Factors related to perceived quality of life in patients with Alzheimer's disease: the patient's perception compared with that of caregivers

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Abstract

Aims

To compare care recipient and caregiver perceptions of quality of life in patients (QoL-p) with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To identify associated factors, and the concordances-discrepancies.

Method

Cross-sectional analytic study of 236 patients and their carers using the Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease (QoL-AD) scale, socio-demographic data and clinical examination.

Results

Patients scored the QoL-AD more favourably than did caregivers (34.4 vs 31.3, p<0.001). Cognitive deterioration did not affect the perception of QoL-AD (rho = -0.05, p = 0.394). The neuropsychiatric symptoms was associated with a negative perception of the QOL-AD in both patients (rho = -0.22, p<0.01) and caregivers (rho = -0.47, p<0.001). Greater functional autonomy was associated with a better perception of the QOL-AD in patients (rho = 0.17, p<0.01) and even more so in caregivers (rho = 0.56, p<0.001). In carers, burden (rho = -0.56, p<0.001) and mental health (rho = 0.31, p<0.001) were inversely associated with the QoL-AD. QoL-AD scores of both patients and caregivers were higher for men, married subjects, those who lived with their spouse and those living in their own home. When the carer was a spouse both patients and caregivers scored the QoL-AD higher than when the carer was a son or daughter (35.5 vs 33.4 and 33.7; 32.9 vs 30.5 and 27.7, p<0.001).

Conclusions

Patients have a better perception of QoL-p. Caregivers give a more negative evaluation of neuropsychiatric symptoms, but have a more positive view of functional autonomy. Carers who are spouses have a better perception of QoL-p than do carers who are sons or daughters.

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