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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.

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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).
 

Measures for social support in raising a child with a disability: A scoping review

Background: The benefits of social support for caregivers raising a child with a disability have been identified in the literature. These benefits include the improvement of the mental and physical well‐being of the caregivers, improvement in caregiving styles, and overall improvement of family quality of life. Whilst the benefits of social support are widely reported, the definitions and measures of social support in the literature are varied.

Method: A scoping review was therefore undertaken to identify and describe the tools used to measure social support of primary caregivers (i.e., parents or grandparents) raising a child (0–18 years) with a congenital disability in international studies. Ten databases were systematically searched.

Results: Sixteen studies were included in the review, from which nine social support measures were identified. Attributes of the measures were searched from their referenced papers and described in terms of their reported psychometric properties.

Conclusions: Through the identification of the measures of social support and ensuring its accurate measurement, direction can be provided for intervention by allowing professionals to detect and address social support available. Future recommendations for research are made. 

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Quality of life in caregivers of young children with Prader-Willi syndrome

Background: This study aimed to measure quality of life (QOL) in primary caregivers of young childrenwith Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS).

Methods: The caregivers of 32 children aged from 6.1 to 71.2 months completed the Chinese version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF). We also evaluated the social adaption capacity of these children with Infants-Junior Middle School Students' Social-Life Abilities Scale. Correlation test was used to explore the related factors to caregivers' QOL.

Results: Caregivers of young children with PWS had significantly lower QOL. The correlation analyses revealed that caregivers' QOL was lower in children with young age, combined diseases or symptoms or poor social adaption, or caregivers having concerns about the child.

Conclusions: Rearing a chilld with PWS may lead to decreased QOL. Psychological status of caregivers should be highlighted and social support should be given to families with PWS children.

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Depression, anxiety and quality of life impairment in parents of children with functional lower urinary tract dysfunction

Background: Lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) is a common clinical condition in children, frequently associated with emotional issues both among the patients and their families. The objective of the present study was to measure depressive and anxious symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in parents of LUTD patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study applied Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories and WHOQOL-Bref to 88 caregivers of children with LUTD followed at a tertiary care center. The prevalence of mental disorders in children and adolescents was assessed using the Child Behavior Check List (CBCL 6-18) answered by their caregivers. The association of clinical features and emotional aspects related to the caregivers' quality of life was evaluated through non-parametric correlation (Spearman) and multiple linear regression analysis.

Results: Most of the caregivers were mothers (88%), with a mean age of 41.5 (SD 8.7 years), 67% of them married or in a stable union, and 38% had not completed elementary school. Considering 19 as the cutoff point for the Beck scale, 44% of the sample had a clinical score for depressive symptoms and 43% for anxious symptoms. According to the parents' report, 56% of children with LUTD had a clinical score for behavioral problems in CBCL. Parents' QoL was impaired, and the predictors of poor QoL were the age of the patients and presence of depressive/anxious symptoms in caregivers. Parents' depression/anxiety symptoms and poor QoL significantly correlated with behavioral problems in their children. The CBCL total problems score correlated both to depression (r = 0.38, p < 0.01) and to anxiety in parents (r = 0.49, p < 0.01) (Figure).

Conclusions: These findings indicate a possible emotional impact of LUTD in patients' caregivers. Our study suggests that an approach to the family of LUTD patients' may be an important therapeutic resource for an effective clinical control of this condition. 

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Psychosocial recommendations for the care of children and adults with epidermolysis bullosa and their family: evidence based guidelines

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of rare genetic disorders resulting in skin fragility and other symptoms. Commissioned by DEBRA International and funded by DEBRA Norway, this evidence-bases guideline provides recommendations to optimise psychosocial wellbeing in EB.An international multidisciplinary panel of social and health care professionals (HCP) and people living with EB was formed. A systematic international literature review was conducted by the panel following the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) methodology. The resulting papers underwent systematic selection and critique processes. Included papers were allocated to 6 different outcome groups to allow data synthesis and exploration: quality of life, coping, family, wellbeing, access to HCP and pain. Based on the evidence in those papers, recommendations were made for individuals living with EB, family and caregivers and HCP working in the field.Few studies have investigated interventions and which factors lead to better outcomes, but general recommendations can be made. EB is a complex disease impacting enormously on every aspect of psychosocial life. People and families living with EB need access to multidisciplinary support, including psychological guidance, in order to improve quality of life and psychosocial wellbeing. Interventions should stimulate social participation to prevent isolation. People with EB and their families should be able to access a supportive network. HCP should be well supported and educated about the complexity of EB. They should work collaboratively with those around the individual with EB (e.g. schools, employers etc.) to provide psychosocial opportunity and care.Attention should be paid to the psychosocial impact of EB as well as physical needs. Directions for research are indicated. 

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Psychosocial aspects of children and families treated with hemodialysis

Introduction: The aim of this study was to analyze the selected psychosocial aspects of chronic kidney disease in children treated with hemodialysis (HD).

Methods: The study included 25 children treated with HD aged 2 to 18 years and their parents. Data concerning the illness and socio-demographic parameters was collected. We used the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) for patients and for their parents the PedsQL-proxy version, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Berlin Social Support Scales (BSSS), and the Caregivers Burden Scale (CBS) to evaluate health-related quality of life (QoL) of HD children and their primary caregivers.

Findings: In the PedsQL test, the QoL of HD children was lower than in healthy children. Children treated with HD assessed their QoL on the PedsQL questionnaire higher than the primary caregivers, on all subscales as well as an overall health-related QoL. Scoring below 2 on the GHQ-12 test was reported in 56% of mothers, which may indicate that psychological symptoms have intensified. There was no correlation between BSSS, CBS, and GHQ-12.

Discussion: The assessment of QoL in pediatric patients would allow for the earliest possible identification of their nonsomatic problems and irregularities. This could, consequently, contribute to improving QoL in both children with chronic kidney disease and their families. 

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Family Burden After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Children

Objectives: To describe family burden among caregivers of children who survived out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and who were at high risk for neurologic disability and examine relationships between family burden, child functioning, and other factors during the first year post arrest.

Design: Secondary analysis of data from the Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Out-of-Hospital trial.

Setting: Thirty-six PICUs in the United States and Canada.; Patients: Seventy-seven children recruited to the Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Out-of-Hospital trial who had normal prearrest neurologic functioning and were alive 1 year post arrest.;

Interventions: Family burden was assessed using the Infant Toddler Quality of Life Questionnaire for children less than 5 years old and the Child Health Questionnaire for children 5 years old or older at baseline (reflecting prearrest status), 3 months, and 12 months post arrest. Child functioning was assessed using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale II, the Pediatric Overall Performance Category, and Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category scales and caregiver perception of global functioning.

Measurements and Main Results: Fifty-six children (72.7%) were boys, 48 (62.3%) were whites, and 50 (64.9%) were less than 5 years old prior to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Family burden at baseline was not significantly different from reference values. Family burden was increased at 3 and 12 months post arrest compared with reference values (p < 0.001). Worse Pediatric Overall Performance Category and Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category, lower adaptive behavior, lower global functioning, and higher family burden all measured 3 months post arrest were associated with higher family burden 12 months post arrest (p < 0.05). Sociodemographics and prearrest child functioning were not associated with family burden 12 months post arrest.

Conclusions: Families of children who survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and have high risk for neurologic disability often experience substantial burden during the first year post arrest. The extent of child dysfunction 3 months post arrest is associated with family burden at 12 months.

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Impact of Self-Efficacy on The Quality of Life of Children With Asthma and Their Caregivers

Introduction: Health-related quality of life is an important outcome measurement in the monitoring of asthma control. Self-efficacy is a determinant of self-management behaviors that can contribute to the improvement of asthma control and quality of life. Our objective was to analyze the relationship between self-efficacy and quality of life in children with asthma and their caregivers.

Methods: We included 176 patients aged 6-14 years with asthma, and determined their level of self-efficacy according to three groups (low, medium and high levels). Each child and their main caregiver completed the PAQLQ and PACQLQ questionnaires, respectively.

Results: PAQLQ range=1-7: 5.61±1.11; PACQLQ range=1-7: 5.42±1.35; self-efficacy range=0-60: low level 28.44±4.58; average level 37.41±1.7, and high level 47.50±5.5. Significant differences were observed in quality of life according to low-medium vs. high levels of self-efficacy. Specific related domains: PAQLQ emotions and PAQLQ symptoms with self-efficacy in problem-solving skills related to asthma and treatment self-efficacy; PACQLQ emotions with self-efficacy in problem-solving skills related to asthma.

Conclusions: A high level of self-efficacy is associated with a better quality of life for children and their caregivers. Based on these results, the measurement of self-efficacy could be incorporated in the assessment of educational interventions in self-management targeted at the quality of life of the patient and his or her family.

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Evaluation of the measurement properties of the Brazilian version of two quality-of-life questionnaires in food allergy - for children and their parents

Objective: To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of health-related quality-of-life questionnaires of children with food allergy and their parents.

Methods: The translation and cultural adaptation processes were previously performed, according to the method proposed by the World Health Organization. After this stage, the questionnaires were applied to 201 parents of children under 6 years of age with food allergy. The assessment of the psychometric properties included: evaluation of the internal consistency by Cronbach's alpha coefficient; of the reproducibility by the intraclass correlation coefficient between test and retest; and of the construct, using Spearman's correlation coefficient, comparing the obtained scores with those of generic questionnaires that evaluate health-related quality of life.

Results: The means of the obtained scores were 2.44 and 3.35, for the children and their parents, respectively. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.85 and 0.91, respectively, which showed good internal consistency of the tools. The intraclass correlation coefficients between test and retest were 0.87 and 0.84 for children and their parents, respectively, showing good reproducibility for both questionnaires. The correlation between the specific and the generic questionnaires was significant (-0.27 for the children, -0.64 for their parents, p<0.05).

Conclusions: The specific questionnaires to evaluate the health-related quality of life of children with food allergy and of their parents were satisfactorily validated to be used in Brazil. 

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Experiences of living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a qualitative systematic review protocol

Objective: The objective of this review is to identify, critically appraise and synthesize the available qualitative evidence to understand the experiences of children, young adults and their carers living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in any setting.

Introduction: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common rheumatic disease in childhood. Despite the availability of effective treatments, the disease still has negative impacts on patients' and carers' lives. Patients' and carers' experiences of living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis have been recognized as important in the measurement of health status and treatment implementation. Addressing these needs will facilitate more effective management and treatment of the disease. This protocol describes a method for a systematic review regarding the perspectives from patients and carers in order to highlight the needs of families throughout their juvenile idiopathic arthritis journey.

Inclusion Criteria: Studies on the experiences of patients aged <21 years who have been diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis according to the International League of Associations for Rheumatology criteria, as well as the experiences of their carers, will be considered. Papers included in this review will include, but not be limited to, designs such as phenomenology, grounded theory and ethnography.

Methods: A comprehensive search using PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO and Web of Science was undertaken in August 2019. Available studies published in English from 2001 to 2019 will be included. The recommended JBI method for study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction and data synthesis will be used.

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The relationship between barriers to care, caregiver distress, and child health-related quality of life in caregivers of children with cancer: A structural equation modeling approach

The current study examined the relationship between demographic variables, treatment factors, and perceived barriers to care to both caregiver distress and caregiver-reported child health-related quality of life in caregivers of children diagnosed with cancer utilizing path analysis. Parental distress is examined as a potential mediator between barriers to care and income, as well as child age and caregiver-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The final model demonstrated close fit to the data. Family income and perceived barriers to care demonstrated direct effects on caregiver distress. Child age, treatment intensity, severity of illness, and caregiver distress also demonstrated direct effects on caregiver-reported HRQOL. These results suggest a significant relationship between burden of care, caregiver functioning, and caregiver-reported child outcomes and support the transactional relationship between caregiver and child functioning.

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The Implementation of Parent–Child Interaction Therapy for the Treatment of Tourette Syndrome and Disruptive Behavior

A diagnosis of Tourette syndrome (TS) can confer a plethora of negative outcomes including impaired psychosocial functioning, academic difficulties, disruptive behavior, and mood dysregulation. Further, children diagnosed with TS can engender immense amounts of burden and stress experienced by their caregivers which can put strain and tension on the parent–child relationship. Uncovering efficacious treatments for improving the quality of life for children diagnosed with TS and their families represents both a great challenge as well as a chief concern for professionals working with this population. The present case study describes the provision of parent–child interaction therapy for addressing behavioral problems in a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with TS. Results suggest improvements in child compliance, decreases in disruptive behaviors, and decreases in certain symptomatology associated with TS. Treatment implications for working with youth with TS are described in detail. 

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A Study to Assess the Quality of Life (QOL) Among Parents of Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Attending Oncology Out Patient Department (OPD) In Selected Hospital of Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Introduction: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer. The leukemia affects not only the quality of life (QOL) of children but also their caregivers. This study aimed to identify the Quality of Life of parents of children with ALL and to find out the association between QOL of parents of children with ALL and the selected demographic variables.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted to assess the QOL among parents of children with ALL. Non-probability purposive sampling technique was followed to select 70 parents of children with ALL attending oncology Outpatient Department in selected hospitals of Kolkata, West Bengal. Semi-structured interview was conducted and the 'Adult Carer Quality of Life (ACQOL)', the standardized questionnaire was used to assess the quality of life.

Results: The study findings revealed that majority (71.43%) of the parents were mother, maximum (77.14%) parents were belonged to the 30-40 years of age group, majority (42.86%) of the parents spent more than 60 hours per week for caring. It was found that majority of the clients 48 (68.57%) had perceived their quality of life as 'Mid-range'. There was a significant association between QOL and monthly family income and time (in hours) spent for caring per week.

Conclusion: The study was believed to be a helpful guide for future study on assessment of Quality of Life of any other caregivers in a large sample for better generalization.

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Impacts of caring for a child with the CDKL5 disorder on parental wellbeing and family quality of life

Background: Although research in this area remains sparse, raising a child with some genetic disorders has been shown to adversely impact maternal health and family quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate such impacts in families with a child with the CDKL5 disorder, a newly recognised genetic disorder causing severe neurodevelopmental impairments and refractory epilepsy.

Methods: Data were sourced from the International CDKL5 Disorder Database to which 192 families with a child with a pathogenic CDKL5 mutation had provided data by January 2016. The Short Form 12 Health Survey Version 2, yielding a Physical Component Summary and a Mental Component Summary score, was used to measure primary caregiver's wellbeing. The Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale was used to measure family quality of life. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate relationships between child and family factors and the various subscale scores.

Results: The median (range) age of the primary caregivers was 37.0 (24.6-63.7) years and of the children was 5.2 (0.2-34.1) years. The mean (SD) physical and mental component scores were 53.7 (8.6) and 41.9 (11.6), respectively. In mothers aged 25-54 years the mean mental but not the physical component score was lower than population norms. After covariate adjustment, caregivers with a tube-fed child had lower mean physical but higher mean mental component scores than those whose child fed orally (coefficient = -4.80 and 6.79; p = 0.009 and 0.012, respectively). Child sleep disturbances and financial hardship were negatively associated with the mental component score. The mean (SD) Beach Center Family Quality of Life score was 4.06 (0.66) and those who had used respite services had lower scores than those who had not across the subscales.

Conclusions: Emotional wellbeing was considerably impaired in this caregiver population, and was particularly associated with increased severity of child sleep problems and family financial difficulties. Family quality of life was generally rated lowest in those using respite care extensively, suggesting that these families may be more burdened by daily caregiving.

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Rewards of parenting children and adolescents with spinal cord injuries

Study Design: Mixed-method study.; Objectives: Describe caregiver perspectives on the rewards of parenting youth with spinal cord injury (SCI) and explore the relationships between rewards and child/caregiver demographic characteristics and child psychosocial outcomes.; Setting: Data collection occurred at three pediatric specialty hospitals within a single hospital system in the United States. 

Methods: Self-identified primary caregivers (n=178) of children aged 1-18 years answered the question: 'What has been most rewarding in parenting a child with SCI'? and completed a questionnaire about their child's health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Participants aged 7-18 years (n=134) also completed tools assessing their community participation, anxiety, depression and HRQOL.

Results: Four reward themes emerged: Enhanced Resilience (for example, resilience in my child, self and family), Caregiver-Child Relationship, Connecting with Others, and Learning. Caregivers of children with lower self-reported school and overall psychosocial HRQOL were more likely to report Enhanced Resilience in their child. Caregivers whose children had fewer depressive symptoms, lower levels of participation and who were older at injury and interview felt rewarded by an enhanced Caregiver-Child Relationship. Caregivers of children with a broader context of participation and higher school and psychosocial HRQOL reported Connecting with Others. Finally, unemployed caregivers and those with less education were more likely to report Learning.

Conclusions: Caregivers reported a variety of rewards from parenting their children with SCI, and several relationships emerged between rewards and demographics and child psychosocial outcomes. Future research should further examine the positive experiences of caregivers and whether focusing on strengths might yield better long-term outcomes for children with SCI.

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Qualitative Analysis of Parental Observations on Quality of Life in Australian Children with Down Syndrome

Objective: There are many challenges to health, functioning, and participation for children with Down syndrome; yet, the quality-of-life (QOL) domains important for this group have never been clearly articulated. This study investigated parental observations to identify QOL domains in children with Down syndrome and determined whether domains differed between children and adolescents.

Methods: The sample comprised 17 families whose child with Down syndrome was aged 6 to 18 years. Primary caregivers took part in semistructured telephone interviews to explore aspects of their child's life that were satisfying or challenging. Qualitative thematic analysis was implemented using a grounded theory framework to identify domains. The coded data set was divided into 2 groups (childhood and adolescence) at 3 age cut points to observe whether differences existed between the coded domains and domain elements: (1) 6 to 11 years with 12 to 18 years; (2) 6 to 13 years with 14 to 18 years; and (3) 6 to 15 years with 16 to 18 years.

Results: Eleven domains were identified: physical health, behavior and emotion, personal value, communication, movement and physical activity, routines and predictability, independence and autonomy, social connectedness and relationships, variety of activities, nature and outdoors, and access to services. No differences in domains and domain elements were identified across childhood and adolescence.

Conclusion: Our data form a preliminary framework from which to design investigations of the child's perspectives on life quality and suggest a range of necessary supports and services.

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Impact of childhood Dravet syndrome on care givers of patients with DS, a major impact on mothers

Background: The aim of this study was to understand the impact of Dravet syndrome (DS) on patients with Dravet syndrome and their families, with a focus on the social and economic impact on both mothers and fathers.

Methods: A French language on-line survey was distributed (October 2014-January 2015) for completion by caregivers of patients aged <18 years with DS. The survey was hosted on the French Dravet Syndrome Alliance website, and the survey link was provided to patients and caregivers during clinics at the Necker Hospital (Paris, France).

Results: Survey responses were available for 91 patients (median age 7.6 years; 81.6% SCN1A mutation positive). Total seizure frequency was >2 per week for 16.1% of patients, 1-8 per month for 55.2% and < 1 per month for 28.7%; tonic-clonic and myoclonic were the most frequent seizure types. Patients showed various degrees of intellectual disability and DS had a high impact on concentration and school learning in 70.1% and 80.5%. In addition, patients showed appetite disorders in 73.6%, sleep disorders in 72.4% and behavior disorders in 62.1%. Most parents were married (80.5%) with higher rates than the French general population (53.5%). Educational achievement and socio-professional categories for the parents were higher than observed in the French general population, while monthly net income was similar. Preparation of medication was generally done by the mother and father (46.0% of patients) or the mother only (37.9%). Most caregivers reported very low or no difficulty with treatment preparation and low or no risk of error. Parents typically spent <30 min per day on treatment preparation and administration and around 4 h per week for attending therapy appointments. Although most patients and parents were perceived to have good general health, mothers had a worse perception of their own general health than fathers. Compared with fathers, mothers reported a greater impact of caring for a child with DS on their social life, relationships with family and friends, time and energy, and professional life. 

Conclusion: Families caring for a child with DS experience considerable social and economic impact, with an apparent greater burden of care on the mother than the father.

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Perception of impact of Dravet syndrome on children and caregivers in multiple countries: looking beyond seizures

Aim: To assess the relevance and generalizability across countries of concepts of the impact of Dravet syndrome beyond seizures, as recognized by families.

Method: Caregivers of children with Dravet syndrome in four countries (Australia [n=8]; USA, UK, and Italy [all n=4]) participated in 1-hour qualitative telephone interviews, identifying key Dravet syndrome concepts. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and, where necessary, translated into English for thematic analysis. Conceptual saturation was assessed and findings compared to the previously developed French conceptual disease model.

Results: The most common seizure types reported by caregivers were tonic-clonic, absence, or focal-impaired awareness (localized/partial). Fever and physical activity were the most commonly reported triggers. Patient-relevant impacts included impairment in cognition, motor skills, communication, social skills, and behavioural functioning. Caregivers consistently reported negative social, physical, and family impacts. Concepts identified in the interviews showed similarity with the French conceptual model. Minor differences between countries are likely to reflect variations in health care systems.

Interpretation: Findings in Italy, Australia, UK, and USA confirm that the key impacts of Dravet syndrome on children and caregivers identified in France are generalizable across countries. Key symptom and impact concepts relevant to children and parents should be targeted as critical outcomes in new therapy evaluations.

What This Paper Adds: Relevance of the impact of Dravet syndrome on children and caregivers was confirmed across countries. Patient and caregiver-relevant Dravet syndrome impacts contribute to poorer health-related quality of life. Indirect seizure impacts were reported to be as important as direct impacts. Country-specific differences in concepts probably reflect differences in health care systems. 

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Psychosocial issues in erythropoietic protoporphyria - the perspective of parents, children, and young adults: A qualitative study

Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) and X-linked protoporphyria (XLP) are rare photodermatoses, generally presenting in childhood with severe and painful phototoxicity. EPP has been reported to negatively affect quality of life (QoL), but there is limited information on the psychosocial issues faced by patients and families. To address this, an online focus group study was conducted to explore the perspective of parents of children with EPP, and young adults and children with EPP. Five focus groups were conducted in a semi-structured format, with moderator-led discussions exploring the impact on QoL. Three focus groups included parents of children with EPP, one with children aged 10-11 years, and another with young adults aged 24-25 years, for a total of 24 participants. Thematic data analysis showed that parents experience guilt for being unable to protect their children and frustration with the current state of knowledge of EPP. Parents also admitted that the disease can lead to stress within family members which is difficult to manage. Young adults expressed embarrassment over having to explain the disease to others. They reported that the teenage years were the most difficult to navigate; however, they learned to adapt to their disease as they grew older. Children expressed that they had limited understanding of their disease and wished they were told what symptoms to expect by physicians earlier in life. Our findings emphasize the significant impact on QoL for these families and a lack of age appropriate information for children with EPP. These findings can help improve counseling and support resources for patients and caregivers.

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Determinants of care efficiency in a group of Polish parents raising children with different developmental disorders: a cross-sectional study

Objectives: Care efficiency of family can be determined by many factors such as mental and physical health status of family members and their socioeconomic situation. Raising children with disabilities is a burdening and stressful situation for their caregivers. This article examines determinants of care efficiency in a group of Polish parents raising children with developmental disorders.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in 9 Polish schools for disabled children located in Cracow. Questionnaire that included the Caregiver Burden Scale and the Scale Efficiency of Care was completed by 213 mothers and 30 fathers. During the data analysis parametric tests (e.g. ANOVA) and nonparametric tests (e.g. a Mann–Whitney U test, Kruskal–Wallis test) were used.

Results: Parents' care efficiency and burden of care were on an average level. Sociodemographic variables such as gender, age, place of residence, education and family structure were not related to the care efficiency. The relationship with housing and material conditions of the respondents was shown. The statistical analysis showed the relationship between the level of parents' care efficiency and all subscales of Caregiver Burden Scale. Parents who demonstrated a higher level of care efficiency experienced lower level of burden in areas such as General Strain, Isolation, Disappointment, Emotional Involvement and Environment.

Conclusions: Disability of a child reduces caring potential of a family. Parents experience more physical and mental fatigue, which aggravates their disappointment. It is important to make precise diagnosis of parents' care problems and implement an individualized program to help a family.

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Patient education for children with interstitial lung diseases and their caregivers: A pilot study

Objective: Patient education in children with rare chronic diseases like children's interstitial lung disease (chILD) remains a challenge.

Aims: To develop and evaluate a component-based educational program for individual counselling and to improve patients' and caregivers' self-efficacy and treatment satisfaction. Furthermore, to create chILD-specific educational material and assess physicians' satisfaction with the intervention as well as patients' health-related quality of life (HrQoL).

Methods: The study was conducted in two German centers for pediatric pulmonology, as a single-group intervention with pre-post-follow-up design.

Results: Participants (N = 107, age: M = 7.67, SD = 5.90) showed significant improvement of self-efficacy (self-report: t = 2.89, p < 0.01; proxy-report: t = 3.03, p < 0.01), and satisfaction (patients: t = 3.56, p = 0.001; parents t = 6.38, p < 0.001) with the medical consultations. There were no pre-post differences in HrQoL. Participants were highly satisfied with the material and the physicians with the program.

Conclusions: The chILD education-program is a promising strategy to improve patients' and their parents' self-efficacy and treatment-satisfaction. Specific effects of the intervention need to be determined in a randomized controlled trial.

Practice Implication: Healthcare providers managing pediatric patients with chILD, may choose to use a patient education-program specifically tailored to the needs of chILD patients and their families, such as the program described here, which is the first of its kind. 

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Perceived Stress among Caregivers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A State-Wide Study

Background: Caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience increased stress and more significant negative caregiving consequences than those with typically developing children. There is a lack of studies specifically focusing on stress among caregivers with ASD children in Asian countries. The current study examines levels of perceived stress and factors associated with it among caregivers in Kelantan, Malaysia.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, the Malay version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered to 227 caregivers of children with ASD. The caregivers were recruited from ASD databases in four tertiary hospitals in Kelantan and a meeting was set up during the child's follow-up in the clinic. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied to determine the predictors of perceived stress.

Results: The mean total perceived stress score was 20.84 (4.72). This was considered higher than average. Higher perceived stress was significantly predicted among caregivers who live far from the health institution, caregivers who do not own transportation to bring the child to the treatment center, and caregivers who have an ASD child with a learning disability.

Conclusion: Caregivers of an ASD child perceived significant stress while taking care of their children. Institutions should alleviate the factors that were predicted to increase the caregivers' perceived stress to improve the quality of the lives of children and ASD families as a whole.

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Measuring the Benefits of Respite Care use by Children with Disabilities and Their Families

Purpose: The benefits of respite care in reducing the burden of caregivers of children with disabilities are well known; however, few studies have effectively quantified such benefits. The aim of the present study was to develop and validate a measure for evaluating the benefit of respite care provided to family caregivers of children with disabilities.

Design and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. We distributed a survey questionnaire to 465 family caregivers between March and April 2017. Participants were asked to respond to items regarding benefits of respite care for themselves and their children.

Results: Data in relation to four domains (Child Development, Sense of Peace and Life Fulfillment among Caregivers, Mental Health Support for the Caregiver, and Expansion of Perspectives and Future Vision) were extracted to assess the benefits of using respite care. The full-scale Cronbach's α coefficient was 0.89 and ranged between 0.73 and 0.88 for each individual domain.

Conclusions: The newly developed measure for assessing the benefits of respite care for family caregivers of children with disabilities was highly reliable and valid.; Practice Implications: This objective tool would allow healthcare practitioners to review the quality of respite care they provide and subsequently help them identify ways to improve. 

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"Living an Obstacle Course": A Qualitative Study Examining the Experiences of Caregivers of Children with Rett Syndrome

Background: Rett syndrome has considerable effects on the quality of life of affected children, impairing everyday activities and potentially impacting the life of both the caregivers and the family. Our aim was to explore the experiences of a group of caregivers of children with Rett syndrome with regards to living and caring for their children.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative case study to examine how 31 caregivers of children with Rett syndrome perceived living with their children. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, focus groups, researchers' field notes and caregivers' personal documents. A thematic analysis was performed following the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guideline.

Results: The experience of being a caregiver of a child with Rett syndrome was expressed as being akin to an "obstacle course", and was described via three main themes: (a) looking for answers, with two subthemes identified, namely 'the first symptoms', and 'the need for a diagnosis'; (b) managing day to day life, with the subthemes 'applying treatments', and 'learning to care'; and (c) money matters.

Conclusions: Rett syndrome has a considerable impact on the lives of the caregivers involved. The health-care process and the management of economic resources are some of the aspects highlighted by caregivers. These findings have important implications for the planning of support services, health systems and health policies.

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Discharge Education and Caregiver Coping of Pediatric Patients with a Tracheostomy: Systematic Review

Aim: The aim of this review was to assess and synthesize current literature evaluating caregiver education and coping after children were discharged with a tracheostomy.; Background: Tracheostomy tube placement is a transformative event for the child who receives it and the family members who care for the child. As a result, it is imperative to provide caregivers a comprehensive and effective education on how to care for the tracheostomy and how to cope with a tracheostomy.

Design: A systematic review of literature was conducted to explore practices associated with tracheostomy education among caregivers of pediatric patients with a tracheostomy.

Methods: A search of PubMed, CINAHL, and Web of Science revealed potential 501 articles using keywords, tracheostomy, tracheotomy, education, discharge, caregiver, and family coping. After reviewing them in a systematic fashion, 12 articles were identified that were pertinent to tracheostomy education.; Findings: This review of literature showed that discrepancies existed in how discharge education was provided and the lack of knowledge regarding tracheostomy care among caregivers despite formal education. Moreover, the caregivers reported variations in their coping capabilities and quality of life while caring for their children with a tracheostomy tube.

Conclusion: Literature on discharge education regarding tracheostomy management among caregivers of children with a tracheostomy tube is limited. Studies report poor coping strategies and quality of life among caregivers of children with a tracheostomy tube. Studies have significant limitations. Further research is warranted to understand the current practices with discharge education and follow-up of these patients at home settings.

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Reducing Emotional Distress for Childhood Hypoglycemia in Parents (REDCHiP): Protocol for a Randomized Clinical Trial to Test a Video-Based Telehealth Intervention

Background: Despite the introduction of new insulin analogs, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) remain vulnerable to episodes of hypoglycemia because of their unpredictable eating and activity patterns and high degree of insulin sensitivity. Caregivers and young children living with T1D learn to fear hypoglycemia because it is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and dangerous. Up to 60% of caregivers of young children with T1D report moderate to severe levels of fear of hypoglycemia, and caregiver fear of hypoglycemia relates to lower quality of life for families and suboptimal child glycemic control. Yet, until recently, there have been no studies reporting on a targeted intervention to treat caregiver fear of hypoglycemia in families of young children.

Objective: The aim of this project is to conduct a randomized clinical trial of an innovative, video-based telehealth intervention to treat fear of hypoglycemia in caregivers of young children with T1D versus a relevant, age-appropriate attention control intervention.

Methods: We created the Reducing Emotional Distress for Childhood Hypoglycemia in Parents (REDCHiP) intervention by merging age-appropriate T1D education and behavioral parenting strategies with cognitive behavioral therapy strategies that are effective for reducing fear and promoting adaptive coping. REDCHiP uses 10 video-based telehealth sessions that are a combination of group and individual sessions. We will recruit up to 180 families of young children with T1D to participate in this clinical trial from two pediatric diabetes clinics located in the midwestern and southern United States. Once families have been enrolled, we will randomize caregivers based on child age (age 2-3 years or 4-5 years), child sex, and family CGM use to participate in the REDCHiP or attention control intervention. Families will complete 3 assessment visits that coincide with study entry, end of treatment, and 3-month posttreatment. At each assessment visit, we will collect questionnaire data from caregivers, accelerometry data from caregivers and children, CGM data from children, and a blood sample to measure glycated hemoglobin levels from children.

Results: Recruitment began in July 2019, and enrollment is ongoing. The first wave of intervention delivery began in December 2019. We anticipate completing enrollment in 2023. Final reporting of results will occur within 12 months of the primary completion date.

Conclusions: If the REDCHiP intervention is efficacious, next steps will be to examine multiple implementation strategies to determine how best to disseminate the intervention to pediatric diabetes clinics around the world.

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Disease burden of duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and their caregivers

Background and purpose: Data on the disease burden of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are scarce in Hungary. The aim of this study was to assess patients' and their care-givers' health related quality of life and healthcare utilisations.

Methods: A cross sectional survey was performed as part of the European BURQOL-RD project. The EQ-5D-5L and Barthel Index questionnaires were applied, health care utilisations and patients' informal carers were surveyed.

Results: One symptomatic female carer, 50 children (boys 94%) and six adult patients (five males) participated in the study, the latter two subgroups were included in the analysis. The average age was 9.7 (SD=4.6) and 24.3 (SD=9.8) years, respectively. Median age at time of diagnosis was three years. The average EQ-5D score among children and adults was 0.198 (SD=0.417) and 0.244 (SD=0.322), respectively, the Barthel Index was 57.6 (SD=29.9) and 53.0 (SD=36.5). Score of satisfaction with healthcare (10-point Likert-scale) was mean 5.3 (SD=2.1) and 5.3 (SD=2.9). 15 children were hospitalised in the past 12 months for mean 12.9 (SD=24.5) days. Two patients received help from professional carer. 25 children (mean age 11.1, SD=4.4 years) were helped/supervisied by principal informal carer (parent) for mean 90.1 (SD=44.4) hours/week and further family members helped in 21 cases. Correlation between EQ-5D and Barthel Index was strong and significant (0.731; p<0.01) as well as with informal care time (-0.770; p<0.01), but correlation with satisfaction with health care was not significant (EQ-5D: 0.241; Barthel Index: 0.219; informal care: --0.142).

Conclusion: Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life of patients. Parents play outstanding role in the care of affected children. This study is the first in the Central and Eastern European region that provides quality of life data in this rare disease for further health economic studies.

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Psychometric evaluation of the Scandinavian version of the caregiver priorities and child health index of life with disabilities

Purpose: To examine test-retest reliability and construct validity of the Scandinavian version of the caregiver priorities and child health index of life with disabilities (CPCHILD) questionnaire for children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: Families were recruited in Sweden and Norway and stratified according to the gross motor function classification system levels I-V for children born 2000-2011, mean age 7.9 (SD 3.2). Construct validity based on the first questionnaire (n = 106) was evaluated for known groups, using linear regression analysis. Intraclass correlation coefficient was used to estimate test-retest reliability (n = 64), and Cronbach's alpha was calculated as an indicator of internal consistency. Results: The questionnaire showed construct validity and the ability to discriminate between levels of gross motor function for the total score and all domain scores (p < 0.05). Test-retest reliability was high with intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.92 for the total score and of 0.72-0.92 for the domain scores. Cronbach's alpha was 0.96 for the total score and 0.83-0.96 for the domain scores.

Conclusions: The Scandinavian version of the CPCHILD for children with CP seems to be a valid and reliable proxy measure for health related quality of life.

Implications for rehabilitation: Valid and reliable outcome measures are needed to evaluate whether follow-up programs enhance health related quality of life in different countries. The Scandinavian version of the caregiver priorities and child health index of life with disabilities (CPCHILD) was evaluated for known-groups validity and test-retest reliability. The Scandinavian version of the CPCHILD is a sound and valid measurement for evaluation and comparison of health related quality of life of children with cerebral palsy in different countries. 

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Family resources moderate the relationship between seizure control and health-related quality of life in children with drug-resistant epilepsy

Objective: Pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) is associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Achieving seizure control, however, does not improve HRQOL in all children. This study sought to evaluate whether (1) baseline caregiver and family factors are associated with child HRQOL at 1-year follow-up over and above epilepsy characteristics, treatment, and seizure outcome; and (2) baseline family factors moderate the association between seizure outcome and child HRQOL at 1-year follow-up.

Methods: This multicenter longitudinal cohort study recruited 152 children with DRE who were being evaluated for surgical candidacy. Child HRQOL was rated by caregivers using the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy Questionnaire at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Additional data collected at baseline included child epilepsy characteristics, caregiver demographics, caregiver mood, and family environment.

Results: Seizure freedom was achieved in 68% and 28% of patients 1 year after surgery and medical treatment, respectively. Caregiver and family factors were not associated with higher child HRQOL at follow-up after accounting for epilepsy characteristics, treatment, seizure outcome, and baseline child HRQOL, F 11, 131  = 1.34, P = .21, ΔR 2  = .04. Family resources moderated the association between seizure outcome and child HRQOL at follow-up (b = .41, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.09-0.74, P = .03); seizure freedom was strongly associated with higher HRQOL when family resources were high (b = 13.50, 95% CI = 8.35-18.54, P < .001), relative to when family resources were low (b = 5.17, 95% CI = -0.18 to 10.52, P = .06). Family relationships and demands did not moderate the relationship between seizure outcome and HRQOL.

Significance: Achieving seizure freedom was associated with better HRQOL in children with DRE, but this association was reduced for those children who presented with limited family resources. These results highlight the importance of assessing the family environment during presurgical evaluation and implementing early family-based intervention and supports to promote better outcomes for children in the long term. 

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Caregiver distress and patient health-related quality of life: psychosocial screening during pediatric cancer treatment

Background: Reports of acceptability of psychosocial screening are limited, and the utility of screening in identifying risk factors for health-related quality of life (HRQL) of children with cancer has not been established. This study aimed to assess acceptability of screening for parents and evaluate associations between family risk factors and patient HRQL in the first year post-diagnosis.; Procedure: Sixty-seven parents of children with cancer completed the Psychosocial Assessment Tool (family risk), Distress Thermometer (caregiver distress), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian 6 (caregiver traumatic stress), PedsQL 4.0 (parent-proxy report of patient HRQL) and four acceptability questions via a tablet (iPad).

Results: Patients (Mage = 9.5 SD = 5.5 years) were equally distributed across major pediatric cancer diagnoses. The majority of parents endorsed electronic screening as acceptable (70%-97%). Patient gender, diagnosis, intensity of treatment and time since diagnosis were not significantly correlated with family risk, caregiver distress, traumatic stress, or patient HRQL. The full regression model predicting total HRQL was significant (R 2  = .42, F(4,64) = 10.7, p = .000). Age (older) was a significant covariate, family risk and caregiver distress were significant independent predictors of poorer total HRQL. The full regression models for physical and psychosocial HRQL were significant; age and caregiver distress were independent predictors of physical HRQL, and age and family risk were independent predictors of psychosocial HRQL.

Conclusions: Screening is acceptable for families and important for identifying risk factors associated with poorer patient HRQL during childhood cancer treatment. Targeted interventions addressing family resource needs as well as parent distress identified through screening may be effective in promoting patient HRQL. 

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Effect of Implementing Family-centered Empowerment Model on the Quality of Life in School-age Children Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis is the most prevalent chronic rheumatologic disease of children. The quality of life (QOL) in these individuals is affected by physical pain, discomfort, treatment complications, and frequent absences from school leading to academic failure. No research similar to the present investigation was performed in this area. Aim: We aimed to evaluate the problems of children with rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, we assessed the effect of family-centered empowerment on the QOL of these children.

Method: This randomized clinical trial was performed on 60 children aged 8-12 years diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in Akbar Pediatrics Hospital, Mashhad, Iran in 2018. The subjects were divided into test and control groups. The four stages of family-centered empowerment model, namely improvement of knowledge, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and assessment were executed for the test group. After a month, the inventory of pediatric quality of life was completed again. Data analysis was performed by Mann-Whitney U test, independent t-test, and paired t-test using SPSS version 16. Results: No significant difference was observed between the groups regarding age (P=0.351). In addition, the post-intervention QOL of the test group was significantly higher than the control group (P=0.004). There was a significant difference between the pre- and post-intervention QOL in the test group (P < 0.001).

Implications for Practice: This study indicated the effect of family-centered empowerment model on the physical, emotional, educational, and social dimensions of QOL of children aged 8-12 years diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. As a result, this model is recommended to empower the children with this disease or other chronic diseases and their caregivers.

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Caregiving burden of children with chronic diseases

Background: The care demands of children with chronic diseases can affect caregivers' health by imposing caregiving burden to them. The health status of caregivers plays a vital role in the quality of care provided to such children and in their quality of life.; Objective: To determine caregiving burden in caregivers and to identify relevant influential factors.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total number of 249 caregivers of children with chronic diseases who referred to hospitalization and ambulatory departments of Bandar Abbas, Iran in 2016 were selected using convenience sampling method. The main caregivers who were older than 18 years and provided care to a sick child for at least three months consecutively were included. Caregiving burden was measured using the Caregiver Burden Scale. Data was analyzed SPSS 16 using descriptive statistics, Spearman's correlation coefficient and Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: Mean score of caregiving burden was 1.98 which was close to moderate level. The highest caregiving burden was observed in general strain dimension (2.35), and cerebral palsy imposed the maximum burden to caregivers (2.24). Correlation coefficient revealed that perceived caregiving burden was in connection with children's and caregivers' age, duration of disease and caregiving, child's level of disability, number of family members and income level (p<0.05). Mann-Whitney U test showed that female caregivers, villagers, and caregivers dealing with more than one patient experienced higher burden (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Different variables can increase caregiving burden. Therefore, planning for holistic and family-centered interventions to decrease caregiving burden is necessary for health care providers.

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Children with cerebral palsy in Ghana: malnutrition, feeding challenges, and caregiver quality of life

Aim: To assess feeding difficulties and nutritional status among children with cerebral palsy (CP) in Ghana, and whether severity of feeding difficulties and malnutrition are independently associated with caregiver quality of life (QoL).

Method: This cross-sectional survey included 76 children with CP (18mo-12y) from four regions of Ghana. Severity of CP was classified using the Gross Motor Function Classification System and anthropometric measures were taken. Caregivers rated their QoL (using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Family Impact Module) and difficulties with eight aspects of child feeding. Logistic regression analysis explored factors (socio-economic characteristics, severity of CP, and feeding difficulties) associated with being underweight. Linear regression was undertaken to assess the relationship between caregiver QoL and child malnutrition and feeding difficulties.

Results: Poor nutritional status was common: 65% of children aged under 5 years were categorized as underweight, 54% as stunted, and 58% as wasted. Reported difficulties with child's feeding were common and were associated with the child being underweight (odds ratio 10.7, 95% confidence interval 2.3-49.6) and poorer caregiver QoL (p<0.001). No association between caregiver QoL and nutritional status was evident.

Interpretation: Among rural, low resource populations in Ghana, there is a need for appropriate, accessible caregiver training and support around feeding practices of children with CP, to improve child nutritional status and caregiver well-being.

What This Paper Adds: Malnutrition is very common among children with cerebral palsy in this rural population in Ghana. Feeding difficulties in this population were strongly associated with being underweight. Feeding difficulties were associated with poorer caregiver quality of life (QoL). Child nutritional status was not associated with caregiver QoL. 

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Children with medical complexities: Addressing the gaps in respite care during transition from paediatrics to adult health care in Ontario

Respite care is one integral component of the transition process from paediatric to adult health care, and is of particular importance to individuals with medical complexities. Numerous gaps that exist within the current system limit a child and family's ability to access quality respite care during a time when it is often most needed. Identifying and addressing these gaps in a systematic and collaborative way presents an opportunity to improve the quality of life for this vulnerable, ever growing population and their families.

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Severity of disease and quality of life in parents of children with alopecia areata, totalis, and universalis: A prospective, cross-sectional study

Background: Caregiver-oriented quality of life (QoL) research in alopecia areata is limited. No study has used a parent-tailored survey to examine the relationship between QoL and severity of alopecia as measured by Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) scores.

Objectives: This is a prospective study that describes QoL in parents of pediatric patients with all subtypes of alopecia areata and investigates the relationship between QoL and severity of disease, duration of disease, and age of patients.

Methods: Pediatric patients and their parents were invited to participate during clinic visits. Participating parents completed the Quality of Life in a Child's Chronic Disease Questionnaire (QLCCDQ) and the Family Dermatology Life Quality Index (FDLQI). A subset of children completed the Children's Dermatologic Life Quality Index (CDLQI). SALT scores at time of survey completion were recorded.

Results: In total, 153 patients were included. Significant mild-to-moderate negative correlations were found between SALT scores and FDLQI scores, QLCCDQ scores, and QLCCDQ emotional domain scores. Age of child correlated negatively with QLCCDQ scores but not FDLQI scores. No significant correlation was found between duration of disease and FDLQI scores, QLCCDQ scores, or QLCCDQ emotional domain scores.; Limitations: This study is limited by its small sample size and cross-sectional design.

Conclusions: Impaired parent QoL might be associated with increasing severity of disease and age of affected child but not duration of disease. Providers should tailor counseling accordingly and help parents set realistic expectations for long-term experience with the disease.

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Telehealth Interventions for Improving Self-Management in Patients With Hemophilia: Scoping Review of Clinical Studies

Background: The introduction of home therapy for hemophilia has empowered patients and their families to manage the disease more independently. However, self-management of hemophilia is demanding and complex. The uses of innovative interventions delivered by telehealth routes such as social media and Web-based and mobile apps, may help monitor bleeding events and promote the appropriate use of clotting factors among patients with hemophilia.; Objective: This scoping review aims to summarize the literature evaluating the effectiveness of telehealth interventions for improving health outcomes in patients with hemophilia and provides direction for future research.

Methods: A search was conducted in Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed databases for studies that (1) focused on patients with hemophilia A or B; (2) tested the use of remote telehealth interventions via the internet, wireless, satellite, telephone, and mobile phone media on patients and caregivers; and (3) reported on at least one of the following patient-/caregiver-focused outcomes related to empowering patients/caregivers to be active decision makers in the emotional, social, and medical management of the illness: quality of life, monitoring of bleeding episodes, joint damage or other measures of functional status, medication adherence, and patients' knowledge. Implementation outcomes (user metrics, cost saving, and accuracy of electronic records) were also evaluated. Reviews, commentaries, and case reports comprising ≤10 cases were excluded.

Results: Sixteen articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The majority of the interventions (10/16, 62%) evaluated both implementation outcomes and patient-/caregiver-focused outcomes. User performance and accuracy and comprehensiveness of electronic records were also measured in most studies (4/16, 87%). The components of the interventions were rather homogenous and typically involved electronic logging and reminders for prophylactic infusions, reporting of spontaneous and traumatic bleeding events, monitoring of infusion product usage and home inventory, and real-time communication with health care professionals and hemophilia clinics. Telemedicine-supported education and information interventions seemed to be particularly effective among adolescent and young adult patients. Although the patients reported improvements in their health-related quality of life and perception of illness, telemonitoring devices did not appear to have a significant effect on quantifiable health outcomes such as joint health. Longitudinal studies seemed to suggest that the response and adherence rates to recording decreased over time.

Conclusions: Preliminary evidence from this review suggests that telehealth-delivered interventions could feasibly improve patients' adherence to medication use and promote independence in disease management. Given the complexity and resources involved in developing a mature and established system, support from a dedicated network of hemophilia specialists and data managers will be required to maintain the technology, improve adherence to prophylactic treatment and recording, and validate the electronic data locally.

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Health-related quality of life in parents of pediatric brain tumor survivors at the end of tumor-directed therapy

Objective: This study examines theoretical covariates of health-related quality of life (HRQL) in parents of pediatric brain tumor survivors (PBTS) following completion of tumor-directed therapy.; Methods: Fifty PBTS (ages 6-16) completed measures of neurocognitive functioning and their parents completed measures of family, survivor, and parent functioning.

Results: Caregiving demand, caregiver competence, and coping/supportive factors were associated with parental physical and psychosocial HRQL, when controlling for significant background and child characteristics.

Conclusion: Study findings can inform interventions to strengthen caregiver competence and family functioning following the completion of treatment, which may improve both parent and survivor outcomes.

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Caring and living with Prader-Willi syndrome in Italy: integrating children, adults and parents' experiences through a multicentre narrative medicine research

Objectives: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) significantly impacts health-related quality of life; however, its relational and existential aspects remain unknown in Italian clinical and social debate. The project aimed to investigate the impact of PWS on illness experience through narrative medicine (NM) to understand the daily life, needs and resources of patients with PWS and their caregivers, and to furnish insights for clinical practice.

Design and Setting: The project involved 10 medical centres of the Italian Network for Rare Diseases and PWS family associations and targeted underage and adult patients with PWS and their caregivers. Written interviews, composed by a sociodemographic survey and a narrative, were collected through the project's website. Three dedicated illness plots employed evocative and open words to facilitate individual expression and to encourage reflection. Narratives were analysed through NVivo software. Researchers discussed the results with the project's steering committee. 

Participants: Twenty-one children and adolescents and 34 adults with PWS joined the project, as well as 138 caregivers. A PWS diagnosis or the caregiving of a patient with PWS older than 5 years represented the eligibility criteria, as well as the willingness to share their illness experience by writing and the ability to communicate in Italian.; Results: The analysis of narratives led to understanding the PWS social and relational issues concerning diagnosis and current management, PWS daily experiences and social contexts, PWS implications in the working sphere and participants' future perspectives. Narratives demonstrated that PWS management affects relationships and work-life balance and that social stigma remains present.

Conclusion: The project represented the first effort to investigate the impact of PWS on illness experience in Italy through NM while considering the perspectives of patients with PWS and their caregivers. The findings indicated that a multiprofessional approach is fundamental to ensure adequate treatment and provided elements for its improvement. 

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Impact of Parenting a Child with Cerebral Palsy on the Quality of Life of Parents: A Systematic Review of Literature

Purpose: The implications of parenting a child with cerebral palsy (CP) are multifaceted, as parents have to cope with their child's functional limitations and specific needs, and prepare for the possibility of long-term dependence. There has been significant research on the consequences of managing these parenting tasks. This article reviews the literature on the effects of parenting children with CP, and summarises the related factors. Methods: A systematic search of online databases was conducted and, based on the reference lists of selected articles, further studies were identified. Thirty-six articles that met the inclusion criteria were analysed.

Conclusion & Implication: Parents of children with CP were found to have lower quality of life, associated with high levels of stress and depression, due to factors such as child behaviour and cognitive problems, low caregiver self-efficacy and low social support. The implications of these findings in relation to the planning and development of interventions addressing the family as a whole are discussed. The aim is to enhance parents' competence and resources so that they are better able to cope with the demands of parenting their children.

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Measuring the outcomes of long-term care for unpaid carers: comparing the ASCOT-Carer, Carer Experience Scale and EQ-5D-3 L

Background: The ASCOT-Carer and Carer Experience Scale are instruments designed to capture aspects of quality of life 'beyond health' for family carers. The aim of this study was to compare and validate these two carer care-related measures, with a secondary aim to compare both instruments to the three-level EQ-5D (EQ-5D-3 L) measure of health-related quality of life.

Methods: An interview survey was conducted with 387 carers of adults who used long-term care (also known as social care) support in England. Construct validity by hypothesis testing was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficient. Exploratory factor analysis was also applied to investigate the dimensionality of the combined items from the ASCOT-Carer and CES (as measures of carer quality of life 'beyond health') and the EQ-5D (as a measure of health-related quality of life).

Results: In the construct validity analysis, hypothesised differences in correlations were observed with two exceptions. The exploratory factor analysis indicated that the ASCOT-Carer, CES and EQ-5D-3 L items loaded onto three separate factors. The first factor comprised the seven ASCOT-Carer items plus two CES items (activities outside caring, support from friends and family). The second factor comprised three of the six CES items (fulfilment from caring, control over caring and getting on with the person you care for). The third factor included four of the five EQ-5D-3 L items.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that the ASCOT-Carer, CES and EQ-5D-3 L capture separate constructs of social care-related quality of life (ASCOT-Carer) and carer experience (CES), which partially overlap in relation to activities outside caring and social support, and health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-3 L). The ASCOT-Carer and CES are both promising measures for the evaluation of social care support for carers that capture aspects of quality of life 'beyond health'. The choice of whether to use the ASCOT-Carer or CES depends on the study objectives. 

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Perceived discrimination and self-esteem among family caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and children with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Spain: The mediational role of affiliate stigma and social support

Background: People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are stigmatized, and therefore discriminated against worldwide and, on many occasions, this stigma and discrimination are expanded to include their family caregivers. The main objective of this research was to examine the consequences of perceived discrimination on family caregivers of children with ASD and children with ID.

Methods: The sample consisted of 109 Spanish caregivers of children with ASD and 83 caregivers of children with ID. They completed four questionnaires: Multidimensional Perceived Discrimination Scale, Affiliate Stigma Scale, Social Support Questionnaire and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.

Results: Using path analysis, we found support for a model in which personal discrimination perceived by caregivers was positively associated with affiliate stigma, which, in turn, was negatively related to caregivers' self-esteem. The model also shows the total mediational role of affiliate stigma in the association between perceived discrimination and self-esteem and the partial mediational role that social support plays in the association between perceived discrimination and caregivers' self-esteem.

Conclusions: Caregivers' perceived discrimination negatively influences caregivers' self-esteem, but this relationship is mediated by both affiliate stigma (totally) and social support (partially). These results have theoretical and practical implications and may contribute to improving the quality of life of parents of children with ASD and ID that in turn would result in an improvement of the quality of life of their children.

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Caregiver and family quality of life for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition. Given that individuals with FASD can experience lifelong challenges, one field of research that could be applicable is the paediatric chronic health literature.

Aims: The aim of the current study was to investigate the utility of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) Family Impact Module, designed to measure the impact of paediatric chronic health conditions on caregivers and families.

Methods and procedures: 109 caregivers of children with FASD completed an online survey that assessed a range of areas including, caregiver and family quality of life, caregiver mental health and child behaviour.

Outcomes and results: Overall, caregivers reported the areas most impacted on the PedsQL module were Family Daily Activities and Worry. Caregiver's country of residence, mental health, child gender, and level of child behaviour problems were found to be predictors of caregiver and family quality of life.

Conclusions and implications: The results demonstrate that there are multidimensional challenges for caregivers and families. These findings have important implications for policy and practice regarding the provision of supports and services for children with FASD and their families.

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Determinants of health-related quality of life proxy rating disagreement between caregivers of children with cancer

Purpose: Proxy reports of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are commonly used in pediatric oncology. However, it is not known if caregivers' reports differ. This study therefore aims to compare paternal and maternal proxy reports, and explore determinants of couple disagreement (sociodemographic and medical characteristics, and parental QoL and distress).

Methods: Both parents completed the PedsQL generic (child's HRQoL), Short Form-12 (own QoL) and Distress Thermometer for Parents. To assess agreement in child HRQoL, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated. Differences between fathers/mothers were assessed with paired t tests. Systematic disagreement patterns were visualized with Bland-Altman plots. Characteristics of parental couples with a mean proxy difference in the highest quartile (highest proxy score minus lowest proxy score) were explored with multiple logistic regression analysis.

Results: Parents of 120 children with cancer (87% post-treatment, mean age 11.0 ± 5.7 years) participated. No significant differences were found between paternal and maternal proxy scores, and agreement was good on all scales (ICCs 0.65-0.83). Bland-Altman plots revealed no systematic disagreement patterns, but there was a wide range in magnitude of the differences, and differences went in both directions. Couples with a mean proxy difference (irrespective of which direction) in the highest quartile (± 20 points) were more likely to have a child in active treatment, with retinoblastoma or relapsed disease, and to diverge in their own QoL.

Conclusions: If proxy reports of only one parent are available, clinicians may reasonably assume that paternal and maternal reports are interchangeable. However, if in doubt, respondent's sex is not of major importance, but clinicians should be aware of patient's and family's characteristics.

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Evaluation of family management of an adolescent with sickle cell disease

Objective: to describe the experience of the family management of an adolescent with sickle cell disease.

Method: case study, which used the theoretical model of the Family Management Style Framework (FMSF). Data was collected through interviews with the mother and documental analysis and, previously, being submitted to hybrid thematic analysis.

Results: the family defines that they are adapted to the situation. The management behaviors are shaped according to the unpredictability of the disease, which, consequently lead to a "fighting" management style.

Conclusion: the mother is the main caregiver of the adolescent, is overloaded, and presents difficulties regarding the therapeutic regimen. Mother and daughter are afraid of the disease, which contributes to the low self-esteem of the adolescent, limiting it in the performance of activities, and both are with impaired quality of life.
 

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Patterns of Family Functioning and Diabetes-Specific Conflict in Relation to Glycemic Control and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Youth With Type 1 Diabetes

Objectives: General and diabetes-specific family functioning may be associated with youth’s adaptation to type 1 diabetes (T1D); however, empirically derived patterns of family functioning and diabetes-specific conflict among youth have not been explored in relation to T1D adaptation.

Methods: Youth (N = 161, aged 12–18) with T1D and caregivers completed measures of family functioning and diabetes-specific conflict that served as indicators in latent profile analyses. Differences in glycemic control (measured by hemoglobin A1cs [HbA1c] and health-related quality of life [HRQoL]) were compared across profiles.

Results: Four profiles that varied by levels of family functioning, diabetes-specific conflict, and congruence between youth and caregiver perspectives emerged and related to T1D adaptation differently. Greater agreement between caregiver and youth and lower diabetes-specific conflict was associated with lower HbA1c and greater HRQoL.

Conclusions: Person-centered approaches are useful to quantify how many individuals fit into a particular pattern and determine how specific family dynamics may function together differently in relation to T1D adaptation for various subgroups of the population.

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Impact of Cosmetic Camouflage on the Quality of Life of Children With Skin Disease and Their Families

Background/objectives: Cosmetic camouflage is known to improve quality of life in adults. Few data are available regarding cosmetic camouflage in children, and thus it is not often selected as a mode of treatment. We sought to determine whether cosmetic camouflage leads to improved quality of life of pediatric patients with visible dermatoses and their parent or primary caregiver.

Methods: Patients aged 5 to 17 years with visible skin disease and their parent were assessed with the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) and the Family Dermatology Life Quality Index (FDLQI) before and after consultation regarding cosmetic camouflage.;

Results: Twenty-two children with skin conditions were included in the study. The mean CDLQI decreased from 6.82 (SD = 1.28) to 3.05 (SD = 0.65; P = .0014), while the mean FDLQI decreased from 7.68 (SD = 1.15) to 4.68 (SD = 0.92; P = .0012).

Conclusions: Our study highlighted improvement in quality of life in patients with skin disorders who were managed with cosmetic camouflage. 

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Measuring the impact of dermatological conditions on family and caregivers: a review of dermatology-specific instruments

The patient is the centre of a web of relationships, and the impact of his/her disease on family members and caregivers must be taken into account. The aim of this study was to identify the specific instruments that measure the impact of a dermatological disease on the quality of life (QoL) of family members, by performing a systematic search of the literature. Fifteen papers were identified, describing the creation and validation of nine instruments. Four of them concerned atopic dermatitis (Dermatitis Family Index, DFI; Parents' Index QoL Atopic Dermatitis, PiQoL-AD; QoL in primary caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis, QPCAD; Childhood Atopic Dermatitis Impact Scale, CADIS), two measured the impact of psoriasis in family members (Psoriasis Family Index, PFI; FamilyPso), one the impact of epidermolysis bullosa (Epidermolysis Bullosa Burden of Disease, EB-BoD), one of ichthyosis (Family Burden Ichthyosis, FBI), and one was generic for dermatological conditions (Family Dermatology Life Quality Index, FDLQI). The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology quality of life taskforce recommends that the impact of a skin disease on family and caregivers should be measured as part of any thorough evaluation of the burden of a disease. Guidelines are given to choose the most appropriate instruments.

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Concurrent validity of the international Family Quality of Life Survey

The measurement of the social construct of Family Quality of Life (FQOL) is a parsimonious alternative to the current approach of measuring familial outcomes using a battery of tools related to individual-level outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the internal consistency and concurrent validity of the International FQOL Survey (FQOLS-2006), using cross-sectional data collected from 65 family caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. It shows a moderate correlation between the total FQOL scores of the FQOLS-2006 and the Beach Center's FQOL scale. The validity of five FQOLS-2006 domains was supported by the correlations between conceptually related domains.

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Adjustment in Childhood Cancer Survivors, Healthy Peers, and Their Parents: The Mediating Role of the Parent-Child Relationship

Objectives: Aims were to (1) determine whether the associations between parent psychological functioning and adjustment outcomes of childhood cancer survivors (CCS) were mediated by the parent-child relationship and (2) examine possible differences in pathways for CCS and healthy peers.

Method: The study included CCS (n = 206), healthy peers (n = 132), and their primary caregivers. Youth (8-21 years) reported on the quality of the parent-child relationship and on their positive and negative adjustment outcomes. Parents reported on their own distress, posttraumatic growth, quality of the parent-child relationship, and their child's positive and negative adjustment outcomes. Two mediation models were tested, first examining youth-reported adjustment as the outcome and second examining parent-reported youth adjustment. Differences between model path coefficients of CCS and healthy peers were assessed by multigroup analyses.

Results: In the youth-reported model, the parent-child relationship mediated the relation between parental distress and adjustment, with more care leading to better youth-reported adjustment outcomes and more overprotection leading to poorer adjustment outcomes. In the parent-reported model, relational frustration and attachment mediated the link between parental distress/growth and parent-reported youth adjustment, with more relational frustration and less attachment relating to poorer youth adjustment outcomes. Multigroup analyses revealed no differences in model path coefficients between CCS and healthy peers.

Conclusions: Parental distress and the parent-child relationship likely play an important role in both youth- and parent-reported adjustment, and associations among these constructs do not differ between CCS and healthy peers. Families with less optimal parental functioning may benefit from interventions improving the quality of parent-child interactions.

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Challenges and contributors to self-efficacy for caregivers of toddlers with autism

In this qualitative study, 11 mothers of toddlers with autism participated in interviews to investigate how they perceived their roles and their competency to support toddlers' social learning in the context of both professional-implemented and parent-mediated early intervention models. The authors conducted a thematic analysis with multiple layers of independent coding. Four resulting themes highlighted challenges and contributors to parent self-efficacy. First, related to child characteristics, challenges were most prominent in the early period as participants adjusted to the diagnosis and reached to connect when social difficulties emerged. Second, having a peripheral role in early intervention challenged participants' confidence in their abilities, while receiving guidance to assume an active leadership role supported their sense of efficacy for facilitating toddlers' social learning. In a third theme, participants described specific and general examples of their expertise. Fourth, participants considered the transactional context of parent–child interaction and largely viewed their toddlers' independent wills, natures, and preferences as strengths upon which to build social engagement. The results support the need for early interventionists to promote and leverage family capacity for facilitating toddler learning as social challenges begin to appear for toddlers with autism. Parent-participatory early intervention practices are linked to parents' positive views of their own and their children's capabilities, beliefs that are associated with a range of parent and child outcomes. A qualitative study was conducted with 11 mothers of toddlers with autism who had experience with both professionally directed and parent-mediated early intervention. Participants were interviewed to explore their perspectives on their roles in relation to professionals and on how they viewed their ability to support their toddlers' social learning. An in-depth analysis of the transcribed interviews resulted in four themes. First, in the early stages, participants experienced challenges to their self-efficacy as they adjusted to the diagnosis and reached to connect with their child when social challenges emerged. Second, participants' views of their capability were stronger when they were provided with background knowledge enabling them to take the lead in guiding their children's learning than when professionals modeled predetermined intervention strategies for them to copy. Third, participants provided specific examples of their expertise to support their toddlers' social learning and viewed their close parent–child relationship and intimate knowledge of their children as valuable to the intervention. Fourth, participants voiced respect for their toddlers' natures and preferences, positioning them to build on their toddlers' strengths in everyday interactions. The results support the need for early intervention providers to promote and leverage family capacity for facilitating toddler learning as social challenges begin to appear for toddlers with autism. 

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Family quality of life among families with a child who has a severe neurodevelopmental disability: Impact of family and child socio-demographic factors

We aimed to examine family quality of life (FQOL) of Northern Israeli families having a child with a severe neurodevelopmental disability and its relation to socio-demographics. The cohort included caregivers of 70 children ages (mean ± standard deviation) 5.36 ± 3.53 years. Families were two-parent (85.7%), lived in the periphery (67.1%) and included Jews (60%), Muslims (18.6%), Druze (14.3%) and Christians (7.1%). Religiosity included: secular (38.6%), traditional (31.4%), religious (30%). Children's diagnosis included autistic spectrum disorder (41.4%), intellectual disability (21.4%), cerebral palsy (17.1%), genetic syndromes (17.1%) and sensorineural hearing loss (2.9%). Degree of support (1-minimal,5-greatest) required by the child was 3.67 ± 1.28 for physical and 3.49 ± 1.36 for communication. Primary caregivers completed the FQOL Survey. Domain scores were highest for family relations and lowest for financial well-being. Dimension scores were highest for importance and lowest for opportunities. Overall FQOL approximated average. Jewish families and residents of a major urban area reported higher and more religious families reported lower overall FQOL. Regression analysis found ethnicity contributing to overall FQOL and domain scores with residence contributing to support from services. Ethnicity and child dependence contributed to dimension scores. Northern Israeli families having a child with a severe neurodevelopmental disability report average FQOL scores. However, family and child dependence characteristics affect FQOL scores. Professionals working with these families should consider FQOL information when making recommendations. 

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Effect of predicted low suspend pump treatment on improving glycaemic control and quality of sleep in children with type 1 diabetes and their caregivers: the QUEST randomized crossover study

Background: In attempting to achieve optimal metabolic control, the day-to-day management is challenging for a child with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and his family and can have a major negative impact on their quality of life. Augmenting an insulin pump with glucose sensor information leads to improved outcomes: decreased haemoglobin A1c levels, increased time in glucose target and less hypoglycaemia. Fear of nocturnal hypoglycaemia remains pervasive amongst parents, leading to chronic sleep interruption and lack of sleep for the parents and their children. The QUEST study, an open-label, single-centre randomized crossover study, aims to evaluate the impact on time in target, in hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia and the effect on sleep and quality of life in children with T1D, comparing a sensor-augmented pump (SAP) with predictive low glucose suspend and alerts to the use of the same insulin pump with a flash glucose measurement (FGM) device not interacting with the pump.

Methods/design: Subjects meeting the inclusion criteria are randomized to treatment with the SAP or treatment with an insulin pump and independent FGM for 5 weeks. Following a 3-week washout period, the subjects cross over to the other study arm for 5 weeks. During the week before and in the last week of treatment, the subjects and one of their caregivers wear a sleep monitor in order to obtain sleep data. The primary endpoint is the between-arm difference in percentage of time in glucose target during the final 6 days of each treatment arm, measured by a blinded continuous glucose measurement (CGM). Additional endpoints include comparison of quantity and quality of sleep as well as quality of life perception of the subjects and one of their caregivers in the two different treatment arms. Recruitment started in February 2017. A total of 36 patients are planned to be randomized. The study recruitment was completed in April 2018.

Discussion: With this study we will provide more information on whether insulin pump treatment combined with more technology (SmartGuard® feature and alerts) leads to better metabolic control. The inclusion of indicators on quality of sleep with less sleep interruption, less lack of sleep and perception of quality of life in both children and their primary caregivers is essential for this study and might help to guide us to further treatment improvement.

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The quality of life of home-ventilated children and their primary caregivers plus the associated social and economic burdens: A prospective study

Background: Despite the obvious challenges faced by families caring for children on home ventilation, there is surprisingly little research into the details of their daily lives. In particular, little is known about the quality of life of the child and caregiver plus the associated social and economic burdens of care.

Methods: We prospectively studied 90 families enrolled in a paediatric home ventilation service in British Columbia. In the clinic, we recorded demographic information, patient acuity score and quality of life for patient and caregiver using standardised questionnaires. Parents then monitored social and financial costs of care at home over the subsequent 8 weeks. These data were collected by telephone at 1 and 2 months.

Results: Most children led rich active lives. Camping trips, wheelchair sports and foreign travel were the norm, not the exception. Over 90% assessed the burden of care as mild or moderate. Government support covers medical expenses and home nursing (median 32 h/week, IQR 0-62.5 h). Monthly unreimbursed family expenses were low (median $87.7, IQR $15.3-$472). Despite this, nearly 25% of primary caregivers assessed burden of care as severe and over 50% had chronic illnesses requiring daily medication (principally depression, anxiety and arthritis). Quality of life for children or caregivers did not correlate with income or education. Interpretation Home ventilation of complex children is a successful strategy but it places significant strain on the primary caregiver. Specific attention to the physical and mental health of the caregiver should be an integral part of the management of home-ventilated children. 

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When children with profound multiple disabilities are hospitalized: A cross‐sectional survey of parental burden of care, quality of life of parents and their hospitalized children, and satisfaction with family‐centered care

Purpose: We aimed to assess parental burden of care, satisfaction with family‐centered care, and quality of life (HRQoL) of parents and their hospitalized children with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD), and determine the relationship among these factors.

Design: A cross‐sectional study using printed questionnaires and qualitative questions was undertaken at a Swiss University Children's Hospital.

Results: The 117 parents (98 mothers, 19 fathers) studied indicated a substantial impact on burden of care and parental health‐related quality of life. Significant correlations with the hospitalized children's well‐being were rs = .408 for burden of care and rs –.368 for quality of life. Qualitative results showed parents struggling to safeguard their children and worrying most about the children's well‐being.

Practice Implications: Health professionals need to be aware of parental burden and that the perception of the children's well‐being and the parents' efforts determine their support needs. Easing parents’ burden and fostering confidence in the hospitalized children's well‐being requires coordination of care provided by advanced nurse specialists, with an institutional framework that clarifies parental collaboration.

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Analysis of the caregiver burden associated with Sanfilippo syndrome type B: panel recommendations based on qualitative and quantitative data

Background: Sanfilippo syndrome type B (Sanfilippo B) belongs to a group of rare lysosomal storage diseases characterized by progressive cognitive decline from an early age, acute hyperactivity, and concomitant somatic symptoms. Caregivers face a unique set of challenges related to the complex nature of Sanfilippo B, but the burden and impact on quality of life (QoL) of caregivers is poorly defined and best practice guidance for clinicians is lacking.

Methods: An international clinical advisors meeting was convened to discuss key aspects of caregiver burden associated with Sanfilippo B based on findings from qualitative and quantitative research undertaken to identify and quantify the nature and impact of the disease on patients and caregivers. 

Results: Providing care for patients with Sanfilippo B impinges on all aspects of family life, evolving as the patient ages and the disease progresses. Important factors contributing toward caregiver burden include sleep disturbances, impulsive and hyperactive behavior, and communication difficulties. Caregiver burden remained high throughout the life of the patient and, coupled with the physical burden of daily care, had a cumulative impact that generated significant psychological stress.

Conclusion: A Sanfilippo-specific QoL questionnaire is needed that is directed at caregiver needs and burden and best practice management of these domains.

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The Lived Experience of Fathers Caring For a Child with Cystic Fibrosis

Most studies on the quality of life of caregivers of children with cystic fibrosis (CF) have focused on the mental health of mothers, reflecting a biased underlying assumption that mothers are the primary caregivers. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of fathers caring for a child with CF. Twenty fathers of children with CF were studied via a semi-structured interview using Husserl's (1970) descriptive phenomenology. Fathers were enrolled from two accredited CF centers in Texas. Six themes emerged from the interviews: fathers reported feeling overwhelmed, feeling isolated, experiencing altered family dynamics, actively seeking resources, experiencing financial strain, and feeling hope. Fathers of children with CF reported distressing experiences in connection with their child's diagnosis of CF and during the course of their child's disease, but also reported a strong feeling of hope for the future. Practical implications for nurses include screening for anxiety and depression in fathers at the time of CF diagnosis, as well as potentially implementing a peer mentoring program for fathers.

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Quality of Life in Caregivers of Patients With Cystic Fibrosis: An Integrated Literature Review

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening genetic disease with many treatment requirements that necessitate the participation of a caregiver, especially if the patient is a child. We performed an integrated literature review of original research evaluating quality of life in caregivers of patients with CF. We searched the terms quality of life, cystic fibrosis, and caregivers in the MEDLINE, CINAHL, Child Development and Adolescent Studies, PsycARTICLES, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection databases from 2007 to 2017. Nine articles were included and showed that caregiver quality of life is affected by caring for a child with CF as evidenced by high rates of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression in caregivers affects adherence to the child's treatment regimen, causing detrimental effects on the health of the child. Screening for depression and anxiety and referral for treatment when necessary are needed to optimize family health. Findings include 1) CF has numerous treatment burdens for caregivers, 2) rates of anxiety and depression are two to three times higher in caregivers of patients with CF than in the general population, 3) depressed parents are less likely to adhere to their child's treatment regimen, and 4) few CF families report having received mental health screening or treatment.

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Improved quality-of-life of caregivers of children with asthma through guideline-based management

Objective: The quality of life (QOL) of caregivers of children with asthma may be related to children's responses to asthma management.

Aim: To evaluate change in QOL over time of caregivers of children with asthma through guideline-based management.

Design: This was a 3-year prospective cohort study of children with asthma referred to our pediatric asthma center. Families completed Pediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality of Life Questionnaire (PACQLQ), the Asthma Control Test™ (ACT), and reported the number of days/month of albuterol use and wheezing at each clinic visit.

Results: We enrolled 143 children, ages 7-17 years (mean = 10.6 ± 2.9), 56.6% male, 70.6% Caucasian. Patients were managed by the same MD (n = 65,45.5%) or APN (n = 78,54.5%) over time. The mean total PACQLQ significantly increased over the 3-year period (F = 67.418, p < .001). Total scores at the first visit were 4.8 ± 1.6, which improved to 6.1 ± 1 at the 3-month follow-up visit. This improvement was sustained at the 1, 2, and 3-year clinic visits. PACQLQ emotional function (F = 60.798, p < .001) and activity limitation (F = 41.517, p < .001) domains significantly improved as well. PACQLQ scores were significantly associated with improved ACT scores (r = .37 to .47, p < .05), fewer days/month of albuterol use (r = -.25 to -.36., p < .05), and wheezing (r = -.28 to -.33, p < .05). There were no significant differences in PACQLQ, or asthma clinical outcome measures between MD and APN providers.

Conclusion: Use of National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines significantly improved QOL of caregivers of children with asthma and in asthma-related symptoms. Improvements over time were independent of type of providers.

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The burden of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis for patients and caregivers: an international survey and retrospective chart review

Objectives: To investigate the burden of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and resource use of patients and caregivers (families) on biologic therapy.

Methods: This international study assessed SJIA burden in patients on biologics, using a caregiver questionnaire and retrospective chart review. Validated measures included: Child Health Questionnaire Parent-Form 50 (CHQ-PF50), 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36v2) and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire: Specific Health Problem (WPAI:SHP). Caregivers completed function, treatment satisfaction and resource utilisation questions. 

Results: Sixty-one biologic treated patients participated (12 anakinra, 25 canakinumab, 24 tocilizumab). Mean age at diagnosis and survey completion was 6.4 and 11.3 years, respectively. Mean (±SD: standard deviation) CHQ-PF50 physical (PhS) and psychosocial (PsS) summary scores were significantly lower in SJIA patients than a normative population (PhS: 40.0±18.2 vs. 53.0±8.8; PsS: 46.6±11.3 vs. 51.2±9.1) as was caregivers' mean SF-36v2 mental component score (MCS; 46.2±10.7 vs. 50.0±10). Assistive devices were required by 54%; 20% required home/car alterations. According to caregivers, biologic treatment completely improved SJIA symptoms in 48% on canakinumab or tocilizumab and 32% on anakinra. Over 2 months, patients missed 2.9 school days due to SJIA (10% yearly loss). Caregivers lost 25 work days annually and 27.5 days of productivity (WPAI-SHP: mean absenteeism 10%; presenteeism 11%). Yearly SJIA travel/treatment costs averaged $1,130.

Conclusions: SJIA patients on biologic therapy experience HRQOL impairment, caregivers' mental well-being suffers and productivity losses and expenses are incurred. Therapeutic interventions that reduce the burden of SJIA are required.

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Family Perceptions of Quality of Life for Pediatric Home Ventilator Patients

Home mechanical ventilation is an alternative to institutional management for some children with chronic or degenerative respiratory and neuromuscular disorders. Over the past 20 years, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has enhanced its Home Care Home Ventilator Program, designed to transition hospitalized children requiring long-term mechanical ventilation safely home. Program goals include supporting patient safety, medical stability, and caregiver competence while promoting quality of life. This longitudinal quality improvement project examined perceived quality of life for families with children discharged home for the first time on mechanical ventilation. We sought to identify unmet needs related to this transition. A self-report quality-of-life survey adapted from several validated tools was completed by the primary caregiver at 3 specific times over 6 months. Repeated-measures general linear modeling examined changes over time in caregivers' perceptions of quality of life and confidence in meeting their child's ongoing healthcare needs. After completing the inpatient portion of the program, followed by 6 months caring for their child at home with support from the hospital's Home Care Department and Technology Dependence Center, caregivers reported more time to attend to their own needs and family activities, less financial burden, less anxiety, and perceived improvements in their child's health and quality of life compared with hospitalization. Based on our findings, one program change was implemented: the Home Care social worker now meets with the family prior to discharge. 

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Experiences of caregivers of children with inherited metabolic diseases: a qualitative study

Background: We sought to understand the experiences of parents/caregivers of children with inherited metabolic diseases (IMD) in order to inform strategies for supporting patients and their families. We investigated their experiences regarding the management of disease, its impact on child and family life, and interactions with the health care system.

Methods: From four Canadian centres, we conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with parents/caregivers of children with an IMD who were born between 2006 and 2015 and who were participating in a larger cohort study. Participants were selected with the aim of achieving a diverse sample with respect to treatment centre, IMD, and age of the child. Interviews emphasized the impacts of the disease and its treatment on the child and family and explicitly queried perceptions of interactions with the health care system. We identified emergent themes from the interview data.

Results: We completed interviews with 21 parents/caregivers. The 21 children were aged <1 to 7 years old with IMD that included amino acid disorders, urea cycle disorders, fatty acid oxidation disorders, and organic acid disorders or 'other' IMD. Most parents reported that they and their families had adapted well to their child's diagnosis. Parents used proactive coping strategies to integrate complex disease management protocols into routine family life. An important source of stress was concern about the social challenges faced by their children. Participants reported positive interactions with their most involved health care providers within the metabolic clinic. However, they reported challenges associated with the health care system outside of disease-specific metabolic care, when encountering systems and providers unfamiliar with the child's disease. 

Conclusions: The successful use of proactive coping strategies among parents of children with IMD in this study suggests the potential value of promoting positive coping and is an important direction for future study. Parents' social concerns for their children were important stressors that warrant consideration by health care providers positioned to support families. Our results with respect to experiences with care highlight the important role of specialized metabolic clinics and point to a need for better coordination of the care that takes place outside the disease-specific management of IMD.

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The importance of family support in pediatrics and its impact on healthcare satisfaction

Aims: To evaluate predictors of healthcare satisfaction for parents whose children received hospital-based healthcare services at the Children's hospital at Landspitali University Hospital.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data on perceived family support, family quality of life, expressive family functioning, coping strategies and healthcare satisfaction were collected from 159 mothers and 60 fathers (N = 177 families) of children and adolescents from 2011 to 2012.

Results: Logistic regression analysis revealed that, for mothers, 38.8% of the variance in satisfaction with healthcare services was predicted by perceived family support and their coping strategies, while for fathers, 59.9% of the variance of their satisfaction with healthcare service was predicted by perceived family support, family quality of life and whether the child had been hospitalised before.

Discussion: Perceived family support was the one factor that was found to predict both the mothers' and the fathers' satisfaction with healthcare services. Knowing which factors predict satisfaction with health care among parents of hospitalised children with different chronic illnesses and health issues can inform the delivery of effective family-focused interventions and evidence-based practice to families.

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The Applicability of the "Revised Burden Measure" in Pediatric Settings: Measuring Parents' Caregiving Burdens and Uplifts

In pediatric settings, a valid and reliable assessment of negative and positive dimensions of caregiving can inform intervention processes and improve parent–child adaptation outcomes. While caregiving is a normative component of parenting, the experience can be quantitatively and/or qualitatively different for parents of children with a chronic health condition. The aim of this study was to systematically examine the psychometric properties of the "Revised Burden Measure" in a sample of parents of children with and without chronic health conditions. The "Revised Burden Measure" and self-reported measures of quality of life and mental health were administered to a sample of parents who had children with (n = 277) or without (n = 117) chronic health conditions. Classical test theory, item response theory, multi-group confirmatory factor analysis, and multivariate and univariate analyses of covariance were conducted to investigate the reliability and validity of the instrument. The "Revised Burden Measure" was shown to have good reliability, as well as criterion and known-groups validity. The data showed minor DIF by children's health status. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed a second-order model of caregiving burden (with Relationship, Objective and Subjective burdens loading on Overall Burden) and the construct validity of the complementary Uplifts subscale. Additionally, multi-group analyses ascertained the measurement and structural invariance of the model by children's health status. The results generally confirm the reliability and validity of the "Revised Burden Measure" and demonstrate its overall clinical and developmental applicability in pediatric settings. Highlights: The "Revised Burden Measure" is a valid and reliable measure for use in pediatric settings. This clinically informative instrument is easy to administer, score and interpret. The "Revised Burden Measure" enables a comprehensive assessment of negative and positive dimensions of caregiving. This measure may be used to assess the caregiving experience of parents who have children with or without chronic conditions. The instrument is recommended for the assessment of caregiver's burdens and uplifts across different life-span periods. 

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Experiences of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Their Families: A Critical Review

Evidence suggests that children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) experience challenges across many areas of their daily lives and often require interprofessional supports. Recent studies have emphasized the need for an integrated system of care for children with FASD, incorporating medical, allied health, and education services, to facilitate open communication and support for the complex needs that many children experience. To develop such a system of care, it is important to first understand the impact of FASD on children's functioning during daily activities in different environmental contexts. A critical review of existing research was conducted using a critical interpretive synthesis approach. Results revealed that while many studies discussed impacts at the body functions and structures level of children with FASD, they often did not consider the activity, participation, and environmental factors also contributing to the daily functioning of this population. Several studies discussed caregiver experiences and challenges raising a child with FASD; however, no studies investigated the lived experiences relating to impacts across activities and environments from children's perspectives. In addition, the focus on deficits overshadowed investigation into the strengths of children with FASD, leaving a gap in the picture of their daily lives. Further research is required to determine the strengths that children with FASD demonstrate and the challenges impacting their daily functioning within different environmental contexts. Insights gleaned from such research would support intervention practices to become more holistic and interprofessional.

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Parents' experiences of living with, and caring for children, adolescents and young adults with Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS)

Background: Many rare diseases of childhood are life-threatening and chronically debilitating, so living with a rare disease is an on-going challenge for patients and their families. MPS is one of a range of rare inherited metabolic disorders (IMDs) that come under category 3 of life-limiting conditions, where there is no curative treatment available at present. Although the study of rare diseases is increasingly novel, and of clinical importance to the population, the lack of empirical data in the field to support policy and strategy development is a compelling argument for further research to be sought.

Methods: This qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study explored and interpreted Irish parents' experiences of living with and caring for children, adolescents and young adults with MPS and the impact of these diseases on their day to day life. A purposively selected sample of parents' attending the Irish National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders was invited to participate in serial in-depth interviews.

Results: A total of eight parents' (n = 8) of children with a range of MPS disorders aged from 6 months to 22 years (MPS I Hurler syndrome, Scheie syndrome), MPS II (Hunter syndrome), MPS III (Sanfilipo syndrome) and MPS VI (Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome) were interviewed at three time points over a 17 month period. The main themes identified during data analysis were described as living with MPS, living with a genetic rare disease, the stigma of a rare condition, MPS as encompassing multiple diseases, Unknown future, hospital vs. home, experience of waiting, a tough road ahead, and things in their day-to-day life with MPS. They spoke of their child's Quality of Life (QoL), their healthy children's wellbeing, and for some, the impact on their own physical and psychological wellbeing. They also reflected on issues of stigmatisation and isolation in their experience of living with a child with a rare disorder.

Conclusion: This study's findings reflect the wider literature on the impact of rare diseases, which have also indicated how caring for someone with MPS, a condition that is chronic, progressive and degenerative can impact on all dimensions of the family's life. Analysis of the findings using a hemenutic pheomenology perspecitve suggest that parents of children with MPS experience multiple cyclical movements across all five human lived existential experience, and they gradually develop ways to incorporate MPS in their day to day life. It was also evident that all the carers in this study experienced a range of uncertainties, with parents using terms such as 'no man's land' and 'future is unknown' to describe their world.

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Impaired Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Families Affected by Methylmalonic Acidemia

An understanding of health related quality of life (HRQoL) in children and families affected by methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) is important in planning counseling and therapeutic intervention. Liver transplantation (LT) is used as a treatment for MMA; however, its risks and benefits continue to be investigated. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to measure HRQoL in children and families affected by MMA using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL™) parent version, and (2) to assess the impact of LT on HRQoL by comparing LT and non-LT patient scores and free responses. Parents/caregivers reported lower scores on the majority of the PedsQL™ scales as compared to samples of healthy children, children with solid organ transplants for indications other than MMA, and families affected by chronic conditions. Scores for children with MMA were lowest in school and social functioning and scores for families were lowest in worry and activity impairment. There were no significant differences in LT and non-LT patient scores on the PedsQL™ scales. Our results document the negative impact of MMA on HRQoL.

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Transitioning to an Adult Healthcare System: Barriers and Opportunities For Youth with Spina Bifida

This quality improvement project aimed to identify barriers and opportunities for successful transition from pediatric to adult health care for a clinic sample of youth with spina bifida. Pediatric patients (N = 16) with spina bifida between the ages of 14 and 21 years and a family member were recruited from the Spina Bifida Clinic at a large regional medical center to participate in a face-to-face semi-structured interview. A standard guide, including select questions from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs along with inquires specific to the population and clinic setting, were used for each interview. The Health Services Utilization model provided an overall conceptual framework. A total of 16 interviews with patients and family member were completed. Only 25% of the participants reported previous conversation with their pediatric providers regarding transition to adult health care. Meeting adult providers prior to transition (93.8%), a desire for a written transition plan (68.8%), and possessing a copy of the transition policy (68.8%) were identified as beneficial in transition planning. Qualitative findings suggest that parents of children with greater intellectual and physical disability reported increased worry surrounding transition when compared to parents of higher functioning children. Despite availability of published recommendations regarding transition for over a decade, challenges in transition preparation among pediatric patients with spina bifida remain. Feedback from families highlights the need for increased planning, particularly for those with greater functional impairments. Findings will guide the development of a local clinic transition program to address concerns and implement key interventions identified for youth with spina bifida, and offer insight that other nurses and clinics may use in their own settings. Results underscore the ongoing, and as yet, unmet concerns of patients and families.

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Quality of life of the family of children with asthma is not related to asthma severity

The quality of life for the family is an important outcome of childhood asthma. The aim of the study was to describe the quality of life in families who have a child with asthma. The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Family Impact Module was completed by the parents of 527 children with asthma. The median overall score was 75.0 (interquartile range 63.9, 87.5). The following factors were independently associated with lower quality of life: additional difficulties such as anxiety and financial hardship (3.81 [2.45, 5.93]), waking with asthma symptoms one or more nights a week (odds ratio 2.53 [1.34, 4.75]), regular use of symptoms reliever medication (2.47 [1.57, 3.87]), and female gender (1.97 [1.27, 3.05]). Lower socioeconomic status of the family and exposure to molds at home doubled the odds for lower quality of life. Physician's diagnosed asthma severity and control were associated with quality of life in univariate, but not multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Multiple factors, several of which are not related to asthma, contribute to the family burden of having a child with asthma. Clinicians should be mindful of the impact of asthma on the child and the family, and consider exploring factors not directly related to childhood asthma.

What is Known:

• Childhood asthma as a chronic disease impacts the quality of life of the patient, but there is also an impact on the immediate family.

• There are relatively few studies exploring the quality of life of parents of a child with asthma; the results are heterogeneous and none has been carried out in an Eastern European country.

What is New:

• This is the first study to describe caregiver's quality of life in an Eastern European population in the context of childhood asthma.

• The quality of life of the family of asthmatic child depends not only on factors related to asthma, but also non-asthma related factors such as poverty which play even more important role.

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A systematic review of instruments assessing dimensions of distress among caregivers of adult and pediatric cancer patients

Objective: Caregivers of cancer patients face intense demands throughout the course of the disease, survivorship, and bereavement. Caregiver burden, needs, satisfaction, quality of life, and other significant areas of caregiving are not monitored regularly in the clinic setting, resulting in a need to address the availability and clinical effectiveness of cancer caregiver distress tools. This review aimed to determine the availability of cancer caregiver instruments, the variation of instruments between different domains of distress, and that between adult and pediatric cancer patient populations.

Method: A literature search was conducted using various databases from 1937 to 2013. Original articles on instruments were extracted separately if not included in the original literature search. The instruments were divided into different areas of caregiver distress and into adult versus pediatric populations. Psychometric data were also evaluated.

Results: A total of 5,541 articles were reviewed, and 135 articles (2.4%) were accepted based on our inclusion criteria. Some 59 instruments were identified, which fell into the following categories: burden (n = 26, 44%); satisfaction with healthcare delivery (n = 5, 8.5%); needs (n = 14, 23.7%); quality of life (n = 9, 15.3%); and other issues (n = 5, 8.5%). The median number of items was 29 (4-125): 20/59 instruments (33.9%) had [LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO]20 items; 13 (22%) had [LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO]20 items and were psychometrically sound, with 12 of these 13 (92.3%) being self-report questionnaires. There were 44 instruments (74.6%) that measured caregiver distress for adult cancer patients and 15 (25.4%) for caregivers of pediatric patients.

Significance of results: There is a significant number of cancer caregiver instruments that are self-reported, concise, and psychometrically sound, which makes them attractive for further research into their clinical use, outcomes, and effectiveness.

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Challenging behavour and learning disabilities: Prevention and interventions for children with learning disabilities whose behavour challenges: NICE guideline 2015

This guideline covers interventions and support for children, young people and adults with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges. It highlights the importance of understanding the cause of behaviour that challenges, and performing thorough assessments so that steps can be taken to help people change their behaviour and improve their quality of life. The guideline also covers support and intervention for family members or carers.

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Perspectives on Palliative Care Among Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients and Their Families in Singapore

Introduction: With better medical care, patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) now live longer but face more complex medical and social needs. This study described the perceptions of DMD patients and their families of disease-specific palliative care services in Singapore.

Materials and Methods: A multicentre, cross-sectional study involving DMD patients and their families was carried out. Structured questionnaires were administered to them to collect data on their understanding of palliative care, health services accessed and desired by them and quality of life.

Results: A total of 30 pairs of DMD patients and their caregivers responded. Most patients were >13 years old (70%) and non-ambulant (86%). Most of them and their families (70%) were also not aware of palliative care and support services that were available to them in Singapore. Additionally, they perceived greater financial assistance and better transport services as resources that could better meet their care needs. The presence of scoliosis and need for ventilatory support were associated with lower quality of life in patients.

Conclusion: There is a need to improve awareness and provision of palliative care services for DMD patients in Singapore where discussion of end-of-life care is often considered taboo. Prevention and correction of scoliosis and provision of appropriate ventilatory support may improve quality of life in DMD patients.

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Assessment of quality of life in Turkish children with psoriasis and their caregivers

Background/objectives: The effect of pediatric psoriasis on quality of life has been demonstrated, but data regarding its influence on caregiver quality of life are scarce. The objective was to investigate how psoriasis affects quality of life of children and their caregivers.;

Methods: This multicenter study included 129 children with psoriasis and their caregivers, who were family members accompanying patients to the clinic. Patient quality of life was measured using the Child Dermatology Life Quality Index. Caregiver quality of life was assessed using Dermatological Family Impact Scale, a 15-item questionnaire validated for use in the Turkish language.

Results: Mean Child Dermatology Life Quality Index score was 7.6, indicating a moderate effect on patient quality of life. Symptoms and feelings were the most severely impaired domains of patient quality of life, and emotions was the most severely impaired domain of caregiver quality of life. Dermatological Family Impact Scale score was significantly correlated with Child Dermatology Life Quality Index (correlation coefficient [r] = .554, P < .001) and Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (r = .350, P < .001). Caregivers of patients receiving systemic agents or phototherapy had relative impairment of multiple domains of quality of life compared to caregivers of patients receiving topical treatment only.

Conclusion: Psychosocial effect of pediatric psoriasis was shown to extend beyond the individual, highlighting the importance of addressing patient and caregiver quality of life concerns in an integrated approach.

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"There's Just No Way to Help, and They Did." Parents Name Compassionate Care as a New Domain of Quality in Pediatric Home-Based Hospice and Palliative Care

Background: To design high-quality home-based hospice and palliative care (HBHPC) systems, it is imperative to understand the perspectives of parents whose children enroll in HBHPC programs.

Objective: The goal of this project was to identify and define parent/caregiver-prioritized domains of family-centered care in HBHPC by performing semistructured interviews of parents/caregivers ("parents") across Ohio whose children have received HBHPC. We hypothesized that the 10 provider-prioritized domains and their definitions, as identified in our previous research, would be modified and augmented by parents for application in the pediatric HBHPC setting.

Methods: This was a qualitative study utilizing semistructured interviews of bereaved parents of children who were enrolled in a pediatric HBHPC program at the three sites from 2012 to 2016 and parents of children who were currently enrolled in these programs for at least a year.

Results: Parent-prioritized thematic codes mapped to 9 of the 10 provider-prioritized domains of quality HBHPC; none mapped to the domain "Ethical and Legal Aspects of Care." Although most of the provider-prioritized domains are pertinent to parents, parents defined these domains differently, deepening our understanding and perspective of quality within each domain. An 11th domain, Compassionate Care, was created and defined based on emergent themes.

Conclusions: Parent/caregiver-prioritized domains of quality in pediatric HBHPC map closely to provider-prioritized domains, but parents define these domains differently. Parents also prioritize Compassionate Care as a new domain of quality in pediatric HBHPC. Measuring the quality of care provided in HBHPC programs through this broader perspective should enable the selection of measures which are truly patient- and family-centered.

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The Social Support Networks Scale (SSNS) for Family Caregivers of Children with Cancer: A Psychometric Evaluation

Currently, information about the psychometric properties of the Social Support Networks Scale (SSNS) for family caregivers of children with cancer is not yet available; therefore, there is no empirical evidence of its validity and reliability to support its use in this population. The aim of this study is to determine a factorial model of the SSNS, estimate its internal consistency reliability, describe its distribution, and check its concurrent validity. A convenience sample of 633 family caregivers of children with cancer hospitalized in a National Institute of Health in Mexico City was collected. The SSNS, a sociodemographic variables questionnaire, and three instruments that evaluated family functioning, quality of life, and resilience were applied. The five-factor model had a poor data fit and lacked discriminant validity. The sample was divided. In a subsample of 316 participants, exploratory factor analysis suggested a four-factor model. When testing the four-factor model through confirmatory factor analysis, religious support was independent of family support, friend support, and lack of support. In the other subsample of 317 participants, the one-factor model for religious support had a good fit, and the correlated three-factor model, with the remaining factors, showed an acceptable fit. Reliability ranged from acceptable (Guttman's lambda(2) = 0.72) to good (lambda(2) = 0.88). Socio-family support and its three factors were correlated with family functioning, resilience, and quality of life. Religious support was correlated with four factors of resilience and quality of life. A scale of socio-family support with three factors and an independent scale for religious support are defined from the SSNS, and they showed internal consistency and construct validity.

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Predictors of Quality of Life among Parents of Children with Chronic Diseases: A Cross-Sectional Study

Quality of life (QOL) is a key aspect of the health care process for children with chronic diseases and their families. Although clinical evidence regarding the impact of chronic disease on children exists, few studies have evaluated the effects of the interaction between sociodemographic and psychosocial factors on the family caregiver's QOL, indicating a significant gap in the research literature. The present study aimed to identify the predictors of the QOL of parents of children with chronic diseases. Three parental sociodemographic predictors (age, schooling, and family income) and four psychosocial predictors (family functioning, social support, depression, and resilience) were examined. In this cross-sectional study, 416 parents of children with chronic diseases who were hospitalized at a National Institute of Health in Mexico City were interviewed. The participants completed a sociodemographic variables questionnaire (Q-SV) designed for research on family caregivers of children with chronic disease. The predicted variable was assessed through the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire. The four psychosocial predictors were assessed through the Family Functioning Scale, Social Support Networks Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Measurement Scale of Resilience. The regression model explained 42% of the variance in parents' QOL. The predictors with positive weights included age, schooling, monthly family income, family functioning, social support networks, and parental resilience. The predictors with negative weights included depression. These findings suggest that strong social relationships, a positive family environment, family cohesion, personal resilience, low levels of depression, and a family income twice the minimum wage are variables associated with better parental QOL.

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Validity and reliability of the Mexican resilience measurement scale in families of children with chronic conditions

Background: The resilience to face disease is a process of positive adaptation despite the loss of health. It involves developing vitality and skills to overcome the negative effects of adversity, risks, and vulnerability caused by disease. In Mexico, the Mexican Resilience Measurement Scale (RESI-M) has been validated with a general population and has a five-factor structure. However, this scale does not allow evaluation of resilience in specific subpopulations, such as caregivers.

Method: This study investigated the psychometric properties of RESI-M in 446 family caregivers of children with chronic diseases. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed, internal consistency values were calculated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, and mean comparisons were determined using t-tests.; Results: The expected five-factor model showed an adequate fit with the data based on a maximum likelihood test. The internal consistency for each factor ranged from .76 to .93, and the global internal consistency was .95. No average difference in RESI-M and its factors was found between women and men.

Conclusion: The RESI-M showed internal consistency and its model of five correlated factors was valid among family caregivers of children with chronic diseases.

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Child characteristics, caregiver characteristics, and environmental factors affecting the quality of life of caregivers of children with cerebral palsy

Purpose: The study aimed to investigate comprehensively the determinants of the quality of life (QOL) of caregivers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY).

Methods: A total of 167 children with CP (mean age 9.06 years, SD 2.61 years) and their caregivers (mean age 40.24 years, SD 5.43 years) participated in this study. The QOL of caregivers was measured with the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF-Taiwan version (WHOQOL-BREF-TW). The potential determinants of QOL were collected, including child characteristics, caregiver characteristics, and environmental factors from all dimensions of the ICF-CY and analysed using multiple regression models.

Results: Four multiple regression models revealed that determinants of the QOL of caregivers of children with CP was multidimensional, encompassing child characteristics (age, type of CP, fine motor impairment, other diseases, behaviour and emotions, visual impairment, hearing impairment), caregiver characteristics (general mental health, parenting stress, marital status, family coping patterns, and socio-economic status), and environmental factors (child's medication, school setting, and current rehabilitation service, caregiver's spouse's age, family life impacts, and domestic helper).

Conclusions: Knowledge of the determinants of QOL could serve as a guide in a holistic approach to evaluation and intervention and help plan interventions targeted at these determinants to improve the QOL of caregivers of children with CP.

Implications for Rehabilitation:

  • Caregivers of children with CP had lower QOL, except the environment QOL.
  • The QOL determinants of caregivers of children with CP are multidimensional, including child characteristics, caregiver characteristics, and environmental factors.
  • In addition to child characteristics of severity of fine motor impairments and emotional and behavioural problems, caregiver characteristics of general mental health, parenting stress, and coping patterns, and environmental factors of family life impacts, and school setting demonstrated important relationships with caregiver QOL.
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Burden of caregivers of children with cerebral palsy: an intersectional analysis of gender, poverty, stigma, and public policy

Background: Caregivers of children with cerebral palsy suffer from a substantial psychosocial burden. However, there is a scarcity of documentation of the various sources of burden in low- and middle-income settings. 

Methods: We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews among mothers of children with cerebral palsy attending a physiotherapy facility. We purposively sampled mothers from rural and peri-urban areas in Tamil Nadu, India, till the point of data saturation. We analysed the transcripts using the socio-ecological model to identify the major dimensions of psychosocial burden among these mothers.

Results: At the individual level the mothers perceived aches and pains due to the heavy physical activity of caregiving. They also suffered from a feeling of guilt about the child's condition. Due to the difficulty in balancing family and work, they had significant financial burdens. They also perceived a lack of knowledge and awareness about possible options for the treatment of their child. At the interpersonal level, the mothers lacked support from their husband and family in the process of caregiving. They also had to suffer the ill effects of alcoholism and domestic violence from their husbands. They had to compromise on the care they provided to the other family members and their children without cerebral palsy. At the community level, the mothers had no support from the community members and felt isolated from others. The mothers also reported discrimination and lack of participation in social events. Environmental stressors like lack of inclusive public spaces, lack of options for public transport and unfriendly work timings and environment were major sources of burden. The mothers felt that the disability welfare support offered by the government was grossly insufficient and there was no platform for interactions with other peers and mothers suffering from a similar burden.

Conclusion: Caregivers of children with cerebral palsy have unique burdens in a typical low- and middle-income setting including an intersection of gender norms, poverty, stigmatization and non-inclusive public policy, which need to be addressed to improve the quality of life of caregivers.

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The effect of the Hambisela programme on stress levels and quality of life of primary caregivers of children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study

Background: Caregivers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) are at risk of having high stress levels and poor quality of life (QOL) which could have a detrimental effect on themselves and their children. Taking caregivers' well-being into consideration is therefore important when providing rehabilitation to children with CP. Interventions to mediate primary caregiver stress and QOL using an educational tool have not been tested in this population in South Africa. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a group-based educational intervention, Hambisela, on stress levels and QOL of primary caregivers of children with CP in Mamelodi, a township in Gauteng, South Africa.

Method: Eighteen primary caregivers of children with CP participated in a quasi-experimental pretest–post-test pilot study. Hambisela, a group-based educational intervention, was carried out once a week over 8 consecutive weeks. Caregiver stress and QOL were assessed before and after the intervention using the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF) and the Paediatric Quality of Life-Family Impact Module (PedsQLTM-FIM). Sociodemographic information was assessed using a demographic questionnaire. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) was used to assess the gross motor level of severity of CP in the children.

Results: Data were collected for 18 participants at baseline and 16 participants at follow-up. At baseline, 14 (87.5%) participants had clinically significant stress which reduced to 11 (68.8%) at follow-up. There was no significant change in primary caregiver's stress levels (p = 0.72) and QOL (p = 0.85) after the Hambisela programme. Higher levels of education were moderately associated with lower levels of primary caregiver stress (r = −0.50; p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Most primary caregivers in this pilot study suffered from clinically significant stress levels. Hambisela, as an educational intervention, was not effective in reducing the stress or improving the QOL in these primary caregivers of children with CP. Future studies with a larger sample size are needed to investigate the high stress levels of primary caregivers of children with CP. Clinical implications: Rehabilitation services for children with disabilities should include assessments to identify caregivers with high stress levels. Holistic management programmes should also include care for the carers. 

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Quality of life and parental care burden in cochlear implanted children: A case-control study

Objectives: Cochlear implantation is a widely accepted and effective surgical method used to treat severe hearing loss. What's more, it affects the lives of both cochlear implanted children and their parents. This study aims to compare cochlear-implanted children (CIC) and their parents with healthy counterparts and their parents in terms of the quality of life (QOL) and parental care burden (CB).

Methods: This study was conducted between February and December 2018 in Turkey after receiving approval from the ethics committee. The Case Group included 34 children between 3 and 7 years of age, who received a CI due to bilateral prelingual sensorineural hearing loss and were using it for at least 1 year, and their parents. The Control Group consisted of 68 healthy children and their parents. The data were collected using disease and age-specific quality of life scales and burden interview. Normally distributed variables were analysed using parametric tests while non-normally distributed variables were analysed using nonparametric tests. The odds ratio (OR) and confidence interval (95%) were also calculated. Results were evaluated at significance level of p < 0.05.

Results: The mean age of the children and their parents in both Case and Control Groups was 63.9 months and 33.8 years, and 61.3 months and 36.6 years, respectively. There was a positive correlation between PPQ social relationship subscale and KINDL subscale scores in CIC (p < 0.05). The Case Group obtained lower mean scores from the subscales of KINDL and WHOQOL-BREF (p < 0.001, p < 0.01). The ZBI mean scores of the parents in Case and Control Groups were 43.18 and 27.54, respectively (p = 0.000).

Conclusion: It was determined that the QOL of the Case Group was lower than QOL of the Control Group, while the CB of the Case Group was higher than CB of the Control Group.

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Spiritual and religious coping and depression among family caregivers of pediatric cancer patients in Latin America

Objective: Several studies have shown that spiritual/religious beliefs are associated with mental health and quality of life. However, so far, no study assessed the relationship between spiritual/religious coping (SRC) and depressive symptoms in family caregivers (FCs) of pediatric cancer patients, particularly in Latin America. This study aimed to investigate whether Positive and Negative SRC strategies are associated with depressive symptoms in FCs of pediatric cancer patients in Brazil. 

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study comprising 77 FCs of pediatric cancer patients from one Brazilian Pediatric Oncology Institute. Spiritual/religious coping was assessed using the Brief SRC scale, and depressive symptoms were evaluated by the Beck Depression Inventory. Multiple regression models were performed to identify factors associated with SRC of FCs and their depressive symptoms.

Results: In the unadjusted linear regression models, depressive symptoms were positively associated with Negative SRC (B = 0.401; P < .001; Adjusted R 2  = 16.1%) but not with Positive SRC (B = 0.111; P = .334). After adjusting for socio-demographics, religious practice/faith, and health, Negative SRC remained associated with depressive symptoms (B = 3.56; P = .01; Adjusted R 2  = 37.8%). In the logistic regression models, depressive symptoms were positively associated with Negative SRC (OR = 3.68; 95% CI, 1.46-9.25; P = .006), but not with Positive SRC (OR = 1.49; 95% CI, .69-3.22; P = .309). After adjustments, Negative SRC remained significant (OR = 4.01; 95% CI, 1.21-13.33; P = .023).

Conclusions: Negative SRC was associated with depressive symptoms in FCs of pediatric cancer patients. Health professionals must be aware of the use of Negative SRC strategies in oncology care. (Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.)

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The perceived health of children with epilepsy, sense of control,and support for their families

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the perceived health of children with epilepsy as experienced by the respondents to a questionnaire, to assess the sense of control over their child's epilepsy, and how much support they feel they received in various environments.

Methods: In this observational study, the data were collected using a questionnaire that was sent to families of children with epilepsy, who were treated at University Children's Hospital in Ljubljana, Slovenia from January to September 2016. The questionnaire consisted of 29 questions related to their epilepsy.

Results: There were 1198 patients who met the entry criteria for the study and were sent the questionnaire, of which 181 (15.1%) responded. The diagnosis of epilepsy was established in 912% of patients (8.8% were patients after a first unprovoked seizure), of which drug-resistant epilepsy was reported in 33.3%. Patients had epilepsy diagnosed fora mean of 4.9 +/- 4.4 years. Of all patients, 82.4% of patients were taking antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) at the time of inquiry. The longer the patient had epilepsy diagnosed, the lower was the perceived health (p = 0.004). Patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy, those who had seizures, and those who were receiving AEDs had significantly lower scores of perceived health compared with those who did not (p < 0.001; p < 0.001; and p = 0.016, respectively). Of all responders, 79.8% responded that they feel that they have their child's condition under control. The child's condition was considered under control more often if the child had no reported seizures (p < 0.001) and if the family had enough support in the health system (p = 0.002) or psychological support (p = 0.005). Patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy more often replied that they do not have enough support in the health system (p = 0.006).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that the presence of seizures, pharmacoresistant epilepsy, years of epilepsy diagnosis, and prescription of AEDs have a significant negative effect on the perceived health of children with epilepsy. Enhancement of the support families received in different environments can offer an opportunity to improve the sense of caregivers control over child's epilepsy. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Quality of life and associated factors in siblings of children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities: A cross‐sectional study

This study examined quality of life and its associated factors in siblings of children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities in Japan. The participants were 789 siblings of children with a disability and their primary caregivers. We used the Kinder Lebensqualität Fragebogen questionnaire to assess the quality of life of siblings. The mean age of the siblings was 12.21 ± 3.07 years, and the mean quality of life score was 69.63 ± 12.55 points, which is higher than that of the general population of children of the same age. It was revealed that the following factors contributed to higher quality of life scores: a closer relationship with the child with a disability, younger age, the primary caregiver's lower care burden, later birth order of siblings (i.e., younger siblings), higher family empowerment, and female gender of siblings. The relationship with the child with a disability had the strongest influence on siblings' quality of life. Our study suggests the need for nursing interventions that focus on the whole family to enhance siblings' quality of life.

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Perceived self-efficacy in parents of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder

Many parents of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder experience difficulty accessing appropriate services for their children, and may report low levels of parent self-efficacy. In an effort to identify the factors that contribute to the difficulties these families face, this study examined the role of demographic, systemic, and clinical need variables as they relate to parents’ experience of self-efficacy. Participants included 324 parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, 12–25 years of age. Results suggest that parent self-efficacy is related to a number of variables and not simply a child’s clinical situation, including child age, parent immigrant status, barriers to service access, and caregiver burden. Given the crucial role that parents often play in the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan, it is important that service providers support the efforts of parents who provide and access care for their children.

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Quality of life in paediatric tracheostomy patients and their caregivers - A cross-sectional study

Objectives: (1) To better outline quality of life outcomes in paediatric tracheostomy patients and their caregivers. (2) To establish whether quality of life outcomes for children are associated with those of their caregivers. (3) To establish whether quality of life outcomes were associated with the demographic and clinical variables of age, duration of time with a tracheostomy, number of comorbidities, and ventilator dependence.

Methods: Cross-sectional methodology was applied to gather quantitative data on quality of life outcomes, through PedsQL written questionnaires. These questionnaires covered social, emotional, physical and role/cognitive functioning. Caregivers also provided information on communication, worries, daily activities and family relationships. All children with a tracheostomy in situ, or recently decannulated, attending Sheffield Children's Hospital during the study period were eligible for inclusion.

Results: 25 families wished to participate, with patients ranging from 0.5 to 16.5 years (median 6.25). Both patients and caregivers attained lower scores than many other chronic diseases studied. Mean patient HRQoL was 56.2, with a physical health score of 52.4, psychosocial health score of 61.7. Caregiver HRQoL was 63.8, family functioning score was 68.1 and total family impact score was 61.6. Relative deficits were seen in caregiver social functioning (54.9), communication (56.3), worries (49.1) and daily activities (48.9), whilst role/cognitive functioning (73.8) and family relationships (79.6) subsections produced higher scores. Child psychosocial health showed moderate positive correlation (r = 0.492, p = 0.015) with both caregiver HRQoL and total family impact score. No correlation was identified between quality of life outcomes and demographic or clinical variables.

Conclusions: Disease burden appears to be particularly high for children and families with tracheostomies, especially when compared to other serious childhood disease. Lack of time and energy to complete daily activities, social isolation, worries, as well as difficulty communicating and perceived lack of understanding of their child's health were instrumental in reduced quality of life of caregivers. Anxiety about the future affected the majority of caregivers. This psychosocial impact may be lost in the busyness of delivery of medical care. We recommend provision of psychosocial support for these families as is now also recommended in other chronic childhood illness. 

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Basic Principles of Health-Related Quality of Life in Parents and Caregivers of Pediatric Surgical Patients with Rare Congenital Malformations-A Scoping Review

Introduction: The diagnosis of a rare congenital malformation with necessary surgical treatment is an emotionally stressful event in a parent's life and may impact parental health-related quality of life (HrQoL). We aimed to review the literature on HrQoL in parents and caregivers of pediatric surgical patients with rare congenital malformations and summarize the results.

Materials and Methods: For this scoping review, a literature search in PubMed was conducted from inception to November 21, 2019. Inclusion and exclusion criteria to select articles were defined a priori.

Results: Four articles (published 2014-2018) describing HrQoL in parents of pediatric surgical patients with rare congenital malformations in comparison to population-based references or healthy control groups were identified. Only European studies were found, and sample sizes varied between 15 and 87 participants. Results for parental HrQoL yielded inconsistencies.

Conclusion: So far, only a few studies with small sample sizes focus on parental HrQoL in pediatric surgical patients with rare congenital malformations. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of a rare congenital malformation on HrQoL of all family members, it is necessary to consider three main aspects: (1) to use both generic- and disease-specific instruments measuring HrQoL of the young patient as well as his/her parents and siblings in larger sample sizes, (2) to collect longitudinal data, and (3) to consider a mixed-method approach.

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Quality of life of primary caregivers of children with cerebral palsy: a comparison between mother and grandmother caregivers in Anhui province of China

Background: The aims of the study are to evaluate the quality of life of mother and grandmother primary caregivers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and to compare the difference between these two groups of caregivers.

Methods: We recruited 125 mother and 52 grandmother primary caregivers of children with CP. All the primary caregivers were interviewed with the short-form 36 (SF-36) health survey version 2.0 and with researcher-designed questionnaires for family background. As for the children, social-demographic characteristics, medical history and the result of a physical examination performed by a paediatric specialist in neurological rehabilitation were also collected

Results: Mother and grandmother caregivers scored lower than their counterparts in the general population in both summary scores. Grandmother caregivers had lower scores than mother caregivers in all eight domains and in the two summary scores, with all differences being statistically significant (P < 0.05), except for the domain of the mental component summary score (P = 0.618). The differences were found particularly remarkable in the domains of physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain and also the physical component summary score (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The quality of life is significantly unsatisfactory in both mother and grandmother primary caregivers of children with CP; this research provides evidence for the need of the monitoring of these caregivers. 

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Quality of life and burden in caregivers of youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder presenting for intensive treatment

Background: Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with deleterious familial effects; caregivers are often enmeshed in the disorder and can experience considerable burden and decreased quality of life (QoL). Consequently, this study examined burden and QoL in caregivers of youth with OCD enrolled in an intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program.

Method: The relationships between caregiver QoL and burden and the following variables were investigated: OCD symptom severity, functioning (youth functional impairment, general family functioning), family (family accommodation, parental relationship satisfaction, positive aspects of caregiving), and comorbid psychopathology (caregiver anxiety and depressive symptoms, youth internalizing and externalizing behaviors). Seventy-two child and caregiver dyads completed clinician- and self-rated questionnaires.

Results: Components of caregiver QoL correlated with caregiver-rated functional impairment, family accommodation, youth externalizing behaviors, and caregiver psychopathology. Aspects of caregiver burden correlated with child OCD symptom severity, functional impairment related to OCD, as well as caregiver and child comorbid psychopathology. Caregiver depressive symptoms predicted caregiver QoL, and caregiver depressive symptoms and child externalizing symptoms both predicted caregiver burden. Caregiver burden did not mediate the relationship between obsessive-compulsive symptom severity and caregiver QoL.

Conclusion: Ultimately, elucidating factors associated with increased caregiver burden and poorer QoL is pertinent for identifying at-risk families and developing targeted interventions.

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Health-Related Quality of Life and Related Factors among Primary Caregivers of Children with Disabilities in Shanghai, China: A Cross-Sectional Study

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of caregivers of children with disabilities (CWD) is important for both children's rehabilitation and caregivers' life, but the corresponding attention is far from enough in mainland China. Thus, we investigated the HRQOL of 170 caregivers and related factors in Shanghai. The 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) was used to measure HRQOL. The potential factors were collected, including child characteristics, caregiver characteristics, and environmental factors. Univariate analysis and multiple linear regression were performed to identify the key factors that could be intervened. Compared with the general population, caregivers of CWD had a slightly higher score on the physical component summary (PCS, 52.57 +/- 8.41), but the score of mental component summary (MCS, 31.58 +/- 7.72) was extremely low. Caregiver's illness condition, family size, and household income were significant factors of physical HRQOL. Caregivers with illness and caregivers living in an extended family were associated with higher mental HRQOL. Whereas these two factors had opposite effects on physical HRQOL. This finding indicated poor mental HRQOL among caregivers of CWD in Shanghai and thus requiring urgent attention and intervention. Improving physical fitness, maintaining family integration, and providing financial support should be considered when developing intervention for this population.

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The impact of pediatric atopic dermatitis on families: A review

Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an extremely common childhood disease, with considerable impact on the quality of life of affected children and their families. While pruritus is the hallmark symptom of this disease, AD has been well-documented to impact patients beyond physical symptoms, resulting in behavior problems, mood disorders, and sleep disturbance.

Objective: This literature review outlines how atopic dermatitis impacts the quality of life of families of children affected by AD.

Methods: A total of 3436 articles were identified via an online search of the MEDLINE health literature database and were screened for relevance to quality of life impacts on families with children affected by AD.

Results: Caring for children affected by AD can be an extremely time-consuming task that can impair personal relationships, decrease psychosocial functioning, and cause sleep loss among family members of affected patients. Additionally, AD may result in work absence or decreased work productivity for caregivers. Special diets, irritant and allergen avoidance strategies, and alternative therapies are commonly used by patients to manage their disease and require large amounts of family involvement.

Conclusions: Atopic dermatitis can greatly decrease quality of life of families of affected children in various domains, including sleep, finances, and relationships. Early intervention and psychotherapy may be needed in some patients to address these quality of life impairments. 

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Family Caregivers of Children With Medical Complexity: Health-Related Quality of Life and Experiences of Care Coordination

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between care coordination experiences of family caregivers of children with medical complexity (CMC) and caregivers' health-related quality of life (HR-QOL).

METHODS: From July 2018 to July 2019, family caregivers of CMC completed an electronic survey (n = 136) at the time of initial contact with a regional complex care medical home. Information on caregiver HR-QOL and receipt of care coordination services were assessed using the Center for Disease Control's HR-QOL-14 measure and Family Experiences of Care Coordination questionnaire, respectively. Negative binomial regression, adjusted for caregiver and child characteristics, examined associations between caregiver HR-QOL and caregiver experiences of care coordination.

RESULTS: In the 30 days prior to initial contact, CMC caregivers reported a median of 3.5 mentally unhealthy days, 2 days felt depressed, 7 days felt anxious, and 16 days with insufficient sleep. Caregivers who had a knowledgeable, supportive care coordinator who advocates for their child reported significantly fewer days mentally unhealthy (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22-0.95), depressed (IRR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.21-0.91), or anxious (IRR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.29-0.85). Having a shared care plan was associated with significantly fewer days mentally unhealthy (IRR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.23-0.93) or anxious (IRR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31-0.92). Having a written visit summary with appropriate content was associated with fewer days of insufficient sleep (IRR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.43-0.93).

CONCLUSIONS: CMC family caregivers report experiencing mentally unhealthy days and negative mental symptom days. The experience of specific care coordination activities was associated with higher caregiver mental HR-QOL.

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Exploring the impact of paediatric localized scleroderma on health-related quality of life: focus groups with youth and caregivers

Background: Paediatric localized scleroderma (LS) can negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by causing skin fibrosis, abnormal limb development, disfigurement, and side-effects from immunosuppressive treatment. Studies to date have rarely included qualitative data gathered directly from paediatric patients with LS.

Objectives: To assess the impact of LS on HRQoL among affected youth and their caregivers using qualitative description.

Methods: Youth with all subtypes of LS and their caregivers were purposively sampled to participate in age-appropriate focus groups (younger children, early adolescents, adolescents). Each group started with a drawing exercise followed by in-depth discussion of topics including skin symptoms (e.g. itch, pain, tightness), functional impairment, physical appearance, family and peer relationships, and treatment burden. Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and co-coded, with adjudication of differentially applied codes. The study findings were triangulated via comparison with adult reports and published literature.

Results: Eleven youth aged 9-16 years and 16 caregivers participated in three focus groups each. Major identified areas of impact included uncomfortable skin symptoms, physical functioning limitations, extracutaneous manifestations, body image, bullying and teasing, unwanted questioning from others, and treatment side-effects and burden.

Conclusions: This is the first qualitative study of HRQoL in LS to include all major LS subtypes. We identified domains of HRQoL impacted by LS, some of which replicate earlier findings and some of which were novel. As impact also changed with developmental stage, our findings support the need for ongoing, formal evaluation of HRQoL in children and adolescents with LS. What is already known about this topic? Paediatric localized scleroderma (LS) negatively impacts health-related quality of life (HRQoL) via skin fibrosis, musculoskeletal and other extracutaneous manifestations from the disease process, and side-effects of systemic immunosuppression. The full impact of LS and its treatment on HRQoL is incompletely understood, with only one published qualitative study of youth with LS, which was limited to facial involvement. There are no qualitative studies of HRQoL in other LS subtypes to date. What does this study add? This is the first qualitative evaluation of HRQoL in youth with LS inclusive of all disease subtypes. Our study confirms that LS affects HRQoL across multiple distinct domains, including uncomfortable skin sensations, impacts on body image, bullying and teasing from peers, unwanted intrusive questioning, physical limitations, extracutaneous manifestations and high treatment burden. These results indicate the need for ongoing clinical assessment of paediatric patients in these domains. What are the clinical implications of the work? These results support the need to care for patients with LS holistically by synthesizing cutaneous, musculoskeletal and extracutaneous disease assessments with multidimensional evaluation of psychosocial impact and adverse effects of treatments. The development of an LS-specific HRQoL measure would advance such efforts. 

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A support programme for caregivers of children with disabilities in Ghana: Understanding the impact on the wellbeing of caregivers

Background: Four fifths of the estimated 150 million children with disability in the world live in resource poor settings where the role of the family is crucial in ensuring that these children survive and thrive. Despite their critical role, evidence is lacking on how to provide optimal support to these families. This study explores the impact of a participatory training programme for caregivers delivered through a local support group, with a focus on understanding caregiver wellbeing.

Methods: A qualitative longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the impact of a training programme, "getting to know cerebral palsy," with caregivers on their wellbeing. Eighteen caregivers, from four districts, were interviewed up to three times over 14 months, to assess impact and the reasons for any changes. Results: Low levels of knowledge, high levels of stigma, physical and emotional exhaustion, and often difficult family relationships with social exclusion of the child and caregiver were common themes at the outset. Caregivers struggled to combine their caring and economic activities. This was exacerbated by the common absence of the father. Two months after completion of the training, their reported wellbeing had improved. The reasons for this were an improved understanding about their child's condition, positive attitudinal change towards their child, feelings of hope, and through the group support, a profound realisation that they are "not on their own." While relationships within the family remained complex in many cases, the support group offered an important and alternative social support network.

Conclusions: This study illustrates the many benefits of a relatively simple caregiver intervention, which has the potential to offer a mechanism to provide sustainable social support for caregivers and children with cerebral palsy. Any future programme needs to also address more structural issues, including stigma and discrimination, and strengthen approaches to family engagement. 

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Evaluating the impact of a community-based parent training programme for children with cerebral palsy in Ghana

Background: In low and middle-income settings, where access to support and rehabilitation services for children with disabilities are often lacking, the evidence base for community initiatives is limited. This study aimed to explore the impact of a community-based training programme for caregivers of children with cerebral palsy in Ghana.

Methods: A pre and post evaluation of an 11-month participatory training programme ("Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy") offered through a parent group model, was conducted. Eight community groups, consisting of a total of 75 caregivers and their children with cerebral palsy (aged 18 months-12 years), were enrolled from 8 districts across Ghana. Caregivers were interviewed at baseline, and again at 2 months after the completion of the programme, to assess: quality of life (PedsQL™ Family Impact Module); knowledge about their child's condition; child health indicators; feeding practices. Severity of cerebral palsy, reported illness, and anthropometric measurements were also assessed.; Results: Of the child-caregiver pairs, 64 (84%) were included in final analysis. There were significant improvements in caregiver quality of life score (QoL) (median total QoL 12.5 at baseline to 51.4 at endline, P<0.001). Caregivers reported significant improvements in knowledge and confidence in caring for their child (p<0.001), in some aspects of child feeding practices (p<0.001) and in their child's physical and emotional heath (p< 0.001). Actual frequency of reported serious illness over 12-months remained high (67%) among children, however, a small reduction in recent illness episodes (past 2 weeks) was seen (64% to 50% p < 0.05). Malnutrition was common at both time points; 63% and 65% of children were classified as underweight at baseline and endline respectively (p = 0.5).

Conclusion: Children with cerebral palsy have complex care and support needs which in low and middle-income settings need to be met by their family. This study demonstrates that a participatory training, delivered through the establishment of a local support group, with an emphasis on caregiver empowerment, resulted in improved caregiver QoL. Despite less effect on effect on child health and no clear effect on nutritional status, this alone is an important outcome. Whilst further development of these programmes would be helpful, and is underway, there is clear need for wider scale-up of an intervention which provides support to families.

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Impact of Childhood Psoriasis on Caregivers' Quality of Life, Measured with Family Dermatology Life Quality Index

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, that often develops below the age of 18. In an integrated approach to childhood psoriasis, the impact of psoriasis on family members merits consideration. In this study, the impact of childhood psoriasis on caregivers (61 mothers and 4 fathers) of 65 children (age range 5-17.5 years) was measured using Family Dermatology Life Quality Index (FDLQI). Childhood psoriasis exerted a substantial impact on the QoL of caregivers (mean FDLQI 13.62 +/- 6.15 points). Caregivers rated routine household expenditure, time spent caring for the skin of the child, and emotional distress as the areas most impacted by psoriasis. The areas least affected were parent-child relationships, and caregivers' social lives. The impact of other people's reactions to the child's disease was rated as more severe by caregivers of girls compared with those of boys (p = 0.004).

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Acceptability and feasibility of a Japanese version of STrAtegies for RelaTives (START-J): A manualized coping strategy program for family caregivers of relatives living with dementia

Background: The rising older population in Japan is associated with a rise in cases of dementia. Support for the increased number of family caregivers of people living with dementia is crucial, as caring may negatively affect a family caregiver's health. This study seeks to evaluate the feasibility and applicability of a recently developed Japanese version of START (STrAtegies for RelaTives). START is a psychosocial coping intervention program developed in the United Kingdom that has been shown to improve caregivers' mood and quality of life in a randomized controlled trial. Method: We made changes to START (e.g., idioms, linguistic nuance, and providing care insurance information suited for Japan) to make it culturally appropriate. Fourteen Japanese female family caregivers of relatives with mild dementia (n = 10) or mild cognitive impairment (n = 4) were referred to the study, but six were excluded owing to illness and busyness. This single-arm study had a before–after trial evaluating psychological outcomes including depression, anxiety, quality of life, and subjective care burden. Results: The acceptance retention and satisfaction rate suggest the feasibility and acceptability of the START program; 8/14 (>55%) eligible, prospective participants consented and were included in this study, all (8/8) of whom completed all START sessions. The mean program satisfaction score was 30.25 (standard deviation = 2.25) out of a potential 32. Conclusion: The results suggest that it is feasible and acceptable to deliver START in Japanese and based on the results of analysis using a linear mixed model, there is initial indication that the intervention improved family caregivers' quality of life, depressive symptoms, and care burden.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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)

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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. 

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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. 

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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. [

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.... 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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 ).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.;

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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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 ef