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Keywords:

  • burnout;
  • caregivers;
  • dementia;
  • depression;
  • quality of life

Abstract

Background:  The aim of the present study was to investigate predictive factors of quality of life (QOL) in home caregivers of patients with dementia.

Methods:  A total of 118 home caregivers (48 male, 70 female) were asked to complete the World Health Organization (WHO) Quality of Life 26 (WHO/QOL-26) questionnaire, the Pines Burnout Measure (BM), and the Beck Depression Inventory, second edition (BDI-II). Patient demographics and clinical data regarding cognitive impairment, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and dementia severity were obtained from medical records.

Results:  Spearman rank correlation coefficients revealed that caregiver QOL was significantly correlated with patients' neuropsychiatric symptoms (r=−0.19; P < 0.05), as well as depressive symptoms (r=−0.59, P < 0.01) and burnout (r=−0.59, P < 0.01) in caregivers. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that depressive symptoms in caregivers was the strongest predictor for caregiver QOL (R2= 0.37, P < 0.001) and that caregiver QOL was best predicted by the combination of depressive symptoms, burnout, and the cognitive impairment of patients (R2= 0.46, P < 0.05).

Conclusion:  The results of the present study demonstrate that subjective experiences of caregivers are more strongly correlated with caregiver QOL than patient-related variables and are thus powerful determinants of caregiver QOL. These findings suggest that caregiver intervention, which aims to increase QOL, may benefit from the incorporation of strategies to reduce depressive symptoms and burnout.