Caregivers in home palliative care: gender, psychological aspects, and patient’s functional status as main predictors for their quality of life
This study aims to investigate the impact of possible predictors of quality of life (QoL) in a group of Italian caregivers assisting a cancer patient in home palliative care.
Data from 570 adult informal caregivers and their cancer-affected relatives were collected. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to assess the effect of three groups of variables on Caregivers Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC) scale: (a) socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers; (b) psychological characteristics of caregivers assessed by Profile Mood of States (POMS), Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI), and Preparedness for Caregiving Scale (PCS); (c) Socio-demographic characteristics and functional status of the patients assessed by Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
Regression analysis shows that some variables from each of these clusters are significantly associated with CQOLC, in particular: (a) the gender of the caregiver (st.β = .115, t = 2.765, p = .006) and the time spent for caregiving (st.β = − .165, t = − 3.960, p < .001); (b) the scores obtained by the caregivers in POMS,CBI (st.β = − .523, t = − 16.984, p < .001 and st.β = − .373, t = − 12.950, p < .001, respectively) and PCS (st.β = .092, t = 3.672, p < .001); (c) the gender (st.β = − .081, t = − 1.933, p = .045) and the IADL score (st.β = .195, t = 4.643, p < .001) of the patient.
A multidimensional evaluation is a key strategy to identify the most vulnerable caregivers. Apart from the condition of the patient, the gender of the caregivers, the time spent for caregiving and, above all, their psychological condition are strong predictors of caregivers’ QoL.
KeywordsCaregivers Quality of life Cancer Home palliative care
Compliance with ethical standards
The trial was carried out in full accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and the Good Clinical Practice. The investigation was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Central Area of Emilia Romagna (AVEC; CE 17001) where the ANT Research Coordination Office is located. Participants provided the informed written consent for participation to the investigation, data analysis, and publication.
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