247486 Caregiver burden in degenerative disease is associated with decreased quality of life for caregivers and patients

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:06 PM

Richard Kimball Jr., MSN/MPH, PHCNS-BC, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a neuro-degenerative disease, which leaves patients progressively disabled affecting all voluntary muscles leaving patients unable to walk, move their arms, speak, and breathe- leading to respiratory distress and death.

Patients become completely dependent on caregivers for all activities of daily living including eating, dressing and eventually all movement. This leads to high caregiver burden and a decreased quality of life (QOL) for patients and their caregivers.

This study examined the relationship between caregiver burden and QOL for patients and their caregivers. Primary data collection with a cross sectional sample of 104 patients and their caregivers was completed in a tertiary care facility. A multivariate analysis examined the association between 21 patient and 17 caregiver characteristics and their QOL.

The model for caregivers showed better QOL was associated with less caregiver burden, more years caregiving, better mental status, higher socio-economic status and public insurance (adjusted R-squared 0.35).

The model for patients showed caregiver burden as insignificant with patients' QOL. However, for patients more spirituality, better mental status, better physical functioning and more hours of paid caregiving were positively associated with better QOL, while more hours of informal (unpaid) caregiving were negatively associated with QOL (adjusted R-squared 0.52).

The findings of this study suggest that caregivers' QOL may be improved by improving mental status, providing more resources and providing more education about caregiving. Patients' QOL may be improved by supporting their informal and formal (paid) caregivers, increasing spirituality resources and improving mental status.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify 5 factors that affect quality of life in patients, in degenerative disease. 2. Identify 5 factors that affect quality of life in caregivers, in degenerative disease. 3. Describe 6 areas for future intervention to improve caregiver and patient quality of life.

Keywords: Caregivers, Quality of Life

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the PI for this study, I performed all parts of the study I am a clinical nurse in the clinic where the data was collected.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.