual effects within dyads by examining the contribution of depression on quality of life (QOL) in patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers (FCs). SAMPLE & SET TING : 716 patients with advanced cancer paired with their FCs at two large, private not-for-profit hospices. METHODS & VARIABLES: A descriptive, cross-sectional design with the baseline data of a randomized hospice clinical trial was used. Structural equation modeling helped examine four hypotheses by integrating the features of the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. Variables included QOL and depression. RESULTS: Depression in patients with cancer and their FCs exhibited significant actor effects on an individual's QOL after controlling for the partner effects. Among the spousal pairs, depression in FCs exhibited a positive partner effect on the functional well-being of patients with cancer, indicating that depressive symptoms occurring in FCs may increase patients' functional well-being. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: This study suggests the importance of consistent assessment in emotional well-being for dyads with cancer because their concerns may be transmitted to each other.

Access source material through DOI

Measuring the quality of life of family carers of people with dementia: development and validation of C-DEMQOL

Purpose We aimed to address gaps identified in the evidence base and instruments available to measure the quality of life (QOL) of family carers of people with dementia, and develop a new brief, reliable, condition-specific instrument. Methods We generated measurable domains and indicators of carer QOL from systematic literature reviews and qualitative interviews with 32 family carers and 9 support staff, and two focus groups with 6 carers and 5 staff. Statements with five tailored response options, presenting variation on the QOL continuum, were piloted (n = 25), pre-tested (n = 122) and field-tested (n = 300) in individual interviews with family carers from North London and Sussex. The best 30 questions formed the C-DEMQOL questionnaire, which was evaluated for usability, face and construct validity, reliability and convergent/discriminant validity using a range of validation measures. Results C-DEMQOL was received positively by the carers. Factor analysis confirmed that C-DEMQOL sum scores are reliable in measuring overall QOL (ω = 0.97) and its five subdomains: ‘meeting personal needs’ (ω = 0.95); ‘carer wellbeing’ (ω = 0.91); ‘carer-patient relationship’ (ω = 0.82); ‘confidence in the future’ (ω = 0.90) and ‘feeling supported’ (ω = 0.85). The overall QOL and domain scores show the expected pattern of convergent and discriminant relationships with established measures of carer mental health, activities and dementia severity and symptoms. Conclusions The robust psychometric properties support the use of C-DEMQOL in evaluation of overall and domain-specific carer QOL; replications in independent samples and studies of responsiveness would be of value.

Access source material through DOI

Changes in and modifiable patient‐ and family caregiver‐related factors associated with cancer patients’ high self‐perceived burden to others at the end of life: A longitudinal study

This prospective, longitudinal study explored changes in and modifiable factors associated with high self‐perceived burden to others (SPB) among a convenience sample of 276 dyads of terminally ill Taiwanese cancer patients and their family caregivers over patients’ last year of life. High SPB was evaluated by scores ≥20 on the Self‐Perceived Burden Scale. Modifiable factors of high SPB included factors related to both patients (i.e., symptom distress, functional dependence and coping capacity) and caregivers (i.e., caregiving burden, depressive symptoms and quality of life [QOL]). Modifiable factors of high SPB were identified by multivariate logistic regression modelling with the generalised estimating equation while controlling for demographic factors. We found that patients tended to experience high SPB if they had more symptom distress. In contrast, the likelihood of high SPB was significantly lower if patients had greater coping capacity and their caregivers reported better QOL. High SPB was not associated with patients’ functional dependence, caregivers’ caregiving burden and depressive‐symptom level while providing end‐of‐life (EOL) care, and time proximity to death. Healthcare professionals may alleviate terminally ill cancer patients’ high SPB at EOL through palliative care that adequately manages patients’ physical symptom distress, enhances patients’ coping capacity and improves family caregivers’ QOL.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver experience, health‐related quality of life and life satisfaction among informal caregivers to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A cross‐sectional study

Aims and objectives This study set out to describe caregiver experience, health‐related quality of life and life satisfaction among informal caregivers to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to explore factors associated with caregivers’ health‐related quality of life and life satisfaction. Background Knowledge about factors related to caregivers’ health‐related quality of life and life satisfaction is important for identification of those at risk for ill health and for development of support and care. Design A cross‐sectional study.MethodsForty‐nine informal caregivers and 49 patients were included. Standardised and study‐specific questionnaires were used for data collection on caregiver experience (Caregiver Reaction Assessment), health‐related quality of life (EuroQol Visual Analogue Scale, SF‐36), life satisfaction (Life Satisfaction Checklist) and caregiver‐ and patient‐related factors. Associations were explored by regression analyses. Results Both positive and negative caregiver experience were reported, and health‐related quality of life and life satisfaction were below national reference values. Positive experience was associated with better and negative with worse mental health‐related quality of life. Factors related to informal caregivers (sex, age, living conditions) and patients (anxiety and/or depression) were related to caregivers’ health‐related quality and life satisfaction. Conclusion The results indicate the need to consider the individual caregiver's experience when planning services, care and support. It is important to adopt person‐centred care, not only for patients but also for their informal caregivers, as factors related to both parties were associated with the informal caregivers’ health‐related quality of life and life satisfaction. Relevance to clinical practice Our study suggests that promoting positive experience and providing services and support to reduce negative aspects of caregiving might be important strategies for healthcare personnel to improve informal caregivers’ health.

Access source material through DOI

Health utility scores of family caregivers for leukemia patients measured by EQ-5D-3L: a cross-sectional survey in China

Background: This study assessed the health related quality of life of family caregivers (FCs) of leukemia patients by using the health utility scores derived from the EuroQol five-dimensional (EQ-5D) questionnaire. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was undertaken on 306 family caregivers of leukemia patients to assess their health utility using the EQ-5D-3L. Participants were recruited from three hospitals in China's Heilongjiang province. The health utility scores of the participants were estimated based on the Chinese EQ-5D-3L value set and compared with those of the local general population. Factors predicting the health utility scores were identified through the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance and median regression analyses. Results: FCs had lower health utility scores than the general population (p < 0.001). The participants with a lower socioeconomic status had lower utility scores and reported more problems than those with a higher socio-economic status. Better family function and higher social support were associated with higher health utility scores. The type of leukemia, household income, and social support are significant predictors of health utility scores of the FCs. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, low socio-economic status, and low social support are associated with lower health utility scores of the FCs. Conclusions: FCs for leukemia patients have lower health utility scores than the local general population, as measured by the EQ-5D-3L. There is an immediate need to address the health concerns of FCs, who play an important role in the Chinese health care system. 

Access source material through DOI

266User-Centered Design of a Mindfulness Application to Support Older Informal Carers

Background: Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have grown in popularity in recent years and have been shown to reduce stress and increase quality of life among older informal carers. A digital application delivering MBIs has been iteratively designed based on user-centered designed principles and aims to support older informal carers to manage stress and sleep. We describe a qualitative study with older informal carers and the resulting digital application. Methods: A qualitative study with 20 older adults took place over a 2-year period. Requirements gathering consisted of focus groups, interviews, and usability testing with older adults and informal carers. A high-fidelity mock-up of an application was designed and user-testing sessions held with five participants to gauge usability and effectiveness. Results: Focus group participants felt stress reduction is a significant issue which affects overall wellbeing, with a consensus that stress can have an adverse effect on sleep. An overarching theme throughout the informal carer interviews was carer burden and the sense of being overwhelmed. The sense of constant worry was a theme that also emerged, which could be addressed by the present moment focus of mindfulness (Helmes & Ward 2015 https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2015.1111862, Visser et al. 2015 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0311-5). Usability testing sessions revealed previously overlooked user experience and interface issues, including icons and data visualizations. Analyses of these user interactions and qualitative feedback allowed for further iterations in the design cycle, meeting guidelines for best practice in a user-centred design approach. Conclusion: Insights from the requirements gathering and testing sessions provided an understanding of parameters of health important to older adults, feelings towards selfmonitoring, preferences for data visualizations, and attitudes to MBIs. The resulting application has been designed for older informal carers to manage stress through MBIs as well as monitor activity and sleep through tracking, data visualizations and educational advice.

Access source material through DOI

Family cohesion, burden, and health-related quality of life among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico

Background: Informal caregivers of individuals with Parkinson's disease face a range of responsibilities that increase as the disease progresses. As a result of these stressors, caregivers are vulnerable to decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Guided by the stress process model of caregiving, the present study examined the relations between family cohesion, perceived burden, and mental and physical HRQOL among Parkinson's disease caregivers in Mexico. It was hypothesized that perceived burden would mediate the relations of family cohesion and mental and physical HRQOL.; Methods: Ninety-five family caregivers of individuals with Parkinson's disease in Mexico City, Mexico, participated in the study. Multiple regression was utilized to conduct mediation analyses.; Results: Results indicated that burden fully mediated the relation between family cohesion and mental HRQOL, and family cohesion was not associated with physical HRQOL.; Conclusions: Findings extend the stress process model cross-culturally and lend support for the importance of family cohesion and perceived burden in determining caregiver mental HRQOL. Clinical health promotion interventions should target perceived burden and family cohesion together to improve mental HRQOL among familial caregivers in Mexico.

Access source material through DOI

The impact of depression and anxiety on quality of life in Chinese cancer patient-family caregiver dyads, a cross-sectional study

Background: Cancer and its treatment can result in psychological distress in both adults with cancer and in their family caregivers. This psychological distress acts as a significant adverse factor in patient-caregiver dyads. The study purposes included: (i) to assess anxiety and depression in adults with cancer and their family caregivers, and examine the dyadic relationship of anxiety and depression in patient-caregiver dyads; (ii) to investigate factors that may modify these relationships; and (iii) to explore the impact of anxiety and depression on patient-caregiver dyad quality of life (QOL).; Methods: This was a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study. Participants consisted of 641 patient-caregiver dyads. Participants completed a survey assessing adults with cancer-related, family caregiver-related, and family-related variables using a demographic/clinical information sheet. In addition, anxiety/depression and QOL were assessed by using the Chinese version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and SF-12 respectively. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, subgroup analysis, and the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model.; Results: Nearly one-third of participants had experienced anxiety and depression. Adults with cancer and family caregivers experienced a similar degree of anxiety and depression. Correlations (r) of anxiety and depression between patient-caregiver dyads ranged from 0.25 to 0.32. Various factors influencing the anxiety and depression relationship between patient-caregiver dyads were identified, including adults with cancer-related (e.g., age, gender, marital status, level of being informed about the disease, different types of cancer and treatment), family caregiver-related (e.g., being the spouse of a patient, duration in their role as a family caregiver, and amount of time spent on caregiving each day), and family-related (family relationship pre- and post-cancer, financial burden on the family due to cancer treatment) variables. To some extent, both actor and partner effects were identified for anxiety and depression on the QOL of patient-caregiver dyads.; Conclusions: Study findings call attention to anxiety and depression, as well as related factors, in patient-caregiver dyads. The underlined essential components and focus of intervention, which will be developed to decrease psychological distress and improve QOL in patient-caregiver dyads, included individual characteristics of patient-caregiver dyads, family relationship, and anxiety and depression in their counterparts.;

Access source material through DOI

The Relationship between Resilience and Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of Patients with Mental Disorders

Introduction: In the past, patients with mental disorders were often isolated, but these patients now-a-days enter the society, as therapeutic interventions have advanced. Family members play an important role in the life of many adults with mental disorders and are under considerable amounts of stress that may affect caregiver's physical health, quality of life and resilience. Aim: The present study aimed to determine the relationship between the resilience and quality of life in family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional, correlational, descriptive study was conducted on 238 family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. The Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) was used to measure the quality of life and the Connor and Davidson Resilience Scale was used to measure resilience in the participants. The SF-36 consists of two general dimensions and eight domains of health and the resilience scale consists of 25 items. The data obtained through the questionnaires were analysed in SPSS version 16.0 using Pearson's correlation test. Results: The majority of the family caregivers were the patients' mothers. The results showed a significant direct relationship between resilience and quality of life (p<0.001, r=0.40). Conclusion: Resilience is a personal resource that affects quality of life directly. Resilience can enhance quality of life. The design and implementation of programs to enhance resilience and improve quality of life in family caregivers in line with the emerging needs of this group are therefore necessary. 

Access source material through DOI

The effects of a multidisciplinary education course on the burden, health literacy and needs of family caregivers

Chronic diseases are mostly managed by family caregivers that often face the "caregiver burden". This study aimed to understand whether a multidisciplinary theoretical-practical training course could influence the burden, health literacy and needs of caregivers. Seventy-six familial caregivers were asked to complete the Caregiver Burden Inventory-CBI, Caregiver Needs Assessment-CNA, and Health Literacy Questionnaire-HLQ, before and after the course. A significant decrease in CBI and an increase of CNA were observed. However, a significantly higher rate of CBI decrease and a lower increase of CNA were detected in the neurological compared to the oncological group (p = 0.001). Moreover, the ability of the participants to look for and find health information significantly improved. The course contrasted caregivers' burden, increased their search for health information, and revealed their requiring of training and emotional and social support. Caregiver education plays a pivotal role in the management of chronic patients, enhancing the quality of life of both patients and caregivers. Highlights • Caregivers' ability to care for chronic patients can affect patients' outcomes. • Caregivers' needs assessment and education are often neglected in healthcare. • A training course positively influenced caregivers' burden, health literacy and needs. • Caregivers' education is fundamental for the management of chronic patients.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life in HIV-infected Chinese women and their family caregivers: an intervention study

China is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of HIV-infected women. In this study, we describe the development and preliminary evaluation of an intervention tailored for Chinese HIV-infected women and caregivers to improve their self- and family management, with goals of enhancing their physical quality of life (QOL) and decreasing their depressive symptomatology. Forty-one HIV-infected women and their caregivers were recruited from two premier Chinese hospitals from July 2014 through March 2016. Participants were randomized to either the control or intervention arm for the Self- and Family Management Intervention (SAFMI). Each study dyad in the intervention arm received three counseling sessions with a nurse interventionist. At baseline, immediate post-intervention (month 1) and follow-up (month 3), the participants were assessed by a self-reported survey. Generalized Hierarchical Linear Modeling was used to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention. Chinese HIV-infected women in the intervention arm had significantly higher probability of higher physical QOL at month 1 and lower probability of clinically meaningful depressive symptomatology at month 3 compared with women in the control arm. In contrast, the effects of the intervention were less salient for caregivers. This study represents one of the first in China to include family caregivers in HIV management. Feasibility and acceptability were high, in that family members were willing to join the study, learn about HIV, and practice new skills to support the HIV-infected women in their lives. A larger trial is needed to fully evaluate this intervention which shows promising preliminary effects in promoting physical QOL and decreasing depressive symptomatology among Chinese HIV-infected women.

Access source material through DOI

Creating a conceptual model for family caregivers of older adults intervention research: A narrative review of learned resourcefulness, resourcefulness, and the transtheoretical model

Providing and maintaining optimal care is challenging for older family caregivers who are caring for disabled older adults. Learned Resourcefulness can facilitate family caregivers' self-help strategies, and Resourcefulness can facilitate help-seeking from others. However, little is known about how older family caregivers can effectively maintain and adapt self-help and help-seeking strategies over time, especially as the dynamic nature of caregiving for disabled older adults demands change. To this end, the Transtheoretical model (TTM) provides useful constructs that address family caregivers' readiness to change their self-help and help-seeking behaviors. This paper reviews relevant literature regarding Learned Resourcefulness, Resourcefulness, and the TTM. The proposed conceptual model incorporates constructs from the TTM integrated with Learned Resourcefulness and Resourcefulness strategies to aid in the development and testing of interventions that are designed to promote the quality of life and health of older family caregivers while they are providing care to disabled older adults.

Access source material through DOI

Care Burden And Quality of Life of Family Members Caring for Cancer Outpatients

Background: Today, most cancer treatment is given in outpatient treatment centers. In this process, family members who are responsible for the primary care of the patient have difficulty coping with the side effects of the disease and the treatment. This can change the reactions of family members to care giving, affecting the physical and psychological health of family members. Aim: This study has been carried to determine the relationship between caregiving burden and quality of life (QOL) of family caregivers of outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Method: This descriptive and cross-sectionalstudy was carried out 120 patients' family caregivers applying to the outpatient center of university to receive chemotherapy. The data were collected through "Personal Information Form", "Caregiver's Stress Index'', " Cancer Patients' Caregiver Family Members' Life Quality Scale (CQOLC) " and by the researchers. Result: It has been determined that the family caregivers being female, having a low level of education, having a job, having lower incomes than their expenses, giving care for their spouses and giving care 21 hours and over daily have the worst QOL. All the family caregivers giving care reported that they live psychological distress while looking after the patient. Due to chemotherapy, all the family members providing care stated to have difficulties while handling the side effects occurred in patients. It was found that 30.8% of the family members could not cope with nausea, 29.1% with fatigue, 24.2% with loss of appetite, and 19.2% with vomiting. Conclusion: By reducing the maintenance burden of family member caregivers, it can be considered that the QOL of both family members and patients may increase.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Challenges of Family Caregivers of Patients with Mental Disorders in Iran: A Narrative Review

Background: Family caregivers of patients with mental disorders play the most important role in the care of psychiatric patients (PPs) and preventing their readmission. These caregivers face different challenges in different cultures. We conducted this study to determine the challenges of caregivers of patients with mental disorders in Iran. Materials and Methods: This study is a narrative review with a matrix approach conducted by searching electronic databases, SID, IRANMEDEX, MAGIRAN, PUBMED, SCOPUS, Web of Sciences, from February 2000 to 2017. Searched keywords include challenges, family caregivers of psychiatric patient, family caregivers and psychiatric patient, mental illness, families of psychiatric patient, and Iran. One thousand two hundred articles were found in English and Farsi, and considering inclusion and exclusion criteria, 39 articles were examined. Results: The results of the studies show that not meeting the needs of caregivers, burnout and high burden of care, high social stigma, low social support for caregivers, and low quality of life of caregivers were among the most important challenges faced by caregivers. Conclusions: Despite the efforts of authorities in Iran, family caregivers of patients with mental disorders still face challenges. Therefore, the need for all-inclusive support for family caregivers of patients with mental health problems is necessary. 

Access source material through DOI

Death Anxiety and Quality of Life in Iranian Caregivers of Patients With Cancer

Background: Concerns about death may alienate and negatively impact communication among family members of patients with life-threatening illness. Little is known about the relationship of death anxiety to quality of life in cancer family caregivers. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine relationships between sociodemographic and patient-related factors, social support, and religiosity with death anxiety and quality of life in Iranian cancer family caregivers. Methods: Three hundred thirty family caregivers from an urban regional cancer institute in Iran participated in a descriptive-correlational study that incorporated sociodemographic surveys and validated death anxiety (Templer Scale) and Quality of life (Family Version) instruments. Results: Caregivers reported moderate levels of death anxiety and decrements in QOL. Quality of life was inversely associated with death anxiety (r = -0.30, P .001). Female caregivers who were daughters had higher death anxiety, whereas male caregivers who were sons reported higher quality of life. Conclusions: Death anxiety is associated with lowered quality of life in Iranian family caregivers. Multiple factors may impact death anxiety and quality of life relevant to the socioreligious milieu. Implications for Practice: Addressing concerns that increase death anxiety may improve quality of life and lower stress associated with adapting to the family caregiver role. Caregiving responsibilities, added to challenges associated with personal, family, and professional life, impact multiple aspects of QOL. As nurses increasingly care for patients from diverse backgrounds, it becomes more imperative that support for family caregivers that promotes psychological adaptation and quality of life is needed. References

Access source material through DOI

The Relationship Between Mutuality and Health-Related Quality of Life in Adult Child Caregivers in China

The strain inherent in caregiving relationships between adult children and aging parents is a prominent issue in contemporary China due to a combination of demographic and socioeconomic changes. The purpose of this study was to explore how mutuality, a positive quality of caregiving relationships, contributes to the physical health and mental health (health-related quality of life [HRQoL]) of adult child caregivers [ACCs] of parent stroke survivors. A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted on a nonproportional quota sample of 126 ACCs, using questionnaires of demographics, the 15-item Mutuality Scale, and the Second Version of the Standard 12-Item Health Survey (SF-12v2). Higher mutuality was found to be correlated with better caregiver physical health and mental health. However, after adjusting for the covariates, mutuality significantly explained 4.6% of the variance of caregiver physical health (β = .22, ΔR 2 = .046, p < .01) but it did not significantly explain the variance of caregiver mental health. Although multiple factors correlate with Chinese family caregivers' HRQoL, this was the first study exploring the impact of caregiver-care receiver dyadic relationships on caregiver HRQoL in mainland China by using a mutuality scale with SF-12v2. Despite the fact that the Chinese tradition of filial piety can facilitate mutuality, socioeconomic changes and legislation that require adult children to care for aging parents appear to create high stress among family caregivers. Higher levels of mutuality contribute to better physical health in Chinese family caregivers. Therefore, culturally appropriate family nursing strategies and social policies in China could enhance caregiver mutuality and potentially promote their HRQoL, in particular physical health.

Access source material through DOI

Survivorship burden for individuals, households and society : estimates and methodology

With more and more individuals surviving cancer it is important to estimate the economic burden survivorship places on these individuals, and also on their friends, family, carers and the wider society. This paper provides a review of current estimates of the cost of living with and surviving cancer. Few studies have provided an all-encompassing estimate of the burden. A range of methodologies to estimate the direct health care costs, direct non-health care costs, productivity loss and informal care costs of surviving cancer are described. Additionally an often overlooked burden that on survivors' and caregivers' quality of life is also discussed. This paper hopes to encourage more research on the economic burden of cancer survivorship to aid policy makers in their resource allocation decisions and help establish an ongoing research agenda. 

Access source material through DOI

The Effect of Problem Oriented Coping Strategies Training on Quality of Life of Family Caregivers of Elderly with Alzheimer

Elderly with Alzheimer requires care to continue their lives and such care is given mostly by families. Care of elderly with Alzheimer is a stressful process and it has negative consequences on physical and mental health of caregivers and reduces their quality of life. The present research aims to determine the effect of problem oriented coping strategies training on quality of life of family caregivers of elderly with Alzheimer. In this randomized clinical trial 72 caregivers were chosen by purposeful sampling and were divided randomly into control and experimental groups. Before the intervention, participants' quality of life was assessed by SF36 quality of life questionnaire. Eight sessions of educational intervention were held for the experimental group. The educational contents were included subjects such as problem solving, anger management and making an affective relationship. Two weeks after the intervention, information was recollected. Finding indicated that in intervention group, caregivers' quality of life significantly increased after the educational intervention (P= 0.001). After the intervention, caregivers' quality of life in experimental group was more than control group but such difference was not statistically significant (P= 0.112). Problem-oriented coping strategies training can enhance most dimensions of quality of life of caregivers and such education can be effective on their lives.

Access source material through DOI

Psychological distress, social support, and quality of life among cancer caregivers in Albania

Objective Drawing on the Stress Process Model, this study examines cancer caregiving in Albania. We used conditional process analysis to test the relationship between psychological distress and quality of life through social support and to examine whether gender moderates pathways in this mediation model. Methods Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a non-probability sample of 377 caregivers from the public oncology service. Standardized measures were selected based on psychometric properties and cross-cultural adequacy; all had good internal consistency. Results Participants reported high levels of psychological distress, moderate social support, and poor quality of life. Compared with men, women had higher levels of distress, worse quality of life, and comparable levels of support. Men were more likely to be caring for a spouse and to rely on friends, while women also cared for others and relied more on family. Social support mediated a strong negative relationship between psychological distress and QoL. These pathways did not differ by gender. Conclusions Cancer is increasing rapidly in developing countries, where family caregiving is the preferred and often only option for long-term, intensive care. This study points to high risks for psychological distress and reduced quality of life, especially for female caregivers in Albania. Findings further highlight the importance of social supports an as avenue for prevention and intervention to improve quality of life for both men and women. 

Access source material through DOI

CareACT - internet-based intervention for enhancing the psychological well-being of elderly caregivers – a study protocol of a controlled trial

Background: The rapid increase in the number of elderly family caregivers underlines the need for new support systems. Internet-delivered psychological interventions are a potential approach, as they are easy to access for family caregivers who are often homebound with their care recipient. This study examines the relative effectiveness of an internet-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention or a standardized institutional rehabilitation program, first, in reducing depressive symptoms, and second, in improving the well-being and quality of life of elderly family caregivers compared to a control group receiving support from voluntary family caregiver associations. Methods: 156 family caregivers aged 60 or more are studied in a quasi-experimental study design that compares three groups of family caregivers (Group 1; n = 65: a guided 12-week web-based intervention; Group 2, n = 52: a standardized institutional rehabilitation program in a rehabilitation center; Group 3, n = 39: support provided by voluntary caregiver associations). Data collection is performed at three time-points: pre-measurement and at 4 months and 10 months thereafter. Caregivers’ depressive symptoms as a primary outcome, and perceived burden, anxiety, quality of life, sense of coherence, psychological flexibility, thought suppression, and personality as secondary outcomes are measured using validated self-report questionnaires. Physical performance and user experiences are also investigated. Between-group differences in the effects of the interventions are examined using multiple-group modeling techniques, and effect-size calculations. Discussion: The study will compare the effectiveness of a novel web-based program in reducing depressive symptoms and improving the psychological well-being of elderly family caregivers, or a standardized institutional rehabilitation program representing usual care and a control group receiving support offered by voluntary caregiver associations. The results will expand the knowledge base of clinicians and provide evidence on effective strategies to improve the mental health and overall quality of life of elderly family caregivers. Trial registration: The study was retrospectively registered in www.clinicaltrials.gov (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03391596 on January 4, 2018.

Access source material through DOI

Initiating activities of daily living contributes to well-being in people with dementia and their carers

Objective: Problems with everyday functioning are linked to reduced well-being in people with dementia (PwD) and their carers. However, previous research has almost solely investigated the performance of everyday activities, and global functioning without analysing individual activities. This study explored how deficits in initiating and performing individual activities were associated with carer burden and poorer quality of life of carers and PwD. Methods: Carers of people with mild dementia were recruited via 10 National Health Service Trusts, as well as through attending six carer support groups. Carers were asked to complete the revised Interview for Deteriorations in Daily Living Activities in Dementia 2 (R-IDDD2), and measures on carer burden, well-being, and person with dementia well-being. Data were analysed using correlation analysis. Results: Two hundred and seventy-two carers completed the R-IDDD2. Carers were grouped into those with low or high ratings of well-being based on the mean scores. All but three activities on the initiative and/or performance scale were significantly associated with carer burden and carer and PwD quality of life. Engaging in hobbies and maintaining an active social life were most strongly associated with carer and PwD well-being. Initiating computer use, driving, and medication management were not related to carer burden. Conclusions: Findings from this study can have direct implications for improving care management early in the disease. Post-diagnostic support needs to provide more opportunities for PwD, and their carers, to engage in social groups, whilst interventions targeted at living well with dementia need to particularly improve the initiative of engaging in individual hobbies.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for an individual with mild cognitive impairment: a qualitative perspective of health-related quality of life from caregivers

Objectives: Little is known regarding the effect that caring for an individual with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) has on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The authors sought to identify the most important aspects of HRQOL related to caring for an individual with MCI. Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with caregivers of individuals with MCI (n = 32). Qualitative frequency analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Findings indicated that caregivers most frequently discussed social health, including changes in social roles and an increased need for social support (51.2% of the total discussion). This was followed by mental health concerns (37.9%) which centred on anger/frustration, and a need for patience in the caregiving role, as well as caregiver-specific anxiety. Other topics included physical health (10.0%; including the impact that stress and burden have on medical heath), and caregivers’ cognitive health (0.9%; including memory problems in relation to caregiver strain, sleep disruption, and cognitive fatigue). Conclusions: Findings illustrate the multiple domains of HRQOL that are affected in individuals providing care for someone with MCI. Moreover, the findings highlight the need for extending support services to MCI caregivers, a group that is typically not offered support services due to the ‘less severe’ nature of an MCI diagnosis.

Access source material through DOI

The Impact of Caring for Persons with Stroke on the Leisure Occupations of Female Caregivers

Aim: The purpose of this phenomenological study is to contribute to the literature surrounding caregivers of persons with stroke and to understand the caregivers' perspective on leisure participation and quality of life. Methods: Caregivers (n = 4) of clients with stroke were recruited for the study via convenience sampling. Participants were audio-recorded during a semi-structured interview lasting 60–80 minutes. The interview guide included open-ended questions about the participant's leisure participation and quality of life. Recorded data was transcribed and in-vivo coding was completed. Results: Eight categories were developed from the identified codes and narrowed into primary themes: role shift, loss of control, and occupational deprivation, consistent with Moustakas (1994) as adapted by Creswell (2013). Conclusions: Understanding the essence of the lived experience of caregivers is important to the occupational therapy profession because of the prevalence of caregiver burden and the impact such role-transition has on their occupational participation and that of the client.

Access source material through DOI

The pervasive nature of uncertainty—a qualitative study of patients with advanced cancer and their informal caregivers

Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the impact of extended cancer survival on broader aspects of life and wellbeing such as occupational, financial and family life for patients with advanced cancer and their nominated informal caregivers. Methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were transcribed verbatim. A thematic framework was developed from an initial process of open coding and tested iteratively as new data were collected. Results: Twenty-four patient-caregiver dyads with advanced ovarian (9), melanoma (9) or lung cancer (6). Patients were aged 39–84 (median 62 years) and caregivers 19–85 (median 54 years). Caregivers were the partners/spouses (15), children (5), siblings (2) and friends (2) of patients. One particular theme, ‘uncertainty’, encompassed many issues such as planning for the future, providing for one’s family, employment and finances. Uncertainties were related to the timescale and trajectory of the disease and lack of control or ability to make plans. There were marked age effects. Accounts from within the same dyad often differed and patients and caregivers rarely discussed concerns with each other. Conclusions: Both patients and their informal caregivers were challenged by the uncertainties around living with advanced cancer and the lack of a defined trajectory. This impacted many diverse areas of life. Although distressing, dyads seldom discussed these concerns with each other. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Uncertainty is a recurrent issue for cancer survivors and their families impacting broad aspects of their lives and their ability to move forward; however, patients and caregivers in this study rarely discussed these concerns together. Uncertainty should be discussed periodically, together, and healthcare professionals could facilitate these discussions. The use of one or more ‘trigger questions’ in clinic appointments may provide an opportunity to start these dialogues. 

Access source material through DOI

A Prospective Biopsychosocial Investigation Into Head and Neck Cancer Caregiving

Purpose: Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients suffer from significant morbidity, which may introduce challenging care demands and subsequent stress-induced mind-body interactions for informal caregivers. This prospective study evaluated patient and caregiver predictors of diurnal cortisol rhythm among HNC caregivers during radiation treatment. Method: Patient-caregiver dyads completed measures at radiation treatment start (T1; n = 32) and 5 weeks into treatment (T2; n = 29). Measures included the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck, the Caregiver Quality of Life (QOL) Index-Cancer, the Caregiver Reaction Assessment, the Medical Outcomes Social Support Survey, and the Eating Assessment tool. Patients also received a clinical swallowing evaluation using the Functional Assessment of Oral Intake Scale. Caregiver cortisol concentrations were assessed from salivary samples at T1 and T2. Results: Caregiver cortisol slope became significantly flatter during radiation treatment. Greater caregiver schedule burden was associated with a flatter cortisol slope (b = .35, p = .05) in caregivers at T1. Lower patient functional QOL (b = .41, p = .05) and lower overall caregiver QOL at T1 (b = .39, p = .04) were each separately associated with a flatter cortisol slope in caregivers over treatment. Conclusions: Results suggest the presence of a mind-body interaction in HNC caregivers. Dysregulation in diurnal cortisol rhythm in caregivers was significantly associated with increased caregiver schedule burden and lower patient and caregiver QOL. Targeted interventions developed for HNC caregivers may help to prevent negative health outcomes associated with dysregulated cortisol. 

Access source material through DOI

The effects of placement on dementia care recipients’ and family caregivers’ quality of life: a literature review

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesise the research literature on the quality of life (QoL) of both caregivers (CGs) and care recipients (CRs) with dementia after admission to long-term care facilities. Design/methodology/approach: Four databases – AgeLine, Medline, EBSCO, and PyscINFO – were searched and the relevant literature from 2002 onwards was reviewed. Findings: The review of 12 studies (five studies, including only family CGs; six studies including residents; one study including both family CGs and CRs) reveals a discrepancy regarding the effects of institutionalisation on the CRs’ and CGs’ QoL. Among seven studies on CRs’ QoL change, some reviewed studies found a significant decline in CRs’ QoL after placement with others showing that CRs’ QoL was improved or stable. While some reports indicated that some family CGs benefited from placement, others showed that CGs merely maintained their QoL. However, family CGs in the reviewed studies were more likely to report improved QoL than were their CRs after institutionalisation. Research limitations/implications: The authors recommend that future studies should focus on understanding the individual’s adaptation to placement, dyadic changes in QoL (including mediators/moderators). They emphasise the need for a comprehensive longitudinal study with more than one wave and includes diverse groups including racial/ethnic minority CGs and CRs. Originality/value: This study reviewed and synthesised the research literature on the QoL of both caregiver and the people with dementia they cared for after those they cared for were admitted to long-term care facilities. The conclusions drawn about influences on QoL provide guidance for identifying best practices and research.

Access source material through DOI

General and proximal associations between unpaid eldercare, time constraints and subjective well-being

Population ageing requires understanding the implications of eldercare. Using American Time Use Surveys, the authors find that caregivers spend less time on personal care and social activities/sports, and more time on housework, than individuals who do not provide any eldercare. They also report higher stress and lower happiness. In addition, caregivers may not provide care every day, but on days when they do, they also spend more time on housework and less on paid work, and report higher levels of sadness than on days when they do not provide care. Regular caregivers experience worse wellbeing than non-caregivers, but also experience additional strain on days when they provide care.

Access source material through DOI

Symptom burden and life challenges reported by adult chordoma patients and their caregivers

Purpose This study aims to characterize the symptom burden and life challenges that chordoma patients and their caregivers experience. Methods In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data from the Chordoma Foundation online community survey conducted in 2014. Frequency counts and percentages were calculated to determine the prevalence of self-reported symptoms and life challenges in the sample. We used Fisher's exact test to compare self-reported symptoms among subgroups with different disease status, tumor locations, and treatments received. Results Among the survey participants, 358 identified themselves as chordoma patients and 202 as caregivers. The majority of the patients were over 45 years (72%), male (56%), educated beyond high school degree (87%), and from North America (77%). Skull base was the most prevalent tumor location (40%). Chronic pain (35%) was the most commonly reported symptom followed by depression or severe anxiety (32%) and chronic fatigue (31%). Among patients, the most commonly reported challenges included delayed care (37%), long-term disability (33%), and confusion or unanswered questions about chordoma (28%). For caregivers, grief (55%), delayed diagnosis (47%), and difficulty helping the patient cope with his or her disease (45%) were most common. Conclusions Our study findings suggest a high symptom burden and life challenges among chordoma patients and their caregivers. This study provides preliminary, limited estimates of the prevalence of a wide range of self-reported symptoms and challenges that will inform the assessment of patient-reported outcomes in future clinical trials and help clinicians better manage chordoma patients' symptoms.

Access source material through DOI

Unmet Needs for Family Caregivers of Elderly People With Dementia Living in Italy: What Do We Know So Far and What Should We Do Next?

Care of the elderly with dementia represents one of the major challenges for the modern society worldwide. The burden of dementia care often falls on the family members, entailing heavy psychosocial and economic consequences. The aim of this study was to evaluate the caregiver's perspective concerning the support for disease management on behalf of the physicians and the local Sicilian administrations (Italy), and the burden of care and effects on their lifestyle, to propose new prevention strategies and service for managing dementia and caregiver's burden. Fifty-nine caregivers of Italian elderly people with dementia (mean age, 73; age range: 63-83) were interviewed, and 55 of them completed an ad hoc self-report questionnaire composed of 54 multiple-choice questions. Our findings suggest that caregivers need more information on the disease's management, as well as on how to deal with the stress due to the disease burden. Moreover, a negative perception about the services offered from the local administration emerged. Assistive technology (AT) could be useful in promoting interaction between general practitioners and specialized centers for diagnosis, pharmacological and psychosocial treatments, and in saving costs. Moreover, case manager could follow patients and support family members within the care pathway, besides collecting and sharing information among the different health professionals involved. Further studies should be aimed at investigating whether AT and/or the use of specific educational strategies could be the right approach for meeting the needs of families living with dementia.

Access source material through DOI

Predictors of quality of life and depression among Korean‐American cancer patients and their family caregivers

Objective This study examined social, cultural, and appraisal factors associated with Korean‐American cancer patients' and their family caregivers' quality of life (QOL) and depression. Methods Data were from Korean‐American cancer patients and their family caregivers (N = 60 dyads) living in the United States. Study aims were examined using descriptive statistics and multiple regression. Results For patients, higher social support and lower negative appraisal of illness predicted higher patient QOL; negative appraisal of illness also predicted higher patient depression. For caregivers, older age, having fewer traditional Korean values, and more modern (individualistic) values predicted higher caregiver QOL. Caregivers who held more modern values also had less depression. Conclusions Higher support and less negative appraisal predicted better QOL in patients. For caregivers however, the type of cultural values they held (tradition or modern) was a key factor that predicted level of QOL and depression. Assessment of support and appraisal as well as attention to cultural values may enhance their QOL and reduce depression.

Access source material through DOI

Suspended Life Pattern: A Qualitative Study on Personal Life Among Family Caregivers of Hemodialysis Patients in Iran

Purpose To determine the personal life of family caregivers of patients undergoing hemodialysis. Methodology In this qualitative study, individual semistructured interviews were carried out with 19 caregivers of hemodialysis patients. All interviews were recorded, typed, and imported into the Open Code Software. The Graneheim and Lundman's content analysis approach was used for the analysis. Findings The theme of this study was suspended life pattern that was extracted from two categories of “Imbalance between caregiving and life” and “ambiguity in life status.” The category of “Imbalance between caregiving and life” included some subcategories including compulsive compliance, suspension, and deferral of roles, conflicts between leisure time and caregiving and caregivers' time limits. Moreover, the category “ambiguity in life” was extracted from two subcategories of fear and hope and life satisfaction depending on care recipients' condition. Conclusion Caring for hemodialysis patients leads to instability and ambiguity in a caregiver's personal life. Therefore, authorities, policymakers, and health-care providers should pay more attention to support these people.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden among stroke caregivers: A longitudinal, observational multicentre study

Aim To longitudinally describe stroke caregivers’ quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden and to identify predictors of stroke caregivers’ quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden. Background Caregivers have a key role in stroke survivor care and the first year of caregiving is the most challenging. To give tailored interventions, it is important to capture changes and identify predictors of caregiver quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden during the first year. Design A 12‐month longitudinal study. Data were collected between June 2013–May 2016. Methods Changes in stroke caregiver quality of life, anxiety and depression and burden and their predictors were identified using linear mixed‐effects models. Results The caregivers (N = 244) were 53 years old and mostly female. Caregiver quality of life did not change significantly over the 12 months, anxiety and depression decreased up to 9 months and caregiver burden decreased from baseline to 3 months, then increased up to 9 months. Higher caregiver quality of life was predicted by caregiver younger age, higher education, living with a stroke survivor, survivor older age and higher physical functioning; higher anxiety and depression were predicted by older caregiver age and younger survivor age; higher burden was predicted by caregiver male gender, the caregiver not living with survivor and survivor lower physical functioning. Conclusion The first 9 months of caregiving are particularly problematic for caregivers. The trajectories of the above variables and their predictors may be useful for policy makers, clinicians, investigators and educators to give better care to stroke caregivers and their survivors.

Access source material through DOI

What would most help improve the quality of life of older family carers of people with dementia? A qualitative study of carers’ views

Older family carers of people with dementia provide a substantial amount of care for people with dementia in the UK. Caregiving can be stressful and burdensome for these individuals, who are also experiencing psychological and physical changes resulting from their own ageing process. However, little is known about what impacts their quality of life, how this can be improved and what we should prioritise. This brief report asks one simple question to older family carers of people living with dementia – “What would most help improve your quality of life as a carer?” Qualitative data were collected from 150 carers who completed an anonymous paper survey during the development and validation of a quality of life tool for use with this population (DQoL-OC). Participants were individuals aged 60 and over and were providing care for a family member with dementia at home in the UK. Carers were recruited from a variety of voluntary organizations, community-based carers’ groups, health services and via online forums. A thematic approach was used to analyse the carers’ comments and three main overarching themes were identified. The quality of life of older family carers can be enhanced by having more time away from caregiving, accessing health and social services that are dementia friendly and by having economic support. Future care, policies and research should aim to address these key areas in order to promote better quality of life for older carers of people with dementia. Further implications for practice, policy and research are discussed.

Access source material through DOI

Implementation of a multidisciplinary psychoeducational intervention for Parkinson's disease patients and carers in the community: study protocol

Background Parkinson’s disease progressively limits patients at different levels and as a result family members play a key role in their care. However, studies show lack of an integrative approach in Primary Care to respond to the difficulties and psychosocial changes experienced by them. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of a multidisciplinary psychoeducational intervention focusing on improving coping skills, the psychosocial adjustment to Parkinson’s disease and the quality of life in patients and family carers in a Primary Care setting. Methods This quasi-experimental study with control group and mixed methods was designed to evaluate a multidisciplinary psychoeducational intervention. Based on the study power calculations, 100 people with Parkinson’s disease and 100 family carers will be recruited and assigned to two groups. The intervention group will receive the ReNACE psychoeducational intervention. The control group will be given a general educational programme. The study will be carried out in six community-based health centres. The results obtained from the two groups will be collected for evaluation at three time points: at baseline, immediately after the intervention and at 6 months post-intervention. The results will be measured with these instruments: the Quality of Life Scale PDQ-39 for patients and the Scale of Quality of Life of Care-givers SQLC for family carers, and for all participants the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness scale and the Brief COPE Inventory. Focus groups will be organised with some patients and family carers who will have received the ReNACE psychoeducational intervention and also with the healthcare professionals involved in its development. Discussion An important gap exists in the knowledge and application of interventions with a psychosocial approach for people with PD and family carers as a whole. This study will promote this comprehensive approach in Primary Care, which will clearly contribute in the existing knowledge and could reduce the burden of PD for patients and family carers, and also in other long-term conditions. Trial registration NCT03129425 (ClinicalTrials.gov). Retrospectively registered on April 26, 2017.

Access source material through DOI

Needs and quality of life of people with middle-stage dementia and their family carers from the European Actifcare study. When informal care alone may not suffice

Objective: The Actifcare (Access to timely formal care) study investigated needs of people with dementia and their families during the phase in which formal care is being considered, and examined whether higher need levels are related to lower quality of life (QOL). Method: From eight European countries 451 people with dementia and their carers participated. Needs were measured with the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly. QOL was measured with the QOL-AD, and carer quality of life was measured with the CarerQol. The relationship between needs and QOL was analysed with multiple regression analyses. Results: Needs were expressed in the domains of psychological distress, daytime activities, company and information. People with dementia rated their unmet needs significantly lower than their carers: the mean number of self-rated unmet needs was 0.95, whereas the mean proxy ratings were 1.66. For met needs, the self-rated mean was 5.5 and was 8 when proxy-rated. The level of needs reported was negatively associated with QOL for both. Conclusion: The study results show that informal carers reported almost twice as many needs as people with dementia. The domains in which needs are expressed should be the primary focus for interventions to support   QOL. The perspectives of people with dementia are informative when identifying needs.

Access source material through DOI

Young-onset Alzheimer dementia: a comparison of Brazilian and Norwegian carers' experiences and needs for assistance

Objectives: Although dementia typically occurs in older people, it can also emerge in people aged younger than 65 years in the form of young‐onset dementia, the most common type of which is Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, few studies have examined the needs of persons with young‐onset AD (YO‐AD) and their families, and cross‐cultural research on the topic is even scarcer. In response, we investigated the situations, experiences and needs for assistance of carers of persons with YO‐AD in Brazil and Norway. Methods: As part of our qualitative study, we formed a convenience sample of Brazilian (n = 9; 7 women) and Norwegian carers (n = 11; 6 women) in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and analysed data in light of a modified version of grounded theory. Results: Carers' narratives from both countries revealed five common themes in terms of how YO‐AD affected carers' psychological and emotional well‐being, physical well‐being, professional and financial well‐being, social lives and need for support services. Conclusions: The infrequent differences between carers of persons with YO‐AD in Brazil and Norway indicate that carers' problems are highly similar regardless of cultural differences and public services provided. 

Access source material through DOI

Changes in Caregivers Lifestyle after Severe Acquired Brain Injury: A Preliminary Investigation

Introduction. Severe acquired brain injury (sABI) is considered the most common cause of death and disability worldwide. sABI patients are supported by their caregivers who often exhibit high rates of psychological distress, mood disorders, and changes in relationship dynamics and family roles. Objectives. To explore lifestyle changes of caregivers of sABI patients during the postacute rehabilitation, by investigating possible differences between primary and secondary caregivers. Primary caregivers spend most of the time with the patient, providing daily care and taking most responsibility for the day-to-day decisions, while secondary caregivers are those who provide additional support. Methods. Three hundred forty-seven caregivers of sABI patients were asked to fill in an unpublished self-report questionnaire to explore their possible lifestyles changes. Results. A statistically significant difference was found between primary and secondary caregivers in time spent in informal caregiving (p<0.001). The primary caregivers reduced all leisure activities compared to secondary carers (p<0.05). Conclusions. By comparing the percentage of leisure activities performed by caregivers beforeand after the patient’s sABI onset, all caregivers showed high percentages of changes in lifestyle and habits, even though primary caregivers reported more negative lifestyle changes than secondary caregivers. Further studies are needed to investigate needs and burden experienced by caregivers of sABI patients during the postacute rehabilitation phase, also in relation to the patients’ outcome, to address support interventions for them and improve their quality of life.

Access source material through DOI

Wife Caregiver Experiences In the Patient with Prostate Cancer at Home

This study explored the caregiving experiences of wives of patients with prostate cancer. Twenty wives revealed those older, educated, or married longer were less burdened by caregiving, but needed more information. Findings contribute new dimensions in caregiving for patients with prostate cancer and their wives.

Access source material through DOI

Core elements to understand and improve coping with Parkinson's disease in patients and family carers: A focus group study

 Aims: The aim of this study were: (1) To explore the meaning that coping with Parkinson's disease has for patients and family carers; (2) To suggest the components of an intervention focused on enhancing their coping with the disease. Background: Adapting to Parkinson's disease involves going through many difficult changes; however, it may improve quality of life in patients and family carers. One of the key aspects for facilitating the psychosocial adjustment to Parkinson's disease is the strengthening of coping skills. Design: A sequential explanatory mixed methods study was carried out. Findings from the qualitative phase are presented. Methods: Data were collected in May 2014 through three focus groups: one of people with Parkinson's disease (n = 9), one of family carers (n = 7) and one of healthcare professionals (n = 5). All focus groups were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim and content analysis was independently carried out by two researchers. Findings: The participants coincided in highlighting that coping with Parkinson's disease helped the patient and the family carer in their search for balance; and it implied a transformation in their lives. To aid the process of coping with Parkinson's disease, a  multifaceted intervention is proposed. Conclusion: Coping with Parkinson's disease is a complex process for both patients and family carers and it should therefore be considered a standard service in healthcare policies aimed at this group. The proposed intervention constitutes a nursing tool which has great potential to improve the quality of life in Parkinson's disease and in other long‐term conditions.

Access source material through DOI

Variances in family carers' quality of life based on selected relationship and caregiving indicators: A quantitative secondary analysis

Aims and objectives: To determine subgroups of family carers based on family relational and caregiving variables and to explore group differences in relation to selected carer outcomes. Background: Family caregiving in later life holds a myriad of positive and negative outcomes for family members' well‐being. However, factors that constitute family carers' experience and explain variances are less well understood. Design: A secondary data analysis using cross‐sectional data from a controlled randomised trial with community‐dwelling people 80 years or older and their families. Methods: A total of 277 paired data sets of older persons and their family carers were included into the analysis. Data were collected via mailed questionnaires and a geriatric nursing assessment. A two‐step cluster analysis was performed to determine subgroups. To discern group differences, appropriate tests for differences with Bonferroni correction were used. Results: Two family carer groups were identified. The low‐intensity caregiver group (57% of carers) reported high relationship quality and self‐perceived ease of caregiving. In contrast, the high‐intensity caregiver group (43% of carers) experienced significantly lower relationship quality, felt less prepared and appraised caregiving as more difficult, time intensive and burdensome. The latter cared for older, frailer and more dependent octogenarians and had significantly lower levels of quality of life and self‐perceived health compared to the low‐intensity caregiver group. Conclusions: A combination of family relational and caregiving variables differentiates those at risk for adverse outcomes. Family carers of frailer older people tend to experience higher strain, lower relationship quality and ability to work together as a family. Implications for practice: Nurses should explicitly assess family carer needs, in particular when older persons are frail. Family carer support interventions should address caregiving preparedness, demand and burden, as well as concerns situated in the relationship.

Access source material through DOI

If they are OK, we are OK: the experience of partners living with neuromyelitis optica

Aim: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a rare neuro-inflammatory condition characterized by acute relapses causing severe visual or physical disability. The impact on family members and their experiences have not been studied. The study aims were to explore the lived experience of partners of people with NMO and to investigate potential carer burden in this population. Method: A mixed-method design was used; 11 partners of people with NMO completed semi-structured interviews; 54 partners completed Zarit Burden Interview and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results: Three qualitative themes influenced partners’ quality of life (QoL): role/relationship; it’s all about them; and the impact of NMO. Life changed dramatically for participants after the first NMO attack, necessitating responsibility for physical, financial, social, and emotional support. As NMO symptoms improved and stabilized, freedom and QoL for spouses also improved, albeit with on-going worries regarding the impact of potential devastating future relapses. Quantitative findings showed mild/moderate carer burden (46%), mild/moderate anxiety (59%), and mild/moderate depression (24%). No partner indicated severe carer burden, anxiety, or depression. Conclusion: Participants regarded themselves as partners rather than carers whom require assessment and support for their emotional and health well-being. Health-care professionals need to acknowledge the important role partners play in the dynamics of the family unit, through greater discussion and inclusion. 

Implications for Rehabilitation

  • NMO has a strong impact on couples, resulting in both physical caregiving needs and anxiety regarding the unpredictability of potential devastating relapses.
  • Partners do not necessarily experience clinically significant “burden”, anxiety or depression, and tools which screen for this may not capture the nature of their experiences.
  • Health-care professionals need to acknowledge, consult, and respect the experience of partners during assessment and implementation of action plans.
  • Partners should be individually assessed based upon the physical and emotional dependency created by NMO to improve their health and well-being.
Access source material through DOI

The nutrition and food-related roles, experiences and support needs of female family carers of malnourished older rehabilitation patients

Background: To improve perceived value of nutrition support and patient outcomes, the present study aimed to determine the nutrition and food‐related roles, experiences and support needs of female family carers of community‐dwelling malnourished older adults admitted to rehabilitation units in rural New South Wales, Australia, both during admission and following discharge. Methods: Four female family carers of malnourished rehabilitation patients aged ≥65 years were interviewed during their care‐recipients’ rehabilitation admission and again at 2 weeks post‐discharge. The semi‐structured interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed reflecting an interpretative phenomenological approach by three researchers. A series of ‘drivers’ relevant to the research question were agreed upon and discussed. Results: Three drivers were identified. ‘Responsibility’ was related to the agency who assumed responsibility for providing nutrition support and understanding family carer obligation to provide nutrition support. ‘Family carer nutrition ethos’ was related to how carer nutrition beliefs, knowledge and values impacted the nutrition support they provided, the high self‐efficacy of family carers and an incongruence with an evidence‐based approach for treating malnutrition. ‘Quality of life’ was related to the carers’ focus upon quality of life as a nutrition strategy and outcome for their care‐recipients, as well as how nutrition support impacted upon carer burden. Conclusions: Rehabilitation units and rehabilitation dietitians should recognise and support family carers of malnourished patients, which may ultimately lead to an improved perceived benefit of care and patient outcomes. Intervention research is required to make strong recommendations for practice.

Access source material through DOI

P77 Levels of psychological distress and predictors of distress in family carers of patients with cancer at end of life

Background Family carers provide substantial support for patients at end-of-life. It is important to understand how caregiving impacts on carers to guide appropriate interventions to improve carer wellbeing.  The aims of this study were to investigate levels of psychological distress and predictors of distress during end of life care giving in a national sample of family carers of people with cancer. Methods Four-month post-bereavement postal survey of a national census sample of relatives reporting a death from cancer 1–16th May 2015. Retrospective data collected included carer demographics, carers’ psychological distress (GHQ-12), care giving hours and tasks, out of pocket expenses, support from informal and formal care, other demands on carers’ time (work, other caregiving responsibilities, voluntary work), opportunities for respite, patient symptoms and activities of daily living (ADL). Exploratory univariate analyses were used to describe the data and inform multivariate analysis. Results Surveys were completed by 1504 (28.5%) of 5271 carers. Carers’ median GHQ distress score was 7 (IQR 4–9), where a score>=4 indicates ‘caseness’ for psychological distress. Univariate analysis results at p<0.05 indicate that increased hours of caregiving, other caring responsibilities and the patient‘s worsening symptoms and reduced ADL increased distress. Formal support, hours of volunteering and respite were associated with reduced distress. Carer age, sex, work situation and level of deprivation also related to distress. Multivariate analysis indicates that the total hours of care giving, patients’ psychological symptoms and the carer being female was related to increased distress, whilst formal service provision was related to reduced distress. The final model explained 19% of variance in distress. Conclusion A considerable majority of family carers suffer clinically significant levels of psychological distress during end of life care giving. Objective care burden in the form of total hours of caregiving is associated with increased distress. Being female and caring for a patient with psychological symptoms appears to increase distress, whereas support from formal care services can ameliorate distress. Whilst the final model explains a modest amount of variance in carer distress, it indicates that reduction in objective care burden and support from services can have an important, positive impact.

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life, Stigma and Burden Perception Among Family Caregivers and Patients with Psychiatric Illnesses in Jordan

The literature reported several factors which could impact the quality of life of caregivers and patients with psychiatric illnesses. This study aimed to determine the level of quality of life among a sample of 532 of caregivers and patients with psychiatric illness at two out-patient mental health clinics in Northern Jordan, and to examine the relationships of sociodemographic characteristics, stigma and caregiver perceptions of burden with quality of life. A correlational descriptive design was utilized. Three self-administered questionnaires were used. Results indicated that patients had low to moderate QOL, and they suffered moderate to high stigma. Also, family caregivers perceived low to moderate QOL. Patients' and family caregivers' stigma perception correlated negatively and significantly with WHOQOL-BREF. Family caregivers' burden correlated negatively and significantly with all domains of WHOQOL-BREF, total QOL-100, and self-reported general health. Health care providers should assure the importance of focusing more toward minimizing stigma and promoting physical and general health to maintain a good quality of life of caregivers and patients with mental illnesses.

Access source material through DOI

Care-related Quality of Life of informal caregivers of the elderly after a hip fracture

Background: Reforms in the Dutch healthcare system in combination with the aging of the population will lead to a strong increase in the demand for informal care in the Netherlands. A hip fracture is one of the most important causes of hospital admissions among frail elderly and informal caregivers experience stress that may have significantly negative impact on the caregivers’ Quality of Life. The purpose of the study was to determine the nature, intensity and the care-related Quality of Life (CarerQoL) of informal caregivers of elderly patients in the first six months after a hip fracture. In this cross-sectional study, were interviewed the primary informal caregivers of patients with a hip fracture about the informal care provided after one, three or six months following the injury. The CarerQoL of the informal caregivers was measured with the CarerQoL-7D instrument. Results: In total, 123 primary informal caregivers were included. The CarerQoL-7D score was on average 83.7 (SD 15.0) after one, three and six months, and there were no major differences between the measurement time points. The average amount of informal care provided per patient per week was 39.5 during the first six months. Partners of patients with a hip fracture provided significantly more hours of informal care (β 34.0; 95% CI: 20.9 – 47.1). Female informal caregivers stated a significantly lower level of CarerQoL (β -7.8; 95% CI: -13.3 – -2.3). Female caregivers were 3.0 times more likely to experience relational problems (aOR 3.02; 95% CI 1.08-8.43). Caregivers provided care at 6 months were associated with physical health problems (aOR 2.54; 95% CI 1.05-6.14). Conclusions: Informal caregivers, especially partners, are faced with providing care of greater intensity to elderly patients during the first six months after a hip fracture. The CarerQoL was not associated with the intensity of the provided informal care. However, this study shows that a considerable group of informal caregivers for elderly patients with a hip fracture experienced relational, physical and mental health problems that stemmed from providing intensive informal care during the first six months.

Access source material through DOI

Views on the Effects of the Spanish Dependency Law on Caregivers’ Quality of Life Using Concept Mapping

In 2006 the Spanish Dependency Law established new rights for people in situation of dependency. The impact of the Law could have also affected the quality of life of their carers. This study aims to understand how the Law may have influenced caregivers’ quality of life through their own perceptions and those of Primary Health Care professionals, and to compare both perspectives. The study used Concept Mapping, a mixed methods technique. In total, 16 caregivers and 21 professionals participated. Both groups identified a mix of positive and negative effects. Uncertainties and delays in granting benefits were reported. However, several advantages were identified, such as the possibility of sharing the burden of care, thus reducing its physical, mental and social consequences, while at the same time being able to maintain responsibility. Most of the mechanisms identified were common to both caregivers and professionals the most notable differences were that the latter attached more importance to economic support and less to the negative effects of implementation of the Law. This study reveals positive effects of the Law on caregivers’ quality of life and the potential for improvement of some negative aspects in its implementation related with the context of austerity. 

Access source material through DOI

How useful is the EQ-5D in assessing the impact of caring for people with Alzheimer's disease?

Background: The impact on informal caregivers of caring for people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia can be substantial, but it remains unclear which measures(s) best assess such impact. Our objective was to use data from the GERAS study to assess the ability of the EuroQol 5-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D) to measure the impact on caregivers of caring for people with AD dementia and to examine correlations between EQ-5D and caregiver burden. Methods: GERAS was a prospective, non-interventional cohort study in community-dwelling patients with AD dementia and their informal caregivers. The EQ-5D and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) were used to measure health-related quality of life and caregiver burden, respectively. Resource-use data collected included caregiver time spent with the patient on activities of daily living (ADL). Spearman correlations were computed between EQ-5D scores, ZBI scores, and time spent on instrumental ADL (T-IADL) at baseline, 18 months, and for 18-month change scores. T-IADL and ZBI change scores were summarized by EQ-5D domain change category (better/stable/worse). Results: At baseline, 1495 caregivers had mean EQ-5D index scores of 0.86, 0.85, and 0.82, and ZBI total scores of 24.6, 29.4, and 34.1 for patients with mild, moderate, and moderately severe/severe AD dementia, respectively. Change in T-IADL showed a stronger correlation with change in ZBI (0.12; P < 0.001) than with change in EQ-5D index score (0.02; P = 0.546) although both correlations were very weak. Worsening within EQ-5D domains was associated with increases in ZBI scores, although 68%–90% of caregivers remained stable within each EQ-5D domain. There was no clear pattern for change in T-IADL by change in EQ-5D domain. Conclusions: EQ-5D may not be the optimum measure of the impact of caring for people with AD dementia due to its focus on physical health. Alternative measures need further investigation.

Access source material through DOI

Stroke survivors' long-term QALY-weights in relation to their spouses' QALY-weights and informal support: a cross-sectional study

Background: Healthcare interventions that have positive effects on the stroke survivors’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) might also have positive effects for their spouses in terms of improved HRQoL and/or reduced spousal informal support. However, knowledge about stroke survivors’ HRQoL and QALY and the consequences for their spouses’ HRQoL and QALY is limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the HRQoL and QALY-weights in dyads of stroke survivors in comparison with dyads of healthy controls, and to study the relationship between the stroke survivors’ QALY-weights and consequences for spouses in terms of QALY-weight and annual cost of informal support, using a long-term perspective.

Methods: Data on stroke survivors, controls, and spouses were collected from the seven-year follow-up of the Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke (SAHLSIS). HRQoL was assessed by the SF-36, and the preference-based health state values were assessed with the SF-6D. The magnitude of the support was assessed with a study specific time-diary. An ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used to estimate the association between stroke survivors’ and spouses’ QALY-weights. A two-part econometric model was used to estimate the association between stroke survivors’ QALY-weights and the time spent and cost of spouses’ informal support.

Results: Cohabitant dyads of 248 stroke survivors’ aged <70 at stroke onset and 245 controls were included in the study. Stroke survivors had lower HRQoL in the SF-36 domains physical functioning, physical role, general health, vitality (P < 0.001), and social functioning (P = 0.005) in comparison with their cohabitant spouses. There was no significant difference in HRQoL for the dyads of controls. The results from the regression analyses showed that lower QALY-weights of the stroke survivors were associated with lower QALY-weights of their spouses and increased annual cost of spousal informal support.

Conclusion: Our results show that the QALY-weights for stroke survivors had consequences for their spouses in terms of annual cost of spousal informal support and QALY-weights. Hence, economic evaluation of interventions that improve the HRQoL of the stroke survivors but ignore the consequences for their spouses may underestimate the value of the intervention.

Access source material through DOI

Relationship between caregiving burden and depression in caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities in Korea

Background: Individuals with intellectual disabilities (IWID) need intensive long-term care. Consequently, caregivers experience not only economic burdens but also tension, depression, insecurity, etc. Aim: This study aimed to provide basic data and materials for preparing policy alternatives to improve caregiver quality of life of by examining relationships between IWID caregiving burden and depression. Methods: This study involved secondary analysis of data from the 2011 Survey on the Actual Conditions of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea. Effects of caregivers’ characteristics, caregiving time and cost, and perceptions of time and cost, on depression were analyzed. Results: All components of caregiving burden and depression were significantly higher in the 1st grade, designating the most severe disabilities. Overall, caregiving burden tended to be higher in female caregivers, the unemployed, parents, co-residents, and people with health problems. Caregivers’ characteristics such as spouse relationship, having health problems, and perception of caregiving time and cost were associated with depression. Conclusion: Caregiving burden and depression vary depending on the characteristics of IWID and their caregivers. Services for decreasing caregiving burden may be optimized by focusing on these characteristics.

Access source material through DOI

The impact of spinal cord injury on the quality of life of primary family caregivers: a literature review

STUDY DESIGN: Literature review. OBJECTIVES: To provide a detailed review of the literature regarding the impact of spinal cord injury (SCI) on the quality of life (QOL) of family members who have become the primary caregiver and to highlight potential interventions available.METHODS: Appropriate databases were searched for relevant peer-reviewed studies. Twenty-five studies (four qualitative and 21 quantitative) were identified which investigated the role that family members play in caring for people with SCI and the impact it has on their QOL. RESULTS: Depression, anxiety, physical symptoms and reduced satisfaction with life in primary family caregivers of patients with SCI were commonly reported across the literature. Isolation, loss of identity and role changes were also regularly reported as negative outcomes of caregiving for someone with an SCI. A range of interventions (including family training, problem-solving training and support groups) have been shown to have benefits for family caregivers' QOL. CONCLUSION: SCI impacts significantly on the QOL of family caregivers, with major implications for physical, mental and social aspects of caregiver health. This review highlights that these important issues are problematic internationally and may persist over several decades. The need for focused interventions to support family caregivers of spinal cord injured persons, with particular emphasis on increasing patient/family education and access to support groups, is recommended.

Access source material through DOI

Social/economic costs and health-related quality of life in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in Spain

Background: The aim of this study was to determine the economic burden and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and their caregivers in Spain. Methods: This was a cross-sectional and retrospective study of patients diagnosed with SMA in Spain. We adopted a bottom up, prevalence approach design to study patients with SMA. The patient’s caregivers completed an anonymous questionnaire regarding their socio-demographic characteristics, use of healthcare services and non-healthcare services. Costs were estimated from a societal perspective (including healthcare costs and non-healthcare costs), and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was assessed using the EQ-5D questionnaire. The main caregivers also answered a questionnaire on their characteristics and on their HRQOL. Results: A total of 81 caregivers of patients with different subtypes of SMA completed the questionnaire. Based on the reference unitary prices for 2014, the average annual costs per patient were € 33,721. Direct healthcare costs were € 10,882 (representing around 32.3% of the total cost) and the direct non-healthcare costs were € 22,839 (67.7% of the total cost). The mean EQ-5D social tariff score for patients was 0.16, and the mean score of the EQ-5D visual analogue scale was 54. The mean EQ-5D social tariff score for caregivers was 0.49 and their mean score on the EQ-5D visual analogue scale was 69. Conclusion: The results highlight the burden that SMA has in terms of costs and decreased HRQOL, not only for patients but also for their caregivers. In particular, the substantial social/economic burden is mostly attributable to the high direct non-healthcare costs.

Access source material through DOI

Mindfulness training for psychological stress in family caregivers of persons with dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Caring for a relative with dementia is extremely challenging; conventional interventions may not be highly effective or easily available on some occasions. This study aimed to explore the efficacy of mindfulness training in improving stress-related outcomes in family caregivers of people with dementia using a meta-analytic review. We searched randomized controlled trials (RCT) through April 2017 from five electronic databases, and assessed the risk of bias using the Cochrane Collaboration tool. Seven RCTs were included in our review. Mindfulness interventions showed significant effects of improvement in depression (standardized mean difference: -0.58, [95% CI: -0.79 to -0.37]), perceived stress (-0.33, [-0.57 to -0.10]), and mental health-related quality of life (0.38 [0.14 to 0.63]) at 8 weeks post-treatment. Pooled evidence did not show a significant advantage of mindfulness training compared with control conditions in the alleviation of caregiver burden or anxiety. Future large-scale and rigorously designed trials are needed to confirm our findings. Clinicians may consider the mindfulness program as a promising alternative to conventional interventions.

Access source material through DOI

Effects of stress appraisal on the quality of life of adult patients with multiple myeloma and their primary family caregivers in Korea

Background: Modern treatment for multiple myeloma (MM) has improved disease control and prolonged survival; thus, maintenance of quality of life (QoL) is considered a great concern for MM patients and their caregivers. The purpose of this study was to identify dyadic associations between stress appraisal and the QoL of patients with MM and their caregivers in Korea. Methods: A total of 102 MM patient‐caregiver dyads participated in this study. They independently reported their stress appraisal and QoL. The study was guided by a transactional model of stress and coping, and analyzed by using the actor‐partner interdependence model. Results: The results revealed good data adjustment with acceptable indices: χ2 = 6.211 (df = 6), CFI = 0.999, TLI = 0.994, RMSEA = 0.019, and SRMR = 0.043. MM patients' QoL were significantly correlated with caregivers' QoL. The stress appraisals of patients and caregivers mutually influenced each other's QoL. The patients' illness perception and the caregivers' burden were strong predictors for their QoL. The self‐efficacy of patients and caregivers was also associated with their QoL. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the way patients and caregivers perceive and respond to stress plays a significant role in their QoL during the treatment experience. Interventions designed to reconstruct negative perspectives and improve self‐efficacy may help both patients and caregivers to improve their QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Influence of personality on depression, burden, and health-related quality of life in family caregivers of persons with dementia

Background: Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression. Methods: Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined. Results: Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL. Conclusions: Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver profiles in dementia related to quality of life, depression and perseverance time in the European Actifcare study: the importance of social health

Objectives: To identify caregiver profiles of persons with mild to moderate dementia and to investigate differences between identified caregiver profiles, using baseline data of the international prospective cohort study Actifcare. 

Methods: A latent class analysis was used to discover different caregiver profiles based on disease related characteristics of 453 persons with dementia and their 453 informal caregivers. These profiles were compared with regard to quality of life (CarerQoL score), depressive symptoms (HADS-D score) and perseverance time. 

Results: A 5-class model was identified, with the best Bayesian Information Criterion value, significant likelihood ratio test (p < 0.001), high entropy score (0.88) and substantive interpretability. The classes could be differentiated on two axes: (i) caregivers' age, relationship with persons with dementia, severity of dementia, and (ii) tendency towards stress and difficulty adapting to stress. Classes showed significant differences with all dependent variables, and were labelled ‘older low strain’, ‘older intermediate strain’, ‘older high strain’, ‘younger low strain’ and ‘younger high strain’. 

Conclusion: Differences exist between types of caregivers that explain variability in quality of life, depressive symptoms and perseverance time. Our findings may give direction for tailored interventions for caregivers of persons with dementia, which may improve social health and reduce health care costs.

Access source material through DOI

Measuring Care-Related Quality of Life of Caregivers for Use in Economic Evaluations: CarerQol Tariffs for Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US

Background: Informal care is often not included in economic evaluations in healthcare, while the impact of caregiving can be relevant for cost-effectiveness recommendations from a societal perspective. The impact of informal care can be measured and valued with the CarerQol instrument, which measures the impact of informal care on seven important burden dimensions (CarerQol-7D) and values this in terms of general quality of life (CarerQol-VAS). The CarerQol can be included at the effect side of multi-criteria analyses of patient interventions or in cost-effectiveness or utility analysis of interventions targeted at caregivers. Objective: At present, utility scores based on relative utility weights for the CarerQol-7D are only available for the Netherlands. This study calculates CarerQol-7D tariffs for Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US. Methods: Data were collected among the general population in Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US by an Internet survey. Utility weights were collected with a discrete choice experiment with two unlabeled alternatives described in terms of the seven CarerQol-7D dimensions. An efficient experimental design with priors obtained from the Netherlands was used to create the choice sets. Data was analyzed with a panel mixed multinomial logit model with random parameters. Results: In all five countries, the CarerQol-7D dimensions were significantly associated with the utility of informal care situations. Physical health problems were most strongly associated with the utility for informal care situations. The tariff was constructed by adding up the relative utility weights per category of all CarerQol-7D dimensions for each country separately. Conclusion: The CarerQol tariffs for Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US facilitate the inclusion of informal care in economic evaluations.

Access source material through DOI

The role of flexible goal adjustment in the effect of informal caregiving on depressive symptoms: Evidence of a large population-based longitudinal study in Germany from 2002 to 2011

Objectives: To determine the role of flexible goal adjustment in the impact of informal caregiving on depressive symptoms, using a longitudinal approach. Method: Data were gathered from the German Ageing Survey. This is a population-based longitudinal study among community-dwelling individuals aged 40 and above in Germany. Data were derived from the second (2002), third (2008) and fourth (2011) wave, drawing on 10,994 observations. Flexible goal adjustment was assessed using a scale by Brandstädter and Renner. Informal caregiving was measured by asking the individuals whether they provide informal care. Depressive symptoms were quantified by using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. Results: Adjusting for several potential confounders, fixed effects regressions showed that the onset of informal caregiving markedly increased depressive symptoms. Furthermore, regressions revealed that this effect was significantly moderated by flexible goal adjustment. Discussion: Our results highlight the importance of informal caregiving for depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the importance of flexible goal adjustment in the relation between informal caregiving and depressive symptoms should be emphasized. Efforts to increase flexible goal adjustment might be beneficial in reducing depressive symptoms among informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

A Systematic Review of Psychosocial Interventions to Cancer Caregivers

Objective: To systematically review the effect of psychosocial interventions on improving QoL, depression and anxiety of cancer caregivers. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of psychosocial interventions among adult cancer caregivers published from 2011 to 2016. PsycINFO, PubMed, Proquest, Cochrane Library, Embase, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and EBSCO, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and WANFANG were searched. Inclusion criteria were: randomized controlled trails (RCTs); psychosocial intervention to cancer caregivers; psychosocial health indicators including quality of life, depression or anxiety. Results: 21 studies out of 4,666 identified abstracts met inclusion criteria, including 19 RCTs. The intervention modes fell into the following nine categories: family connect intervention, self-determination theory-based intervention (SDT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), emotion-focused therapy (EFT), comprehensive health enhancement support system (CHESS), FOCUS programme, existential behavioral therapy (EBT), telephone interpersonal counseling (TIP-C), problem-solving intervention (COPE). Conclusion: paired-intervention targeting self-care and interpersonal connections of caregivers and symptom management of patients is effective in improving quality of life and alleviating depression of cancer caregivers while music therapy is helpful for reducing anxiety of cancer caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with the quality of life of family carers of people with dementia: A systematic review

Introduction Family carers of people with dementia are their most important support in practical, personal, and economic terms. Carers are vital to maintaining the quality of life (QOL) of people with dementia. This review aims to identify factors related to the QOL of family carers of people with dementia. Methods Searches on terms including “carers,” “dementia,” “family,” and “quality of life” in research databases. Findings were synthesized inductively, grouping factors associated with carer QOL into themes. Results A total of 909 abstracts were identified. Following screening, lateral searches, and quality appraisal, 41 studies (n = 5539) were included for synthesis. A total of 10 themes were identified: demographics; carer–patient relationship; dementia characteristics; demands of caring; carer health; carer emotional well-being; support received; carer independence; carer self-efficacy; and future. Discussion The quality and level of evidence supporting each theme varied. We need further research on what factors predict carer QOL in dementia and how to measure it. 

Access source material through DOI

Effect of caregiving relationship and formal long-term care service use on caregiver well-being

Aim: Despite efforts to revise the traditional long‐term care (LTC) model, informal caregivers continue to provide a substantial amount of support to older adults as front‐line care providers. The present study aimed to understand the effect of informal caregiving on caregivers’ well‐being in Singapore with respect to different types of patient–caregiver relationships. Second, this study examined the association between formal LTC service use and caregivers’ well‐being. Methods: Two waves of data for 781 dyads of patients with LTC needs and their caregivers from a longitudinal study were analyzed. Multilevel regression models were used to examine the association between caregivers’ well‐being (self‐rated general health, stress level and quality of life) and LTC service use among different patient–caregiver relationships. Results: Spousal caregivers reported significantly lower quality of life compared with adult children caregivers. Non‐immediate family caregivers showed better overall well‐being compared with spouse and adult children caregivers. Caregivers of patients referred to nursing homes reported higher levels of stress and poorer self‐rated general health compared with caregivers of patients referred to community‐based services. Spouse and non‐immediate family caregivers of patients who utilized nursing home or home‐based services presented poorer self‐rated general health than caregivers of the patients who did not use any formal services. Conclusions: Developing a better understanding of the associations between well‐being and formal LTC service use for different types of patient–caregiver relationships is critical for policy makers and healthcare providers who aim to create holistic systems of care. 

Access source material through DOI

The effectiveness of creating an online life story book on persons with early dementia and their informal caregivers: a protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Background: Dementia has a high burden for patients, informal caregivers and society. Given changes in care systems, more persons with dementia will live longer at home. However, living at home (with dementia) with a good quality of life is not easy to achieve. Dementia is often accompanied by neuropsychiatric symptoms like apathy, agitation, depression, and anxiety, which have a negative impact on quality of life. Whereas cognitive deterioration can hardly be influenced, it is possible to reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms. As autobiographical memories remain intact for a relatively long time in dementia, reminiscence interventions can promote feelings of pleasure and trust. The Online Life Story Book (OLSB) allows to digitally share memories (stories, pictures, video or audio fragments). The main objective is to study the effects of the OLSB on neuropsychiatric symptoms. The study has four secondary objectives: 1) to study the effectiveness of the intervention on the burden and quality of life of the primary informal caregiver 2) to provide a preliminary health-economic evaluation 3) to study the (time to) nursing home admittance as a longer term effect 4) to provide a process evaluation. Methods and design: A randomized controlled trial with individual randomization to one of two conditions is conducted: 1) intervention “Online Life Story Book”; 2) control condition (care as usual). Participants are persons with early dementia and their primary caregivers. In the intervention OLSB, a trained volunteer guides the participants through the process of putting together a timeline of their lives during 5 meetings within a period of 8-10 weeks. To assess the effects of the intervention on the primary outcome, neuropsychiatric symptoms, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) will be assessed at three time points: before the intervention (baseline, T0), 3 months (T1) and 6 months (T2) post baseline.Discussion: When proven effective, the Online Life Story Book can be a valuable addition to the existing provision of care for persons with dementia and their informal caregivers. Trial registration: This study has been approved by the Twente Medical Ethics Committee under the file number p16-04 (Dutch Trial Register: NTR5939, date of registration: 14 March 2016).

Access source material through DOI

Family caregiving for persons with heart failure at the intersection of heart failure and palliative care: a state-of-the-science review

Many of the 23 million individuals with heart failure (HF) worldwide receive daily, unpaid support from a family member or friend. Although HF and palliative care practice guidelines stipulate that support be provided to family caregivers, the evidence base to guide care for this population has not been comprehensively assessed. In order to appraise the state-of-the-science of HF family caregiving and recommend areas for future research, the aims of this review were to summarize (1) how caregivers influence patients, (2) the consequences of HF for caregivers, and (3) interventions directed at HF caregivers. We reviewed all literature to December 2015 in PubMed and CINAHL using the search terms “heart failure” AND “caregiver.” Inclusion criteria dictated that studies report original research of HF family caregiving. Articles focused on children or instrument development or aggregated HF with other illnesses were excluded. We identified 120 studies, representing 5700 caregivers. Research on this population indicates that (1) caregiving situations vary widely with equally wide-ranging tasks for patients to help facilitate their health behaviors, psychological health and relationships, and quality of life (QoL); (2) caregivers have numerous unmet needs that fluctuate with patients’ unpredictable medical status, are felt to be ignored by the formal healthcare system, and can lead to distress, burden, and reduced QoL; and (3) relatively few interventions have been developed and tested that effectively support HF family caregivers. We provide recommendations to progress the science forward in each of these areas that moves beyond descriptive work to intervention development and clinical trials testing.

Access source material through DOI

Health-related quality of life in Spanish informal caregivers: gender differences and support received

PURPOSE: We analyzed gender differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and associated factors between informal male and female caregivers in Spain. It is important because of growing rates of dependent people and dwindling public resources. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 610 informal caregivers (265 male and 345 female) using an ad hoc structured questionnaire. We performed a descriptive analysis and used multivariate logistic regression to analyze the risk of poor HRQoL, measured with the EQ-5D-5L, according to caregiver sex, sociodemographic characteristics of caregivers and dependents, caregiving circumstances, and support received. RESULTS: Male caregivers were older than women were, and cared more often for their partners. More women used family caregiving allowance (FCA), respite care services, and counseling services, while more men used paid help, home help, and other forms of instrumental help. Women had worse HRQoL than men, particularly in the pain/discomfort dimension. In addition to older age and poor previous health, caring for a partner (OR = 2.379), for a person with major dependence (OR = 1.917), low social class (OR = 1.634), and low social support (OR = 2.311) were factors associated with poor HRQoL. Receiving FCA was associated with better HRQoL (OR = 0.319). Controlling for all these variables, women had 131% more odds than men to have poor HRQoL. CONCLUSIONS: Male and female caregivers in Spain differ in received support and how their HRQoL is affected. These differences are important to design interventions to promote more equitable sharing of care responsibilities and better caregiver health.

Access source material through DOI

Effectiveness of an online social support intervention for caregivers of people with dementia: the study protocol of a randomised controlled trial

Caregivers of people with dementia (PwD) face burden, feelings of loneliness, and social isolation. Previous studies have shown promising effects of online e-health interventions. Using social media may facilitate support for dementia caregiver networks. In an iterative step-wise approach, a social support tool entitled "Inlife" was developed. This paper describes the design of a study evaluating the effects of Inlife and its process characteristics. Methods: A mixed-method, randomised controlled trial with 122 caregivers of PwD will be conducted. Participants will be assigned to either the Inlife social support intervention or a waiting-list control group. After 16 weeks, the control group will obtain access to the Inlife environment. Data will be collected at baseline (T0) and at 8-week (T1), 16-week (T2) and 42-week follow up (T3). The 16-week follow-up assessment (T2) is the primary endpoint to evaluate the results on the primary and secondary outcomes, measured by self-reported questionnaires. The primary outcomes include feelings of caregiver competence and perceived social support. The secondary outcomes include received support, feelings of loneliness, psychological complaints (e.g., anxiety, stress), and quality of life. A process evaluation, including semi-structured interviews, will be conducted to examine the internal and external validity of the intervention. Discussion: Using a mixed-method design, our study will provide valuable insights into the usability, effectiveness, and factors related to implementation of the Inlife intervention. Our study results will indicate whether Inlife could be a valuable social support resource in future routine dementia care. Trial registration: Dutch trial register, NTR6131. Registered on 20 October 2016.

Access source material through DOI

Independence and cognition post-stroke and its relationship to burden and quality of life of family caregivers

Background: Stroke is a chronic disease responsible for changes in the functional capacity of the patients. Patient care is usually provided by family caregivers, but with great burden and negative impact on their quality of life.

Objectives: (1) To investigate whether a correlation existed between the levels of independence and cognition in stroke patients and the burden and quality of life of their caregivers; (2) to assess whether periods of injury, rehabilitation and care, and age of the stroke patients interfered with these correlations.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional and correlational study that included 60 participants, of which 30 were post-stroke patients and 30 were their caregivers. The data collection instruments were the Mini Mental State Examination and the Functional Independence Measure for the post-stroke participants, and the Zarit Burden Interview Scale and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF, for the caregivers. The Pearson’s product-moment correlation was used for the data analysis.

Results: Independence and cognition showed no correlation with the burden and quality of life of the caregivers. We identified a strong positive correlation between independence and cognition (r = 0.882), and a moderate negative correlation between independence and rehabilitation period (r = −0.398) and between burden and quality of life of the caregivers (r = −0.414). Conclusions: Our data suggest the need for health interventions aimed not only at stroke patients, but also at their family caregivers, given the association between the burden and the low levels of quality of life of the caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregivers experience of supplemental oxygen in pulmonary fibrosis

Background Patients prescribed supplemental oxygen (O2) therapy face challenges as they adjust to being constantly “tethered” to an oxygen delivery device. Informal caregivers (ICs) of patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) face their own, often overlooked hardships when O2 is brought into their home and added to their lives. Our aim was to understand the multiple effects of supplemental oxygen therapy on ICs of patients with PF. Methods We conducted single, semi-structured telephone interviews with twenty ICs of patients with PF who were using O2 for at least 8 months. We performed a qualitative, content analysis based in grounded theory to examine data across subjects. Results ICs initially reacted to O2 with trepidation and sadness as they came to recognize the changes it would cause in the lives of their patient-loved one (PLO). ICs recognized both beneficial and negative effects of O2 on their PLOs. ICs also realized that O2 created significant changes in their own lives, including introducing new roles and responsibilities for them, altering their home environments and significantly impacting their relationships with their PLOs. Although O2 was a tangible and constant reminder of disease progression, over time ICs were able to adapt and accept their new lives with O2. Conclusion ICs of patients with PF experience many life changes when their PLO is prescribed O2. Having O2 prescribers anticipate and recognize these challenges provides an opportunity to give support and guidance to ICs of PF patients who require O2 in the hopes of limiting the negative impact of O2 on their lives. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov , registration number NCT01961362 . Registered 9 October 2013.

Access source material through DOI

Resiliency is independently associated with greater quality of life among informal caregivers to neuroscience intensive care unit patients

Objective: Every year, millions of Americans become informal caregivers to loved ones admitted to Neuroscience Intensive Care Units (Neuro-ICU), and face challenges to Quality of Life (QoL). This study sought to identify associations between resiliency, distress, and caregiver QoL at time of Neuro-ICU admission.; Methods: Informal caregivers (N = 79, Mage = 53, 64% female) of Neuro-ICU patients were recruited and completed self-report questionnaires during the hospitalization. We used hierarchical regression to test relative contributions of caregiver mindfulness, perceived coping abilities, and preparedness for caregiving to caregiver QoL, above-and-beyond non-modifiable patient and caregiver factors (e.g., gender) and caregiver psychological distress (i.e., anxiety, depression, history of mental health conditions).; Results: Preparedness for caregiving was uniquely and positively associated with Physical Health QoL (sr2 = 0.07, p = 0.001), Social QoL (sr2 = 0.05, p = 0.021), and Environmental QoL (sr2 = 0.14, p < 0.001), even after accounting for psychological distress. Mindfulness was uniquely and positively associated with Physical Health QoL (sr2 = 0.12, p < 0.001) and Psychological QoL (sr2 = 0.07, p = 0.004), above-and-beyond variance accounted for by psychological distress.; Conclusions: Mindfulness and preparedness for caregiving emerged as consistent, unique resiliency factors associated with greater caregiver QoL across QoL dimensions. Results highlight the importance of resiliency factors in QoL among Neuro-ICU caregivers and the need for early interventions to support resiliency.

Access source material through DOI

Long-term Care Provision and the Well-Being of Spousal Caregivers: An Analysis of 138 European Regions

Objectives: The individual burden of caring for one's relatives not only depends on care characteristics but is also related to contextual factors. The objective of this study is to determine whether regional formal long-term care provision is linked to the well-being of spousal caregivers introducing the concept of "control" as central pathway to explain this link.; Method: We applied multilevel analysis using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) from over 29,000 Europeans and 1,800 spousal caregivers located in 138 regions in 11 countries to analyze the effects of regional contexts on caregiver well-being. The provision of formal care in a region was measured by the number of long-term care beds in nursing and residential homes among the older population.; Results: We found that spousal caregivers' well-being, measured in terms of life satisfaction, loneliness, and depression, was positively linked to the regional availability of formal care, which is partly due to higher perceived control in regions with more formal care provision.; Discussion: Our results suggest that formal care supply is essential not only for care recipients but also for caregivers: perceived alternatives to the private care arrangement go along with greater well-being of informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Exploring the association between optimism and quality of life among informal caregivers of persons with dementia

Objective: We aimed to analyze the relationship between optimism and quality of life (QoL) among informal caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD).; Design: In this cross-sectional study, a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was used to determine the association between optimism and caregiver's QoL after controlling the effect of different covariates, including burden.; Participants: A sample of 130 PWD and their informal caregivers underwent a comprehensive protocol of assessment.; Measurements: Caregivers completed the Battery of Generalized Expectancies of Control Scales, the Zarit Burden Interview, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Brief as measure of QoL. Optimism was estimated based on the combination of three expectancies of control, namely, self-efficacy, contingency, and success.; Results: QoL correlated positively with optimism and negatively with burden. Optimism predicted each dimension of QoL, even after controlling for the effect of sociodemographic, care-recipients' clinical covariates, and burden in all models.; Conclusion: Optimism consistently predicted well-being and QoL in informal caregivers of PWD.

Access source material through DOI

More than one in four sandwich carers report symptoms of mental ill-health

Sandwich carers – those who care for both sick, disabled or older relatives and dependent children – are more likely to report symptoms of mental ill-health, feel less satisfied with life, and struggle financially compared with the general population.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Life of the Second-Order Patient: Factors Impacting the Informal Caregiver

Informal caregivers (ICs) are forced to make adaptive lifestyle changes to meet the significant demand of caring for loved ones who are terminally ill. Open-ended questions were administered with 26 ICs who cared for loved ones diagnosed with terminal illnesses whose prognosis was less than six months. The results add substantive information to parsimonious literature and demonstrate a correlation with existing studies that coincide with the debilitating effects that caregiving has on the informal carer. The study clarifies the complexities of the caregiving role characterized by the involvement that may adversely affect socialization, physical health conditions, and marital dynamics, among other areas of the IC’s personal life. 

Access source material through DOI

Impact of informal caregiving on cognitive function and well-being in Canada

Background: With a rise in the aging population and a consequential rise in persons diagnosed with dementia comes an increase in the number of informal caregivers who are caring for a loved one. The objective of the proposed study was to assess the neurocognitive and psychological effects of caring for a person with dementia or a related neurodegenerative disease in a sample of Canadian informal caregivers.; Methods: Fifty-seven informal caregivers of a person with dementia or a related neurodegenerative disease (mean age = 66.26, SD = 7.55) and 97 non-caregivers (mean age = 69.16, SD = 4.84) were recruited. Neuropsychological measures of attention, cognitive flexibility, verbal learning, delayed recall, and verbal fluency were examined, and questionnaires related to perceived stress, quality of life, mood, and self-esteem were administered.; Results: Caregivers made more errors on a measure of cognitive flexibility (p = 0.02), generated fewer words on measures of phonemic fluency (p < 0.01) and semantic fluency (p < 0.001), and learned significantly fewer words on a list-learning task (p < 0.01). Caregivers also reported experiencing significantly more perceived stress (p < 0.001), lower quality of life (p < 0.001), and were more likely to meet the cut-off for clinically significant depressive symptoms on a self-report scale (p < 0.001).; Conclusion: These data contribute to a growing body of literature that consistently points to the need for immediate action to improve the welfare of caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Living with an indwelling urethral catheter in a community setting: Exploring triggers for unscheduled community nurse "out-of-hours" visits

Aims and Objective: To explore the experiences of community patients living with a urethral catheter and those caring for them.; Background: Living at home with an indwelling urethral catheter often results in consequences that create a double-edged burden: first, on patients and their relative carers and second, in terms of unscheduled community nurse service "out-of-hours" provision.; Design: One-to-one interviews were conducted with patients living at home, their relative carers, qualified community nurses, augmented home carers and healthcare assistant. Quantitative data in relation to frequency, duration and reason for visits were extracted from the community nurse "out-of-hours" service database.; Results: Quantitative data showed that 20% of all community nurses unscheduled "out-of-hours" visits were triggered by an indwelling urethral catheter consequence. Qualitative data revealed that health and social care staff felt knowledgeable and skilled in urethral catheter management. Conversely, patients and relative carers felt poorly equipped to manage the situation when something went wrong. The majority of patients described the catheter as being a debilitating source of anxiety and pain that reduced their quality of life.; Conclusion: Urethral catheter complications are frequent and impact seriously on quality of life with informal carers also affected. Community nurses experienced frequent unscheduled visits. Patients often feel isolated as well as lacking in knowledge, skills and information on catheter management. Having better urethral catheter information resources could increase patient and relative carer confidence, encourage self-care and problem solving, as well as facilitate meaningful consistent dialogue between patients and those who provide them with help and support.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: Better patient information resources regarding urethral catheter management have potential to improve patient and relative carer quality of life and reduce service provision burden.

Access source material through DOI

Dementia as a predictor of care-related quality of life in informal caregivers: a cross-sectional study to investigate differences in health-related outcomes between dementia and non-dementia caregivers

Background: The objectives of this study with a large sample of informal caregivers (CG) were a) to compare health-related outcomes of CGs caring for a patient with dementia and those caring for a relative with another chronic disease and b) to check whether dementia is a predictor of CG's care-related quality of life (QoL) in CarerQoL-7D.; Methods: This cross-sectional study involved self-reported data from 386 informal CGs who applied for an initial grade or upgrade of the care level of the care recipient at the Medical Service of Compulsory Health Insurance Funds of Bavaria (Germany). By obtaining data this way, systematic biases often associated with the acquisition of CGs were prevented. Bivariate and multiple analyses were conducted using a univariate covariance model (ANCOVA).; Results: Bivariate analyses showed significantly higher levels of subjective burden and lower QoL in the dementia group. No significant differences were found in terms of physical health and depressiveness, though there was a tendency suggesting higher levels of depressiveness in dementia CGs. Multiple analysis explaining QoL by dementia status after controlling for CG's sex, age and employment status revealed a significant effect of dementia, suggesting caregiving for a dementia patient was associated with lower QoL.; Conclusions: Results of the study suggest that caring for a relative with dementia is associated with poorer health, i.e. greater levels of subjective burden and depressiveness, and predicts lower QoL in CGs. These findings emphasize the importance of specific interventions aiming to support informal CGs of dementia patients.

Access source material through DOI

Valued activities and informal caregiving in stroke: a scoping review

Purpose: Map the literature about valued activities and informal caregiving post stroke and determine the nature, extent, and consequences of caregivers' activity changes.; Methods: A scoping review was undertaken, searching Pubmed, Cinahl, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar. Two researchers independently identified relevant articles, extracted study characteristics and findings, and assigned codes describing the topics and outcomes. Using thematic analysis, the main study topics and study outcomes were described.; Results: The search yielded 662 studies, 30 of which were included. These were mainly qualitative and cross-sectional studies assessing caregivers' activity changes and related factors, or exploring caregivers' feelings, needs and strategies to deal with their activity challenges. Although caregivers often lost their social and leisure activities, which made them feel unhappy and socially isolated, we found no studies about professional interventions to help caregivers maintain their activities. Over the years, caregivers' activity levels generally increased. However, some caregivers suffered from sustained activity loss, which, in turn, relates to depression.; Conclusion: Loss of valued activities is common for stroke caregivers. Although high-level evidence is lacking, our results suggest that sustained activity loss can cause stroke caregivers to experience poor mental health and wellbeing. Suggestions to help caregivers maintain their valued activities are presented. Implications for rehabilitation Not only stroke survivors but also their informal caregivers tend to lose their valued activities, such as their social and leisure activities. Although many caregivers manage to resume their valued activities over time, others suffer from sustained activity loss up to at least two years post stroke. Loss of valued activities in stroke caregivers can result in lower levels of wellbeing, depression, and social isolation. Rehabilitation professionals should screen stroke caregivers for activity loss and assist them in resuming their valued activities and maintaining their social contacts.;

Access source material through DOI

Prevalence and predictors of psychosocial problems in informal caregivers of older cancer survivors - A systematic review: Still major gaps in current research

Despite the abundance of studies concerning caring for patients with cancer, less is known about caring for an older cancer survivor (≥65 years). We aimed to systematically gather literature about the psychosocial well-being of caregivers of older cancer survivors and to identify possible risk factors for developing psychosocial problems. Fourteen articles met the following inclusion criteria: articles about (a) cancer, (b) informal caregivers, (c) older survivors and a (d) curative setting. After critical appraisal, nearly all were considered to be of moderate-to-strong quality. This results mainly from the specific study population, the valid and reliable measurement instruments and the appropriate statistical methods used in the articles. Main outcomes were burden, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, distress, communication issues, stress and QoL. For all these outcomes, measurement instruments and timing of measurements vary. Also, the results on studied predictors vary widely or not all of them were described in the reviewed articles. There seems to be a higher prevalence of distress, lower QoL and more anxiety in informal caregivers of older cancer survivors compared with the general population, but all were understudied. Based on these results and more focused future research, specific and qualitative support for this group of caregivers can be developed.

Access source material through DOI

The experience of informal caregivers of patients with motor neurone disease: A thematic synthesis

Objective: Research is required in order to illustrate and detail the experiences of informal caregivers of patients with motor neurone disease (pwMND) to further advance the research base and to inform the development of future support structures and services. Due to the heterogeneous nature of caregiving for pwMND, one way in which this can be achieved is through a qualitative review. A qualitative thematic analysis of existing qualitative studies has not, to the best of the authors' knowledge, been previously undertaken. Thus, the present synthesis aims to identify caregivers' experiences and to suggest factors that contribute to these experiences in order to fulfill the required research needs.; Method: A thematic synthesis of qualitative literature was conducted. AMED, Medline, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, and PubMed were electronically searched from inception until September of 2015. Studies were eligible if they included qualitative literature reporting on firsthand experience of informal caregivers of patients with MND, were published in English, and contained verbatim quotations. Critical appraisal was undertaken using a 13-item consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative studies (COREQ) checklist.; Results: A total of 10 studies met the inclusion criteria, with 148 (50 male) current or previous informal caregivers of pwMND identified. Critical appraisal demonstrated that study design and reflexivity were underreported. The synthesis derived three themes: (1) loss of control, (2) inability to choose, and (3) isolation.; Significance Of Results: The synthesis highlighted the factors that contribute to both positive and negative caregiving experiences. Through these experiences, such suggestions for service provision as improving communication with healthcare professionals and having a single point of contact emerged. However, the outcome of such suggestions on the experience of caregivers is beyond the scope of our synthesis, so that further research is required.;

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life, Care Resource Use, and Costs of Dementia in 8 European Countries in a Cross-Sectional Cohort of the Actifcare Study

Background: With 10.5 million people with dementia in Europe and $301 billion associated costs, governments face challenges organizing access to care.; Objective: To examine the costs related to formal and informal care use and quality of life for people with dementia in eight European countries, and explore the association with unmet needs.; Methods: Cross-sectional data from 451 persons with dementia and their informal caregivers of the Actifcare cohort study were obtained. Formal and informal care use was multiplied by country specific unit prices of services. Needs were measured using the CANE and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of the person with dementia (both self- and proxy-rated) and informal caregiver's quality of life using EQ-5D-5L, ICECAP-O, DEMQOL-U, and CarerQol utility scores. The association between costs and country, European region, and unmet needs was assessed using multi-level linear regression.; Results: Self-rated EQ-5D-5L utility score was higher than proxy-rated (0.84 and 0.71, respectively). Informal caregivers' utility score was 0.84. Across eight countries annual mean costs of formal and informal care were approximately € 17,000. Unmet needs were not associated with annual costs of care, nor with proxy-rated HRQOL, but were associated with self-rated HRQOL.; Conclusion: We found varying relationships between unmet needs and quality of life, and no association between unmet needs and care costs, although the results were sensitive to various factors. Future research should further investigate the relation between unmet needs, quality of life and costs to generate a better understanding of the effects of (un)timely access to care.

Access source material through DOI

The relation between personality, informal caregiving, life satisfaction and health-related quality of life: evidence of a longitudinal study

Purpose: Personality characteristics of the caregiver might play a role in the relation between informal caregiving and health-related quality of life as well as life satisfaction. However, a limited body of research has examined this relation. This study aimed to examine the role personality characteristics of the caregiver might play in the relation between informal caregiving and well-being outcomes using a longitudinal approach.; Methods: Data were derived from the large Panel 'Labour Market and Social Security.' This is an annual household survey, which is conducted by order of the Institute for Employment Research covering persons and households registered as residents of Germany. The SF-12 was used to capture health-related quality of life (covering physical and mental health). A short version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-K) was used to quantify personality factors. Life satisfaction was measured by a single-item measure. Concentrating on these factors, we used data from the third (2008/2009), sixth (2012), and ninth wave (2015). 34,548 observations were used in fixed effects regressions.; Results: Adjusting for various potential confounders, linear fixed effects regressions showed that the onset of informal caregiving reduced life satisfaction (β = - .14, p < .01), but not physical and mental health. The relation between informal caregiving and life satisfaction was significantly moderated by agreeableness (p < .01).; Conclusions: Findings of the present study emphasized that agreeableness moderates the relationship between informal caregiving and life satisfaction. Measuring personality characteristics of the informal caregiver is important for tailoring interventional strategies in order to increase the benefit of these programs.

Access source material through DOI

How best to assess quality of life in informal carers of people with dementia; A systematic review of existing outcome measures

Background: In the UK, there are currently 800 000 people living with dementia. This number is expected to double in the next 20 years. Two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community supported by informal carers. Caring for a person with dementia has adverse effects on psychological, physical, social wellbeing and quality of life. The measurement of quality of life of carers of people with dementia is increasingly of interest to health and social care practitioners and commissioners, policymakers, and carers themselves. However, there is lack of consensus on the most suitable instrument(s) for undertaking this. Methods: A systematic review of the literature using COSMIN methodology. Searching of electronic databases (Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Web of Science), reference list and citation searching of key papers was undertaken. COSMIN methodology was used to simultaneously extract data from and assess methodological quality of included studies, and make a recommendation for the instrument with the most high quality evidence for its measurement properties. Results: Ten instruments were suitable for inclusion in this review. The Carer well-being and support questionnaire (CWS) has the best quality evidence for the greatest number of measurement of properties. The Caregiver Well-Being Scale is also worthy of consideration. There is not presently a measure which could be recommended for use in economic evaluations, however the Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on the Caregiver questionnaire (IADCQ) could potentially be used following further investigation of its measurement properties in a representative population. Conclusion: The CWS is the most appropriate instrument to recommend for the assessment of quality of life in informal carers of people with dementia at present. All instruments included in this review would benefit from more rigorous evaluation of their measurement properties.

Access source material through DOI

A blended psychosocial support program for partners of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy: protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Background: Informal caregivers of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Progressive Muscular Atrophy (PMA) face stressful demands due to severe impairments and prospect of early death of the patients they care for. Caregivers often experience feelings of psychological distress and caregiver burden, but supportive interventions are lacking. The objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a psychosocial support program aimed at enhancing feelings of control over caregiving tasks and reducing psychological distress. This support program is based on an existing program for adult partners of people with cancer and is adapted to meet the needs of ALS caregivers.; Methods: This study is a randomized controlled trial using a wait-list control design. One hundred and forty caregiver-patient dyads, recruited from a nationwide database and through the website of the Dutch ALS Center, will be either randomized to a support program or a wait-list control group. The blended intervention is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and consists of 1 face-to-face contact, 6 online guided modules and 1 telephone contact. The intervention can be worked through in 8 weeks. The effectiveness and the participants' satisfaction with the intervention will be evaluated using a mixed method design. Caregivers and patients will be asked to fill in questionnaires on 4 occasions during the study: baseline, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months. The main study outcome is the psychological distress of the caregiver assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Secondary outcomes are caregiver burden, caregiver quality of life, quality of life of the patient and psychological distress of the patient. Group differences in primary and secondary outcomes at 6 months will be compared with linear mixed model analysis. In a subgroup of caregivers we will explore experiences with the support program through semi-structured interviews. Usage of the online modules will be logged.; Discussion: The study will provide insights into the effectiveness of a blended psychosocial support program on psychological distress of caregivers of patients with ALS or PMA, as well as into indirect relations with patients' wellbeing.; Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Registry NTR5734 , registered 28 March 2016.

Access source material through DOI

Effectiveness of two home ergonomic programs in reducing pain and enhancing quality of life in informal caregivers of post-stroke patients: A pilot randomized controlled clinical trial

Background: Informal caregivers of post-stroke patients usually undergo high levels of pain and stress and have a reduced quality of life.; Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of two home ergonomic interventions aimed at reducing pain intensity and perceived stress and enhancing the quality of life in informal caregivers of chronic post-stroke patients.; Methods: A randomized single-blind controlled clinical trial was conducted, with a sample of 33 informal caregivers of patients with stroke. Three groups were included: one received postural hygiene training and kinesiotherapy, for 12 weeks, two days a week, one hour per session; another received adaptation of the home environment, and the third was a control group. Pain intensity, stress level and general quality of life were evaluated at three-time points: pre-intervention, post-intervention, and after a follow-up period of three months.; Results: Neck pain decreased in the two experimental groups, and increased in the control group. Pain in the shoulders and knees was alleviated in the group that received postural hygiene and kinesiotherapy. In addition, regarding quality of life, this group obtained an improvement in the physical health dimension, while the home adaptation group reported improved social relationships.; Conclusions: These results suggest that 12 weeks of training in postural hygiene, combined with kinesiotherapy, and home adaptations can reduce pain and improve several aspects of the quality of life of this population. CLINICALTRIALS.; Gov Id: NCT03284580.; Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Access source material through DOI

Costs and Resource Use Associated with Alzheimer's Disease in Italy: Results from an Observational Study

Background: The GERAS II study aimed to assess societal costs and resource use associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) for patients and their primary caregivers in Italy and Spain, stratified for different severity stages of AD at baseline. This report presents baseline results for Italy.; Design: GERAS II was a prospective, multicentre, observational study of routine care in AD.; Setting: Community-dwelling patients attending specialist secondary care centres (memory clinics/Alzheimer's Evaluation Units) and their primary informal caregivers were recruited into the study.; Participants: Patients were aged ≥55 years, presented within the normal course of care, had a diagnosis of probable AD and a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of ≤26. Patients and caregivers were stratified according to patient AD dementia severity at baseline: mild, MMSE score 21-26; moderate, MMSE score 15-20; or moderately severe/severe, MMSE score <15.; Measurements: Data collected for patients and caregivers included demographics/clinical characteristics; current medication; patient cognitive, functional and behavioural assessments; patient and caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQoL); and patient and caregiver resource use. The costs associated with the resources used were calculated. Costs were broken down into patient healthcare costs, patient social care costs and caregiver informal care costs.; Results: Of 198 patients enrolled from Italy, 29 (15%) had mild AD dementia, 80 (40%) had moderate AD dementia, and 89 (45%) had moderately severe/severe AD dementia. Patient and caregiver characteristics showed some differences between AD dementia severity groups; for example, a numerically higher proportion of patients with mild and moderately severe/severe AD dementia were taking memantine compared with those with moderate AD dementia. Patient functioning and behavioural and psychological symptoms worsened with increasing AD dementia severity (p<0.05 between groups for all measures). No significant difference between the disease severity groups was observed in patient HRQoL, and there was no clear pattern in resource use. However, all measures of caregiver time spent helping the patient differed significantly between groups (p<0.05) and were highest in patients with moderately severe/severe AD dementia. Mean (standard deviation) total monthly societal costs per patient (2013 values) were €1850 (1901), €1552 (1322) and €2728 (2184) for patients with mild, moderate and moderately severe/severe AD dementia, respectively (p<0.001 between groups). Caregiver informal care costs were the greatest contributor to total societal costs and amounted to €1370, €1223 and €2223 per patient per month for mild, moderate and moderately severe/severe AD dementia groups, respectively (p<0.001 between groups).; Conclusion: Total Italian societal costs generally increased with increasing AD dementia severity. However, costs were slightly lower for moderate than for mild AD dementia, possibly reflecting the observed unusual trend of greater caregiver time and higher memantine use in patients with mild versus moderate AD dementia.

Access source material through DOI

Coping strategies and quality of life: a longitudinal study of high-grade glioma patient-caregiver dyads

Background: Among a sample of patient-informal caregiver dyads in the specific context of new diagnoses of high-grade glioma in the time-frame between diagnosis and the third month following diagnosis, we examine whether the coping strategies implemented by the patients and their caregivers influenced their own quality of life (QoL) and the QoL of their relatives.; Methods: Thirty-eight dyads with patients having recent diagnoses of high-grade glioma were involved in this longitudinal study. The self-reported data include QoL (Patient-Generated Index, EORTC QLQ-C30, and CareGiver Oncology Quality of Life), and coping strategies (BriefCope). Data were collected at T1 corresponding to the time-frame between diagnosis and postsurgical treatment initiation and T2 corresponding to the 3-month post-inclusion follow-up.; Results: Coping strategies based on social support and avoidance were the least used at baseline and the 3-month follow-up, both for patients and caregivers. At the 3-month follow-up, the use of social support at baseline was significantly related to lower scores of QoL for the patients and with higher QoL for the caregivers. For the patient, the use of problem-solving or positive thinking at baseline was not related to his/her QoL, while it was related to more satisfactory QoL scores for the caregiver. The use of avoidance at baseline was linked to a higher 3-month QoL for the patients and a lower 3-month QoL for the caregivers. Using the specific dyadic analyses (actor-partner interdependence model), the 3-month patient's QoL was lower (β = - 0.322; p = 0.03) when the patient mobilized the social support strategy at baseline, but was higher(β = 0.631; p < 10- 3) when his/her informal caregiver used this strategy. After adjustment for sex, age, and baseline PGI score, the link between high use of the social support strategy at baseline by the caregiver and the patient's 3-month QoL, remained present (positive partner effect; β =0.675; p < 10- 3).; Conclusion: The QoL for patients and their informal caregivers since the time of diagnosis is directly related to the use of coping strategies based on social support at time of diagnosis.

Access source material through DOI

Care Recipient Multimorbidity and Health Impacts on Informal Caregivers: A Systematic Review

Background and Objectives: Caregiving outcomes have often been reported in terms of care recipients of single disease, rather than multiple health conditions. A systematic review was conducted to outline caregiving health outcomes and its association with care recipient multimorbidity for informal caregivers of older adults.; Research Design and Methods: A search strategy was applied in six databases and grey literature. Inclusion criteria were primary observational studies on informal caregiving for care recipients aged 60 years and above, in the English language. Informal caregivers were those not formally hired and multimorbidity referred to presence of at least two health conditions. From a total of 2,101 titles, 230 abstracts were screened, and 19 articles were included. Quality assessment was conducted with application of the Newcastle-Ottawa-Scale.; Results: Health-related and caregiving-related outcomes have been assessed for informal caregivers of older adults with multimorbidity. Caregiver subjective burden was most commonly evaluated and often reported to be low to moderate. In association with care recipient multimorbidity, caregiver burden, quality of life, and perceived difficulty in assisting the older adults were examined in 14 of the studies with mixed results. Studies were heterogeneous, with nonuniform definitions of informal caregivers and multimorbidity as well as measurement tools.; Discussion and Implications: This narrative review found that caring for older adults with multimorbidity impacts caregivers, although overall evidence is not conclusive. Despite caregiving-related outcomes being most commonly assessed among the caregivers, particularly subjective burden, findings suggest that it is worthwhile to examine other outcomes to enrich the evidence base.

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregivers of people with an intellectual disability in England: health, quality of life and impact of caring

There is wide variation in reported impact of caring on caregiver well-being, and often a negative appraisal of caregiving. Researchers are beginning to question the robustness of the evidence base on which negative appraisals are based. The present study aimed to draw on data from a population-representative sample to describe the health, quality of life and impact of caring of informal caregivers of people with an intellectual disability. Informal carers of people with intellectual disability ( N = 260) were identified among 2199 carers in the English Survey of Carers in Households 2009/10. Generalised estimating equations explored the association between socio-demographic and caring profile with quality of life, physical health status, and impact on psychological health and personal life. Compared to other caregivers, providing care to a person with intellectual disability was not associated with reduced quality of life. There was an 82% increased risk of reporting poorer health status, even though poorer health was not likely to be attributed to care-giving. A higher risk of negative impact on personal life was seen in comparison with the wider group of caregivers, but not in comparison with more similar-sized caregiver groups (mental health or dementia). Carers of people with intellectual disability were more likely to be struggling financially and have a high caring load. These factors were systematically related to lower well-being. A uniformly negative appraisal of caring for people with intellectual disability was not supported by these English population-representative data. Poverty and long care-giving hours may make caregivers more susceptible to negative well-being. Support for caregivers of people with intellectual disability should focus on alleviating those two factors.

Access source material through DOI

The lived experience of caregivers of persons with heart failure: A phenomenological study

Background: Heart failure (HF) patients need to follow a strict pharmacological and nonpharmacological regimen in order to counteract the burden of the disease, and informal caregivers are an important resource for HF patients in managing and coping with their disease. Few studies have examined the lived experience of these caregivers with a rigorous phenomenological approach, and none have been conducted in Italy.; Aim: To describe the lived experience of the caregivers of HF patients.; Methods: A hermeneutic phenomenological method was used. Caregivers were enrolled in a HF clinic in central Italy. Interviews were analysed using a phenomenological approach. Credibility, dependability, confirmability and transferability were adopted in order to strengthen trustworthiness.; Findings: Thirty HF caregivers (mean age: 53 years) were enrolled. Of these, 63% of the caregivers were female and 80% were patients' spouses or children. Six themes emerged: (1) fear and worry related to the illness; (2) life changes and restrictions; (3) burden due to caregiving; (4) uncertainty about illness management; (5) helping patients to cope with the illness; and (6) love and affection towards the patient.; Conclusion: The findings of our study may help providers to guide interventions for HF caregivers. Providers should be supportive of caregivers and provide them with education in order to reduce their fears and worries about the illness and to handle the course of HF and its symptoms. An empathetic and practical approach with caregivers that considers the patient-caregiver relationship may help caregivers to cope with the changes and restrictions that caregiving brings to their lives and to reduce their burden.

Access source material through DOI

The impact of older person's frailty on the care-related quality of life of their informal caregiver over time: results from the TOPICS-MDS project

Purpose: To examine the impact of changes in an older person's frailty on the care-related quality of life of their informal caregiver.; Methods: Five research projects in the TOPICS-MDS database with data of both older person and informal caregiver at baseline and after 12 months follow-up were selected. Frailty was measured in five health domains (functional limitations, psychological well-being, social functioning, health-related quality of life, self-rated health). Care-related quality of life was measured with the Care-Related Quality of Life instrument (CarerQoL-7D), containing two positive (fulfilment, perceived support) and five negative dimensions (relational problems, mental health problems, physical health problems, financial problems, problems combining informal care with daily activities).; Results: 660 older person/caregiver couples were included. Older persons were on average 79 (SD 6.9) years of age, and 61% was female. Caregivers were on average 65 (SD 12.6) years of age, and 68% was female. Results of the multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses showed that an increase in older person's frailty over time was related to a lower total care-related quality of life of the caregiver, and to more mental and physical health problems, and problems with combining informal care with daily activities at follow-up. A change in the older person's psychological well-being was most important for the caregiver's care-related quality of life, compared to the other health domains.; Conclusions: Health professionals observing decreasing psychological well-being of an older person and increasing hours of informal care provision should be aware of the considerable problems this may bring to their informal caregiver, and should tailor interventions to support informal caregivers according to their specific needs and problems.

Access source material through DOI

Costs and quality of life in community-dwelling patients with Alzheimer's disease in Spain: results from the GERAS II observational study

Background: Country-specific data on resource use and costs associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) help inform governments about the increasing need for medical and financial support as the disease increases in prevalence.; Methods: GERAS II, a prospective observational study, assessed resource use, costs, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with AD and their caregivers in Spain. Community-dwelling patients aged ≥55 years with probable AD, and their primary caregivers, were recruited by study investigators during routine clinical practice and assessed as having mild, moderate, or moderately severe/severe (MS/S) AD dementia based on patient Mini-Mental State Examination scores. Costs of AD were calculated by applying costs to resource-use data obtained in caregiver interviews using the Resource Utilization in Dementia instrument. Total societal costs included patients' health and social care costs and caregiver informal care costs. Baseline results are presented.; Results: Total mean monthly societal costs/patient (2013 values) were €1514 for mild (n = 116), €2082 for moderate (n = 118), and €2818 for MS/S AD dementia (n = 146) (p value <0.001 between groups). Caregiver informal care costs comprised most of the total societal costs and differed significantly between groups (€1050, €1239, €1580, respectively; p value = 0.013), whereas patient healthcare costs did not. Across AD dementia severity groups, patient HRQoL (measured by proxy) decreased significantly (p value <0.001), caregiver subjective burden significantly increased (p value <0.001) and caregiver HRQoL was similar.; Conclusions: Societal costs associated with AD in Spain were largely attributable to caregiver informal care costs and increased with increasing AD dementia severity.

Access source material through DOI

Mediating Effects of Social Support on Quality of Life for Parents of Adults with Autism

The aim of this study was to examine the mediating effect of formal and informal social support on the relationship of caregiver burden and quality of life (QOL), using a sample of 320 parents (aged 50 or older) of adult children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Multiple linear regression and mediation analyses indicated that caregiver burden had a negative impact on QOL and that informal social support partially mediated the relationship between caregiver burden and parents' QOL. Formal social support did not mediate the relationship between caregiver burden and QOL. The findings underscored the need to support aging parents of adult children with ASD through enhancing their informal social support networks.

Access source material through DOI

Does being a retired or employed caregiver affect the association between behaviours in Alzheimer's disease and caregivers' health-related quality-of-life?

Objective: We examined whether caregivers' employment status (i.e., retired or employed) might modify the association between the behaviours of persons with Alzheimer's disease (PwAD) and caregivers' health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL). Data came from a cross-sectional study of the primary informal caregivers of 200 persons with mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers completed the EQ-5D-3L to rate their HRQoL and generate health utility scores, and the Dementia Behaviour Disturbance Scale (DBDS) to assess the degree to which PwAD exhibited each of 28 behaviours. Caregivers' health utility scores were regressed on overall DBDS scores, with caregiver employment status (retired, employed) treated as an effect modifier and confounder in separate regression models. We also controlled for age, sex, income, education, caregivers' relationship to the PwAD, and whether caregivers gave up paid employment/cut down working hours to care for PwAD.; Results: Effect modification by caregiver employment status is possible, with the inverse association between DBDS score and health utility score largely existing for retired versus employed caregivers. Research using larger samples and longitudinal data would further inform this area of inquiry.

Access source material through DOI

Psychological well-being over time among informal caregivers caring for persons with dementia living at home

Objectives: To investigate informal caregivers' psychological well-being and predicted increase in psychological well-being, when caring for persons with dementia (PwDs) living at home, related to caregiver, PwD and formal care (FC) factors.; Method: A cohort study at baseline and 3 months' follow-up in eight European countries. Caregivers included (n = 1223) were caring for PwDs aged ≥ 65 years at home. Data on caregivers, PwDs and FC were collected using standardized instruments. Regression analysis of factors associated with caregiver psychological well-being at baseline and 3 months later was performed.; Results: Factors associated with caregiver psychological well-being at baseline were positive experience of caregiving, low caregiver burden, high quality of life (QoL) for caregivers, male gender of PwD, high QoL of PwD, few neuropsychiatric symptoms and depressive symptoms for the PwD. At follow-up, caregivers with increased psychological well-being experienced of quality of care (QoC) higher and were more often using dementia specific service. Predicting factors for caregivers' increased psychological well-being were less caregiver burden, positive experience of caregiving, less supervision of the PwD and higher caregiver QoL, if PwD were male, had higher QoL and less neuropsychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, higher QoC predicted increased caregivers' psychological well-being.; Conclusion: Informal caregiving for PwDs living at home is a complex task. Our study shows that caregivers' psychological well-being was associated with, among other things, less caregiver burden and higher QoL. Professionals should be aware of PwD neuropsychiatric symptoms that might affect caregivers' psychological well-being, and provide proper care and treatment for caregivers and PwDs.

Access source material through DOI

Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease: impact on quality of life of carers

Background: The quality of life (QoL) of informal caregivers of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) (PwP) can be affected by the caring role. Because of cognitive symptoms and diminished activities of daily living, in addition to the management of motor symptoms, carers of PwP and cognitive impairment may experience increased levels of burden and poorer QoL compared with carers of PwP without cognitive impairment. This study aimed to investigate the impact of cognitive impairment in PD upon QoL of carers. Methods: Approximately 36 months after diagnosis, 66 dyadic couples of PwP and carers completed assessments. PwP completed a schedule of neuropsychological assessments and QoL measures; carers of PwP completed demographic questionnaires and assessments of QoL. Factor scores of attention, memory/executive function and global cognition, as derived by principal component analysis, were used to evaluate cognitive domains. Results: Hierarchical regression analysis found lower Montreal Cognitive Assessment was a significant independent predictor of poorer carer QoL, in addition to number of hours spent caregiving, carer depression and PD motor severity. Attentional deficits accounted for the largest proportion of variance of carer QoL. Carers of PwP and dementia (n = 9) had significantly poorer QoL scores compared with PwP and mild cognitive impairment (n = 18) or normal cognition (n = 39) carers (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Attentional deficits were the strongest predictor of carer QoL compared with other cognitive predictors. Carers for those with PD dementia reported the poorest QoL. Interventions such as respite or cognitive behavioural therapy to improve mood and self-efficacy in carers may improve carer QoL. 

Access source material through DOI

Impact of informal caregiving on older adults' physical and mental health in low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional, secondary analysis based on the WHO's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE)

Objectives: A high proportion of care stemming from chronic disease or disability in low-income and middle-income countries is provided by informal caregivers. The goal of this study was to determine the level of burden experienced by these caregivers, explore associated factors and assess whether caregivers' and non-caregivers' health differed.; Design and Setting: This cross-sectional study was a secondary analysis of data on caregivers' burden, health and health risk factors in Ghana, India and the Russian Federation collected as part of the WHO's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 1.; Participants: Caregivers in Ghana (n=143), India (n=490) and Russia (n=270) completed the measures.; Outcome Measures: Factors associated (ie, demographics and caregiving profile variables) with burden were explored among caregivers. Then, quality of life (QOL), perceived stress, depression, self-rated health (SRH) and health risk factors were compared between caregivers and matched non-caregivers (1:2).; Results: The largest caregiving subgroups were spouses and adult children. Caregivers mostly cared for one person and provided financial, social/emotional and/or physical support, but received little support themselves. Burden level ranged from 17.37 to 20.03. Variables associated with burden were mostly country-specific; however, some commonality for wealth, type of care and caregiving duration was noted. Caregivers with a moderate or high level of burden reported lower QOL and higher perceived stress than those experiencing low burden. Caregivers reported lower QOL and SRH than non-caregivers.; Conclusion: Given the lack of support received and consequences of the burden endured by caregivers, policy and programme initiatives are needed to ensure that caregivers in low- and middle-income countries can fulfil their role without compromising their own health.

Access source material through DOI

Testing the effectivity of the mixed virtual reality training Into D'mentia for informal caregivers of people with dementia: protocol for a longitudinal, quasi-experimental study

Introduction: Informal caregivers for people with dementia (hereafter: caregivers) often feel (over)burdened by the care for a loved one with dementia, and this can have various deleterious effects on both caregivers and patients. Support for caregivers is urgently needed, and for this reason, a dementia simulator (Into D'mentia) was developed in which caregivers experience what it is like to have dementia. The simulator attempts to heighten caregivers' empathy and understanding for the patient and, in turn, diminish their own caregiver burden. The current study evaluates whether the simulator is effective on a number of outcomes.; Methods and Analysis: A longitudinal, quasi-experimental study is ongoing in the Netherlands. We aim to recruit 142 caregivers in total divided over two groups: 71 caregivers in the intervention group and 71 caregivers in the control group. All participants will complete interviews and questionnaires at four time points: at baseline, 1 week, 2.5 months and 15 months after the training. The primary outcomes include empathy, caregiver burden, caregiver's sense of competence, social reliance, anxiety, depression and caregivers' subjective and objective health.; Ethics and Dissemination: This study is being carried out in agreement with the Declaration of Helsinki, and the protocol has been approved by the local ethics committees.; Registration Details: This study is registered with The Netherlands National Trial Register (NNTR5856).

Access source material through DOI

Socioeconomic and Demographic Disparities in Caregiving Intensity and Quality of Life in Informal Caregivers: A First Look at the National Study of Caregiving

Informal caregiving is an integral component of the health care system, saving the national economy more than $522 billion annually. The current study examined how the association between caregiving intensity and caregiver quality of life varies by sociodemographic factors through a secondary analysis of the National Study of Caregiving. Generalized linear models assessed the associations among four aspects of caregiving intensity, three aspects of caregiver quality of life, and key sociodemographic factors. Compared to White individuals, Black individuals had higher levels of overall caregiving intensity (β = 0.293, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.140, 0.447]), number of instrumental activities of daily living performed (β = 0.060, 95% CI [0.030, 0.090]), and hours spent caregiving per month (β = 0.025, 95% CI [0.002, 0.049]), yet experienced significantly fewer negative impacts on quality of life. Understanding how informal caregiving affects caregiver quality of life is critical to inform public health policies and programs designed to support caregivers and protect this critical component of the U.S. health care system. 

Access source material through DOI

Feasibility and effectiveness of a telephone-based social support intervention for informal caregivers of people with dementia: Study protocol of the TALKING TIME project

Background: Caring for people with dementia at home requires a significant amount of time, organization, and commitment. Therefore, informal caregivers, mainly relatives, of people with dementia often feel a high burden. Although on-site support groups are known to have positive effects on the subjective well-being (SWB) and perceived social support of informal caregivers, there are cases in which relatives have either no time or no opportunity to leave the person alone or in which there are no support groups nearby. The TALKING TIME project aims to close this supply gap by providing structured telephone-based support groups in Germany for the first time. International studies have shown benefits for informal caregivers.; Methods: The TALKING TIME study is a randomized controlled trial. The effects of the 3-month TALKING TIME intervention will be compared with those of a control group without intervention at two time points (baseline = T0, after 3 months = T1). The control group will receive the TALKING TIME intervention after T1. With a planned sample size of 88 participants, the study is powered to detect an estimated effect size of 0.70 for psychological quality of life, considering an α of 0.05 (two-sided), a power of 80%. Caregivers are informal caregivers who are eligible if they are 18 years of age or older and have cared for a person with diagnosed dementia for at least four hours, four days per week, in the past six months. The exclusion criteria are psychiatric disorders of the informal caregiver. The primary outcome is the mental component summary of the SF-12 rated by informal caregivers. The secondary outcomes for informal caregivers are the physical component summary of the SF-12, the Perceived Social Support Caregiver Scale (SSCS) score, and the Caregiver Reaction Scale (CRS) score. The secondary outcome for care recipients is the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-Q). For the process evaluation, different quantitative and qualitative data sources will be collected to address reach, fidelity, dosage and context.; Discussion: The results will provide further information on the effectiveness and optimization of telephone-based support groups for informal caregivers of people with dementia, which can help guide the further development of effective telephone-based social support group interventions.; Trial Registration: Clinical Trials: NCT02806583 , June 9, 2016.;

Access source material through DOI

Affiliate stigma and its association with quality of life among caregivers of relatives with mental illness in Singapore

Affiliated stigma often refers to internalized stigma among family members of stigmatized individuals. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between affiliate stigma and quality of life (QOL) among primary caregivers of individuals with mental illness undergoing treatment at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. Three hundred and fifty caregivers were recruited for the study. The World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) and Family Stigma Scale (FSS) were administered to the primary caregivers of patients with mental illness. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association of affiliate stigma with QOL. A high proportion of caregivers of individuals with mental illness experience affiliate stigma in Singapore. All four QOL domains were significantly associated with affiliate stigma. These findings entail that it is imperative to improve public's perception of those with mental illness to reduce stigmatization and thus improve caregiver's QOL. 

Access source material through DOI

The effect of Liver Transplantation on the quality of life of the recipient's main caregiver - a systematic review

Liver transplantation ( LT) is a transformative, life-saving procedure with life-long sequale for patients and their caregivers. The impact of LT on the patient's main caregiver can be underestimated. We carried out a systematic review of the impact of LT on the Health-Related Quality of Life ( HRQL) of LT patients' main caregivers. We searched 13 medical databases from 1996 to 2015. We included studies with HRQL data on caregivers of patients following LT then quality assessed and narratively synthesized the findings from these studies. Of 7076 initial hits, only five studies fell within the scope of this study. In general, they showed caregiver burden persisted in the early period following LT. One study showed improvements, however, the other four showed caregiver's levels of stress, anxiety and depression, remained similar or got worse post- LT and remained above that of the normal population. It was suggested that HRQL of the patient impacted on the caregiver and vice versa and may be linked to patient outcomes. No data were available investigating which groups were at particular risk of low HRQL following LT or if any interventions could improve this. The current information about LT caregivers' needs and factors that impact on their HRQL are not adequately defined. Large studies are needed to examine the effects of LT on the patients' family and caregivers to understand the importance of caregiver support to maximize outcomes of LT for the patient and their caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Life and African American Women Who are Family Caregivers: A Literature Review with Implications for Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

Purpose: To identify factors affecting the quality of life (QOL) of African American women (AAW) family caregivers of individuals with kidney failure. Methods: Ferrans' Conceptual Model of QOL provided the framework for this literature review. Included studies were (a) peer- reviewed, (b) published within the last ten years, (c) written in English, and (d) examined QOL of AAW family caregivers. Using CINAHL© and PubMed©, we found 14 studies that described factors associated with these caregivers' QOL. Scope: Few studies document the QOL of AAW who are family caregivers, especially in the context of kidney failure. Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses need to learn about the factors influencing the QOL of these caregivers. Results: No studies were found within the last ten years that explored the QOL of AAW family caregivers of individuals with kidney failure. Findings reflected the QOL of AAW family caregivers in the context of other chronic conditions. Various factors such as stress, insomnia, and employment were linked to an impaired QOL. Implications for practice, research and education for PMH-APRNs are suggested. Conclusion: PMH-APRNs are uniquely trained to address many factors that affect the QOL of these caregivers and may provide holistic care aimed at promoting satisfactory QOL for these caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Underestimated caregiver burden by cancer patients and its association with quality of life, depression and anxiety among caregivers

This study examined how patients with cancer estimate caregiver burden (CB) and the association between their underestimation of CB and their caregivers' self‐ratings of their quality of life (CQOLC‐K; Korean version of the Caregiver Quality of Life Index‐Cancer), depression and anxiety (Korean version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Participants consisted of 990 patient‐caregiver dyads recruited from a nationwide cross‐sectional survey conducted in South Korea. Medical baseline data were retrieved from the hospital information systems of the participating centres. The patients with cancer who underestimated CB ranged from 18.62% (for physical CB) to 23.33% (for social CB). They had less advanced cancer, a lower income, were the caregiver's spouse, reported higher levels of family avoidance of communication about cancer, and had female caregivers. The patients' underestimation of CB was significantly related to lower CQoL and higher levels of caregiver depression and anxiety. The current study provides empirical evidence for the link between the underestimation of CB by patients with cancer and compromised caregiving experiences of cancer caregivers. Open family communication about cancer was discussed as one of several practical strategies for decreasing patients' underestimation of CB.

Access source material through DOI

Interventions That Support or Involve Caregivers or Families of Patients with Traumatic Injury: a Systematic Review

Background: Almost 40 million family caregivers care for a loved one with severe physical or cognitive impairments. The purpose of this review is to summarize evidence about the benefits of interventions to support or involve family members/caregivers of patients with trauma-related injury on caregiver, patient, and household outcomes. Methods: English-language peer-reviewed publications in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO from 1995 through December 2016 were identified. Eligible studies included RCT or quasi-experimental studies evaluating interventions designed to support or involve caregivers or family members of patients with TBI, PTSD, or polytrauma. Abstractions were completed by one reviewer and checked by a second; two reviewers independently assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Review Criteria. Results:  Thirteen studies (n = 9 TBI; n = 4 PTSD, n = 0 polytrauma) evaluated psychological or rehabilitation interventions involving caregivers. Interventions did not improve TBI patients' functional status (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.29 [95% confidence interval [CI], - 0.51 to 1.08]) or psychological symptoms (SMD - 0.25, CI - 0.62 to 0.12). Qualitative analysis shows potential intervention benefit for TBI symptoms. Interventions did not improve TBI caregiver psychological symptoms (SMD - 0.26, CI - 0.57 to 0.05); however, qualitative analysis suggests mixed effects for caregiver burden and quality of life. Positive intervention effects on patients' PTSD symptoms, mental health service use, and PTSD caregivers' psychological symptoms were identified with certain interventions. Strength of evidence ranged from moderate to very low. Discussion: Studies showed mixed patterns of intervention effects on caregiver and patient outcomes; evidence about intervention impact is inconclusive. This review is the first to identify caregiving interventions for patients with TBI and polytrauma and extends past reviews about patients with PTSD. Limitations include a small evidence base, low study quality, disparate methods, varied outcome measures, and high heterogeneity. PROSPERO Registration CRD42017053516. 

Access source material through DOI

Does it Matter if We Disagree? The Impact of Incongruent Care Preferences on Persons with Dementia and Their Care Partners

Purpose: To gain a better understanding of how actual and perceived incongruence of care preferences affects the psychosocial well-being of persons with dementia and their family caregiver. Design and Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 128 dyads each consisting of a person with dementia and a family caregiver. Baseline data from an intervention study were used to examine the relationship between the caregiver's care-related preferences, the person with dementia's care-related preferences, and the caregiver's perception of the person with dementia's preferences. Preferences for three care-related domains were recorded: personal activities of daily living (PADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and socioemotional issues. Primary outcomes included dyadic relationship strain, quality of life, and mood for both the caregiver and person with dementia. Results: Perceived incongruence of care preferences was a better predictor of negative psychosocial outcomes than actual incongruence. Actual incongruence for socioemotional care preferences was a predictor of greater relationship strain and worse mood for the person with dementia, whereas perceived incongruence for socioemotional care preferences was related to lower quality of life and worse mood for the caregiver. Interestingly, perceived incongruence for PADLs predicted higher quality of life and better mood for the caregiver. Implications: Findings have implications for communication between care partners, especially regarding socioemotional care preferences. Socioemotional preferences, which might be overlooked in the creation of a care plan, may influence the person with dementia's well-being. 

Access source material through DOI

A dyadic analysis of stress processes in Latinas with breast cancer and their family caregivers

Objective: Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment negatively affect quality of life for survivors and their family caregivers. The stress process model has been useful for describing the cascade of social and psychological experiences that culminate in degraded quality of life for both survivors and their family caregivers. This study is designed to test theoretically specified predictors of negative psychosocial outcomes in a dyadic context. Methods: Participants were 230 dyads composed of Latinas recently diagnosed with breast cancer and their primary family caregiver, who completed measures of socioeconomic status, stress, family conflict, depression, and anxiety. Data were analyzed following the Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model in structural equation modeling. Results: For both survivors and caregivers, there were significant direct and indirect actor effects (through family conflict) of perceived stress on depression and anxiety. Several indirect partner effects were also evident in this sample. Specifically, caregivers' stress was predictive of survivors' depression and anxiety through survivors' increased perceptions of family conflict. Conclusions: As predicted by the stress process model, stress and family conflict were predictive of psychological distress in breast cancer survivors and their family caregivers. Significant partner effects in the Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model suggest that there are some dyadic influences, particularly from caregivers' stress to survivors' perceptions of exacerbated family conflict. These findings show how strained family relationships can aggravate the well-being of cancer survivors and their family caregivers through this challenging experience. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life in family caregivers of schizophrenia patients in Spain: caregiver characteristics, caregiving burden, family functioning, and social and professional support

Objective: Caregivers experience physical and mental stress that ends up lowering their quality of life (QoL). Our goal was to research (a) the level of caregivers QoL; (b) the relationships between the demographic characteristics of the caregivers, their caregiving burden, their family functioning, their social and professional support and their QoL and (c) the best predictors of caregivers QoL. Methods:100 key caregivers (70% parents, 8% spouses, 17% siblings and 5% children) were studied using the world health organization quality of life-Bref (WHOQOL-BREF) to research their QoL, the Zarit Scale to assess their perception of their caregiving burden, the Social Network Questionnaire to examine their social support, the Family APGAR to assess the satisfaction with social support from the family and a professional support scale (Escala de Apoyo Profesional) to determine the professional support received by caregivers was performed. Results: Scores on the WHOQOL-BREF in the Physical, Psychological, Social and Environment domains were 15.0 (SD = 3.7), 13.3 (SD = 4.2), 11.0 (SD = 4.7) and 13.5 (SD = 3.1), respectively. Through bivariate analysis, the dimensions that showed a positive significant association with QoL were being a young male caregiver who was a working father with a high educational level and help from other family members. Caregivers of patients who were older and had a later onset of the illness, a lower score on the Zarit Scale and a high score on the Social Network Questionnaire, Family APGAR and Escala de Apoyo Profesional showed higher QoL. Many of these variables made a unique contribution in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions: There is a significant association between the caregiver’s burden and their QoL. Regression analysis showed that the best predictors of QoL were caregiving burden, social support and professional support. 

Access source material through DOI

A Needs-led Framework for Understanding the Impact of Caring for a Family Member With Dementia

Background and Objectives: Approximately half the care for people with dementia is provided by families. It is therefore imperative that research informs ways of maintaining such care. In this study, we propose that a needs-led approach can provide a useful, novel means of conceptualizing the impact of caring on the lives of family carers. Our aim was to develop and present a needs-led framework for understanding how providing care impacts on carers' fulfilment of needs. Design and Methods: In this qualitative study, we conducted 42 semistructured interviews with a purposively diverse sample of family carers to generate nuanced contextualized accounts of how caring impacted on carers' lives. Our inductive thematic analysis focused upon asking: "What need is being impacted here?" in order to generate a needs-led framework for understanding. Results: Nine themes were widely endorsed. Each completed the sentence: "Being a carer impacts on fulfilling my need to/ for....": Freedom; feel close to my relative; feel in control of my life; be my own person; protect my relative; share/express my thoughts and feelings; take care of myself; feel connected to the people around me; get things done. Discussion and Implications: These needs echo those from other research areas, with relational needs emerging as particularly central. The needs-led approach offers a perspective that is able to capture both stresses and positive aspects of caregiving. We recommend that clinical interviewing using Socratic questioning to discover human needs that are being impacted by caring would provide a valuable starting point for care planning.

Access source material through DOI

The development and validation of the Dementia Quality of Life Scale for Older Family Carers (DQoL-OC)

Purpose: Little is known about how caregiving affects the quality of life (QoL) of older family carers and no dementia and age-specific QoL scale is available for use with this population. This study aimed to develop and validate a unique dementia caregiving- and age-specific tool - the 'Dementia Quality of Life Scale for Older Family Carers' (DQoL-OC). Methods: The scale items were identified in focus groups with older family carers in the UK. Content and face validity were evaluated by a panel of six experts. A set of 100 items assessed on a 5-point Likert scale was tested with 182 older family carers. Test-re-test reliability was conducted with 18 individuals. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the QoL model and reduce the number of scale items. Convergent construct validity and internal consistency were also established. Results: A one-factor solution containing 22 items was obtained. Test-re-test reliability (lower bound r = 0.835;p < 0.001), internal consistency (Cronbach's a = 0.936), and convergent construct validity were established. Significantly lower levels of QoL were found in female older carers;those who perceived their relatives with dementia as being at the earlier stages of the disease and with unstable dementia symptoms;those providing care more hours per day and more days per week;and those in younger-old age. Conclusions: The DQoL-OC is a valid and reliable scale that will be useful for research and in clinical practice with older family carers of people with dementia. These study results will inform future health and social care aiming to improve life quality for this overlooked population of carers. 

Access source material through DOI

Perceptions of family caregivers of cancer patients about the challenges of caregiving: a qualitative study

Background: The experience of caring for a family member with cancer is associated with several care‐related problems and challenges for the caregiver. The comprehensive and in‐depth understanding of the trials and tribulations of caregiving can be a step towards resolving the problems faced by family caregivers of these patients. Aim: The present study aimed to explore challenges faced by Iranian family caregivers of cancer patients. Materials and methods: The present qualitative study was conducted through in‐depth semi‐structured interviews held with 21 family caregivers of cancer patients selected through purposive sampling. Interviews continued until saturation of data. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed through conventional content analysis. Finding: The codes extracted from interviews produced four main themes, including ‘confusion’, ‘uncertainty’, ‘disintegration’ and ‘setback’, which collectively caused suffering for family caregivers. Conclusion: Care provided in an atmosphere of suffering and discontent diminishes caregiver's quality of life and quality of patient care. Health planners should therefore consider the challenges and sufferings faced by family caregivers and should seek to obviate them through appropriate plans. 

Access source material through DOI

Examining the effect of peer helping in a coping skills intervention: a randomized controlled trial for advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients and their family caregivers

Purpose: At the end of life, spiritual well-being is a central aspect of quality of life for many patients and their family caregivers. A prevalent spiritual value in advanced cancer patients is the need to actively give. To address this need, the current randomized trial examined whether adding a peer helping component to a coping skills intervention leads to improved meaning in life and peace for advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients and their caregivers. Feasibility and acceptability outcomes were also assessed. Methods: Advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients and caregivers (n = 50 dyads) were randomly assigned to a 5-session, telephone-based coping skills intervention or a peer helping + coping skills intervention. One or both dyad members had moderate-severe distress. Peer helping involved contributing to handouts on coping skills for other families coping with cancer. Patients and caregivers completed measures of meaning in life/peace, fatigue, psychological symptoms, coping self-efficacy, and emotional support. Patient pain and caregiver burden were also assessed. Results: Small effects in favor of the coping skills group were found regarding meaning in life/peace at 1 and 5 weeks post-intervention. Other outcomes did not vary as a function of group assignment, with both groups showing small decreases in patient and caregiver fatigue and caregiver distress and burden. High recruitment and retention rates supported feasibility, and high participant satisfaction ratings supported acceptability. Conclusions: Although a telephone-based intervention is feasible and acceptable for this population, peer helping in the context of a coping skills intervention does not enhance spiritual well-being relative to coping skills alone. 

Access source material through DOI

Evaluation of a brief pilot psychoeducational support group intervention for family caregivers of cancer patients: a quasi-experimental mixed-methods study

Background: Family caregivers of cancer patients often experience an impaired quality of life (QOL) and emotional distress as a result of their caregiving duties, which may potentially influence the quality of care of their care recipients. The COPE (Caregivers of cancer Outpatients' Psycho-Education support group therapy) intervention was developed as a response to the lack of work done among family caregivers of ambulatory cancer patients in Asia. This group intervention comprised four weekly sessions simultaneously targeting psychoeducation, skills training, and supportive therapy. The present study sought to evaluate the pilot COPE intervention using both quantitative and qualitative measures. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to measure both depression and anxiety, while the Caregiver QOL - Cancer (CQOLC) measured caregiver QOL. These instruments were measured at baseline pre-intervention, and immediately post-intervention. A waitlist control group design was adopted. A subset of caregivers from the intervention group were invited for a semi-structured interview post-intervention.; Findings: Quantitative analyses suggest that while QOL remained stable in control group participants, intervention group participants experienced QOL improvements - both in overall QOL and in the specific domain of burden. There were no significant differences in the trajectories of depression and anxiety in both groups. Qualitative analyses suggest that this might have been a result of the intervention not only equipping participants with the relevant coping skills, but also providing a platform for emotional expression and situational reappraisal.; Conclusions: The COPE intervention has shown some efficacy in helping family caregivers of cancer patients, but more work is required before this can be implemented.; Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials NCT02120183 . Registered 17 April 2014. Retrospectively registered.;

Access source material through DOI

Evaluation of a brief pilot psychoeducational support group intervention for family caregivers of cancer patients: a quasi-experimental mixed-methods study

Background: Family caregivers of cancer patients often experience an impaired quality of life (QOL) and emotional distress as a result of their caregiving duties, which may potentially influence the quality of care of their care recipients. The COPE (Caregivers of cancer Outpatients' Psycho-Education support group therapy) intervention was developed as a response to the lack of work done among family caregivers of ambulatory cancer patients in Asia. This group intervention comprised four weekly sessions simultaneously targeting psychoeducation, skills training, and supportive therapy. The present study sought to evaluate the pilot COPE intervention using both quantitative and qualitative measures. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to measure both depression and anxiety, while the Caregiver QOL - Cancer (CQOLC) measured caregiver QOL. These instruments were measured at baseline pre-intervention, and immediately post-intervention. A waitlist control group design was adopted. A subset of caregivers from the intervention group were invited for a semi-structured interview post-intervention.; Findings: Quantitative analyses suggest that while QOL remained stable in control group participants, intervention group participants experienced QOL improvements - both in overall QOL and in the specific domain of burden. There were no significant differences in the trajectories of depression and anxiety in both groups. Qualitative analyses suggest that this might have been a result of the intervention not only equipping participants with the relevant coping skills, but also providing a platform for emotional expression and situational reappraisal.; Conclusions: The COPE intervention has shown some efficacy in helping family caregivers of cancer patients, but more work is required before this can be implemented.; Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials NCT02120183 . Registered 17 April 2014. Retrospectively registered.;

Access source material through DOI

Factors affecting the health-related quality of life of caregivers of patients with muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of progressive muscle weakness diseases. The caregiver burden, increasing as the disease progresses, can be associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The aims of this study were to investigate the HRQOL in caregivers of patients with MD and identify the factors associated with HRQOL. A cross-sectional assessment of caregiver HRQOL was performed with the Short Form-36 and compared with norms. The factors affecting HRQOL were investigated by patient and caregiver characteristics. The Muscular Dystrophy Functional Rating Scale was used to assess the functional status (mobility, basic activities of daily living, arm function, and impairment) of patients. The demographic data and social interaction activities of caregivers were assessed. Caregivers (n = 62) had poor HRQOL. Caregiver HRQOL was associated with the patient’s functional status, especially in the domains of Vitality and Mental Health. Numerous visits by neighbors and close friends of the caregiver family indicated better HRQOL (in the body pain, general health, vitality, role emotion and mental health domains). Caregiver HRQOL was associated with caregiver education level, while patient age, caregiver age, length of caregiving, and family income were not. These findings demonstrate that caregivers have poor HRQOL, and the mental domain of quality of life is associated with the patient’s functional status, social interaction, and caregiver education level. We suggest that rehabilitation programs focus on caregiver HRQOL, promote the patient’s functional status with assistive technology, enhance professional caring techniques, and encourage participation in social groups to improve caregiver HRQOL. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Access source material through DOI

Enhancing the quality of life for palliative care cancer patients in Indonesia through family caregivers: a pilot study of basic skills training

Background: Palliative care in Indonesia is problematic because of cultural and socio-economic factors. Family in Indonesia is an integral part of caregiving process in inpatient and outpatient settings. However, most families are not adequately prepared to deliver basic care for their sick family member. This research is a pilot project aiming to evaluate how basic skills training (BST) given to family caregivers could enhance the quality of life (QoL) of palliative care cancer patients in Indonesia.; Methods: The study is a prospective quantitative with pre and post-test design. Thirty family caregivers of cancer patients were trained in basic skills including showering, washing hair, assisting for fecal and urinary elimination and oral care, as well as feeding at bedside. Patients' QoL were measured at baseline and 4 weeks after training using EORTC QLQ C30. Hypothesis testing was done using related samples Wilcoxon Signed Rank. A paired t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to check in which subgroups was the intervention more significant.; Results: The intervention showed a significant change in patients' global health status/QoL, emotional and social functioning, pain, fatigue, dyspnea, insomnia, appetite loss, constipation and financial hardship of the patients. Male patient's had a significant effect on global health status (qol) (p = 0.030); female patients had a significant effect on dyspnea (p = 0.050) and constipation (p = 0.038). Younger patients had a significant effect in global health status/QoL (p = 0.002). Patients between 45 and 54 years old had significant effect on financial issue (p = 0.039). Caregivers between 45 and 54 years old had significant effect on patients' dyspnea (p = 0.031).; Conclusions: Basic skills training for family caregivers provided some changes in some aspects of QoL of palliative cancer patients. The intervention showed promises in maintaining the QoL of cancer patients considering socio-economic and cultural challenges in the provision of palliative care in Indonesia.;

Access source material through DOI

Traumatic brain injury caregivers: A qualitative analysis of spouse and parent perspectives on quality of life

The objective of this qualitative study was to examine how family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) describe their quality of life in the context of their caregiving role. Fifty-two caregivers of adults with moderate or severe TBI (n = 31 parents,n = 21 partners/spouses; 77% female; mean age = 57.96 years, range = 34–78 years) were recruited from three data collection sites to participate in focus groups. Thematic content analysis was used to identify two main meta-themes: Caregiver Role Demands and Changes in Person with TBI. Prominent sub-themes indicated that caregivers are (1) overburdened with responsibilities, (2) lack personal time and time for self-care, (3) feel that their life is interrupted or lost, (4) grieve the loss of the person with TBI, and (5) endorse anger, guilt, anxiety, and sadness. Caregivers identified a number of service needs. A number of sub-themes were perceived differently by partner versus parent caregivers. The day-to-day responsibilities of being a caregiver as well as the changes in the person with the TBI present a variety of challenges and sources of distress for caregivers. Although services that address instrumental as well as emotional needs of caregivers may benefit caregivers in general, the service needs of parent and partner caregivers may differ.

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with the quality of life of family caregivers for leukemia patients in China

Background: The leukemia affects not only the quality of life (QOL) of patients with the disease but also that of their family caregivers (FCs). The research studies on QOL of FCs for leukemia patients are limited. This study aimed to evaluate the QOL of FCs for leukemia patients in Heilongjiang province, China. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was undertaken with 309 FCs for leukemia patients recruited from three hospitals in Heilongjiang province. The QOL of the participants was assessed using the Chinese version of WHOQOL-BREF. Multivariate regression models were established to determine the predictors of the QOL of FCs, including the socio-economic characteristics of patients and FCs, and the emotional distress, social support and family functions of FCs. Results: The FCs had low QOL scores in all four domains: 12.7 ± 2.8 for physical, 12.2 ± 2.5 for psychological, 13.2 ± 2.9 for social and 11.3 ± 2.5 for environment. Social support is a major predictor of the QOL of FCs, with a standardized β coefficient of "high support" ranging from 0.41 to 0.58 for the four domains, followed by family function (β = 0.37 ~ 0.44 for psychological, social and environmental domains). The FCs who were older, highly educated, had no religious belief, suffered from a higher level of emotional distress, and provided care to younger patients and the patients without insurance coverage had lower QOL than the others. Conclusion: The study provides some important insights into the QOL of FCs for leukemia patients. The QOL of FCs for leukemia patients is low and low levels of support to FCs are a major predictor of low QOL of FCs. 

Access source material through DOI

Challenges Experienced by and Quality of Life of Relatives of Cancer Patients Requiring Palliative Care at Home

OBJECTIVE The aim of this descriptive study was to determine challenges experienced by and quality of life of relatives of cancer patients requiring palliative care at home. METHODS This research was conducted with the relatives of patients hospitalized in the palliative care service. Data collection tools used in the study were the "Questionnaire to Assess Challenges of Home Care Providers" and the "Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer Scale" (CQOLC). RESULTS Mean age of the caregivers was 44.4±13.2. Of them, 50% were women. Of the women, 61.7% were housewives. Of all caregivers, 75% had difficulty fulfilling their responsibilities, 53.3% experienced problems in maintaining family relationships, 96.7% did not utilize home care services, and 43% did not receive information about home care. The caregivers also had trouble managing the following issues: pain (80%), nausea/vomiting (70%), defecation (56.7%), and mobility (35%). Mean CQOLC score of the caregivers was 49.7. Mean score on subscales of the CQOLC was 21.58 on the burden subscale, 39.7 on the disruptiveness subscale, 57.7 on the financial concern subscale, and 116.1 on the positive adaptation subscale. Respondents' quality of life was generally low. CONCLUSION Palliative care team should be aware of the needs of caregivers and provide support. Expanding the scope and content of palliative and home healthcare services, improving the quality of these services, and organizing well-educated teams in this branch will better meet the needs of patients and their caregivers and promote their quality of life. 

Access source material through DOI

Anxiety, depression and quality of life in family caregivers of palliative cancer patients during home care and after the patient's death

We examined psychological parameters in family caregivers of palliative cancer patients before and after the death of the patients. Caregivers’ data about depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), quality‐of‐life (Short Form‐8 Health Survey), and social support (Oslo Social Support Scale) were collected at the beginning of home care (t1) and 2 months after the patient had died (t2). Regression models were employed to examine factors related to depression and anxiety in the bereaved caregivers. We interviewed 72 relatives, who were the primary caregiver of a patient. One‐third (31.9%) of caregivers had high anxiety levels and 29.2% had high depression levels (t1, cut‐off = 10). At t2, anxiety and depression had decreased significantly. There were no changes in quality‐of‐life over time. At both points of assessments, quality‐of‐life was lower than in the general population. Relevant factors for higher anxiety and depression in the bereaved caregivers were high levels of distress at t1, insufficient social support and low physical function. Bereaved caregivers were particularly depressed when they had been the spouse of the patient. Healthcare professionals should consider social isolation of caring relatives both during homecare and afterwards. Thus, it seems to be important to routinely offer support to spouses. 

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregivers: A qualitative study to better understand the quality-of-life concerns and needs of this population

BACKGROUND: While providing physical, psychological, and spiritual care to their loved ones with cancer, family caregivers (FCGs) are physically and emotionally vulnerable to the tolls of caregiving. Patients and FCGs experience the uncertainty that comes with illness and treatment, its side effects, the lack of control, the emotional upheaval, the spiritual doubt, and the helplessness of advancing disease. OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to better understand the quality-of-life needs of the FCG population, particularly those who encounter financial strain related to patients' cancer and treatment. METHODS: This qualitative study of FCG concerns was conducted in association with a randomized trial of an FCG support intervention. Twenty FCGs of patients with solid tumor cancers were interviewed in person or via telephone for this study. The FCG version of the City of Hope quality-of-life tool, which consists of four domains of well-being (physical, psychological, social, spiritual), was applied to the content analysis of interviews. FINDINGS: Care for FCGs is needed across all quality-of-life domains. 

Access source material through DOI

Health-related quality of life in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer disease

Introduction Informal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) have a poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). HRQOL is an increasingly common user-focused outcome measure. We have evaluated HRQOL longitu