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Predictors and Outcomes of Health-Related Quality of Life in Caregivers of Cardiothoracic Transplant Recipients
Article first published online: 7 SEP 2012
© Copyright 2012 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
American Journal of Transplantation
Volume 12, Issue 12, pages 3387–3397, December 2012
How to Cite
Myaskovsky, L., Posluszny, D. M., Schulz, R., DiMartini, A. F., Switzer, G. E., Dabbs, A. D., McNulty, M. L., Kormos, R. L., Toyoda, Y. and Dew, M. A. (2012), Predictors and Outcomes of Health-Related Quality of Life in Caregivers of Cardiothoracic Transplant Recipients. American Journal of Transplantation, 12: 3387–3397. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.04243.x
- Issue published online: 30 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 7 SEP 2012
- Received 08 February 2012, revised 29 June 2012 and accepted for publication 17 July 2012
- Cardiothoracic transplant;
- psychosocial resources;
- quality of life
Cardiothoracic transplant programs generally require that transplant recipients have family caregivers to assist them posttransplant. The burden of caregiving on the family members remains poorly understood. If caregivers’ well-being is compromised by caregiving, it may bode poorly for transplant recipients’ own health in the long-term posttransplant. We examined caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during the first year after their family member's transplant, its predictors and its relationship to subsequent patient survival. Adult (aged 18+) caregivers of 242 cardiothoracic transplant recipients (lung = 134; heart = 108) completed assessments of demographics, psychosocial characteristics and caregiver burden at 2 months posttransplant, and HRQOL at 2, 7 and 12 months posttransplant. Recipients’ survival time was obtained from medical records. Caregiver HRQOL was generally high across the first-year posttransplant in emotional and social functioning; caregiver physical functioning significantly worsened. There were no differences by type of recipient transplant. Greater caregiver burden predicted poorer caregiver HRQOL in several physical domains at 12 months posttransplant. Transplant recipients whose caregivers had lower perceived general health at 12 months posttransplant showed poorer survival rates during the subsequent 7 years of follow up. Transplant teams should identify those caregivers at risk for poorer general health posttransplant to maximize positive outcomes for the entire family.