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Factors Associated with the Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of People with Dementia in Taiwan

Teng-Yin Yeh, Jian-An Su, Chih-Cheng Chang

Objectives: Previous studies showed that caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD) have lower quality of life (QoL) due to several clinical factors related to caregivers and their ill relatives. In this study, we intended to assess the associated factors of QoL in caregivers of PWD in Taiwan. Methods: A cross-sectional survey with 270 dyads of PWD and their caregivers was conducted. We assessed family members’ depressive symptoms, anxiety, affiliate stigma, care burden, and QoL, and patients’ cognition, severity of dementia, self-care, and mobility skills, as well as neuropsychiatry symptoms of PWD. Results: Caregivers’ longer years of education were significantly associated with better QoL in environment domains (β = 0.21, p < 0.01), while the children of caregivers had significantly better QoL in physical domains compared to spouses of caregivers (β = 0.28, p < 0.05). Patients with a past history of psychiatric hospitalization (β = 0.11, p < 0.05) and longer caregiving time (β = 0.13, p < 0.05) were significantly related to better QoL in environment domain. High levels of depression were associated with significantly lower QoL in physical health (β = −0.24, p < 0.05) and psychological domains (β = −0.32, p < 0.01), while more anxiety symptoms were related to significantly lower QoL in physical health (β = −0.26, p < 0.01) and environment domains (β = −0.27, p < 0.01). Higher levels of affiliate stigma were significantly related to lower QoL of caregivers in psychological (β = −0.23, p < 0.01), social relationships (β = −0.27, p < 0.01), and environment (β = −0.19, p < 0.05) domains. Higher levels of care burden were significantly related to lower QoL of caregivers in physical health (β = −0.24, p < 0.01) and environment (β = −0.23, p < 0.05) domains. Conclusion: Caregiver’s depression, anxiety, affiliate stigma, and care burden were found to play a critical role in maintaining QoL of family caregivers. We suggest developing effective programs as a direction of future intervention for PWD to improve their QoL.
Key Word caregiver Burden Inventory, stigma, the Barthel Index, WHO Quality of Life-BREF
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