• caregivers;
  • quality of life

The trend toward community-based care, along with advances in medical technology, has resulted in increased numbers of individuals with complex healthcare needs being cared for at home by their families. This shift from hospital to community care places increased demands on family caregivers. Families are now providing long-term care for chronically ill people with a variety of conditions. Caregiver research has, for the most part, explored burden, stress, and depression as outcomes of caregiving. There is little research assessing the quality of life(QOL) of long-term caregivers.

In the research on quality of life, the patient is most frequently the focus. With the increased demand on families as caregivers, quality of life needs to be included as a variable in studying family caregivers for chronically ill individuals.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss issues in studying quality of life in family caregivers of persons with chronic conditions. Conceptualization of quality of life is explored, measurement of quality of life examined and the research on quality of life reviewed, with a focus on the quality of life of the family caregiver.