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Keywords:

  • Disability;
  • war;
  • quality of life;
  • caregivers

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate quality of life (QOL) of caregivers of severely disabled war survivors and identify variables threatening caregivers' QOL.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was performed on 532 caregivers of Iran-Iraq war related injured survivors by using Persian version of 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).

Findings

Caregivers had lower QOL compared to the Iranian female population (p < .001). Caregivers of amputees had better SF-36 scores compared to caregivers of two groups of chemical warfare survivors (p ranging from .01 to <.001). Caregiving to chemical warfare and being married at the time of trauma were the independent predictors of poor QOL in both the physical component summary (OR = 5.08, 95% CI = 3.35–7.7; OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.37–0.89) and the mental component summary (OR = 4.12, 95% CI = 2.68–6.32; OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.40–0.98).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

Caregivers of war veterans suffer from poor QOL. Chemical warfare agents contribute to more persistent poor QOL in caregivers than the injuries caused by conventional weapons.