Factors Involved in Assessing Caregivers' Quality of Life

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Family caregivers (FCs) who felt greater emotional distress were more likely to report a poorer quality of life (QOL), according to an article published online in the journal Psycho-Oncology.

Participants in this study included 299 FCs of patients in the final stage of terminal cancer at seven palliative care units.

The authors used the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (containing four domains) to assess FCs’ QOL and factors that influence QOL (separating them into three categories: patient, caregiver, and environmental factors).

Results showed FCs caring for younger patients with terminal cancer felt a greater burden, but often displayed a positive adaptation to their circumstances. FCs’ tendencies to adapt positively were associated with increased visits for care, FCs’ religiousness, greater presence of social support, and the perception that the quality of care was satisfactory.

Overall QOL, burdensomeness, and disruptiveness strongly correlated with emotional distress experienced by FCs.  Furthermore, married FCs, FCs with less social support, and those with low incomes were more likely to have financial concerns compared to their counterparts.

The study suggests support programs focus on addressing these identified factors in order to improve QOL in FCs.

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Family caregivers who felt greater emotional distress were more likely to report a poorer quality of life.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of overall QOL and its subdomains among Korean FCs at the very end of life.
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