Health-related quality of life of family caregivers of dialysis patients

J Nephrol. Nov-Dec 2004;17(6):841-50.


Background: This study aimed to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and burden on family caregivers of chronic dialysis patients and to analyze which factors were associated with it.

Methods: A cross-sectional multicentric study was carried out with 221 patient/caregiver pairs. General population Short Form 36 (SF-36) norms were used to estimate gender and age standardized physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores. The Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire (FSS), the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), and sociodemographic and clinical data were also collected.

Results: The PCS and MCS of caregivers were slightly worse than that of the Spanish population. Multiple regression analysis showed that: (1) lower PCS was associated with younger age and higher ZBI of the caregiver (R2=0.15); (2) lower MCS was associated with higher ZBI and lower FSS of the caregiver, and lower MCS of the patient (R2=0.29); (3) higher ZBI was associated with lower FSS, PCS and MCS of the caregiver, and to older age and lower PCS and MCS of the patient (R2=0.49). Of caregivers 28.3% had a MCS < or = 42; logistic regression analysis showed that a MCS < or = 42 was associated to higher ZBI and lower FSS scores (p<0.001).

Conclusions: The HRQOL of dialysis patient family caregivers is slightly worse than that of the Spanish population of the same age and gender. Younger family members, who are the primary carers of older dialysis patients with poor HRQOL, experienced a higher burden, had a worse HRQOL and had a higher risk of clinical depression; this was worse if low social support was perceived.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caregivers* / psychology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support