Quality of Life and Burden of Spouses of Alzheimer Disease Patients : Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders

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Quality of Life and Burden of Spouses of Alzheimer Disease Patients

Schölzel-Dorenbos, Carla J. M. MD* †; Draskovic, Irena PhD† ‡; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra J. PhD† ‡; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G. M. MD, PhD

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Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders 23(2):p 171-177, April 2009. | DOI: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e318190a260


The objective of the study was to explore, in a sample of spouses of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease patients, predictors of quality of life (QoL) by rating QoL and burden. The authors assessed 97 spouses in a cross-sectional study with the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL), Self-Rated Burden scale (SRB), self-perceived stress scale (EDIZ; Ervaren Druk door Informele Zorg/Self-Perceived Pressure from Informal Care), and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Patient cognition was rated with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Factors best predicting QoL were analyzed with multiple regression analysis. Eighty-seven (53% male, mean 72 y) fulfilled the SEIQoL internal reliability criteria, and had a mean SEIQoL score of 68.6±14.8. Most important QoL domains were condition of patient (31%) and marriage (26%). Caregiver burden scores on SRB, Ervaren Druk door Informele, Zorg, and ZBI were 44.1±23.5 (n=67), 4.9±2.2 (n=53), and 13.1±6.2 (n=53), respectively. Mean patient MMSE score (0 to 30) was 20.3±4.2. Spouses experienced lower QoL than Alzheimer disease patients and healthy elderly (historical controls), and perceived moderate levels of burden. Patient cognition is a significant predictor of caregiver QoL. Burden, measured by ZBI, is significantly negatively correlated with SEIQoL. The results underline the importance of implementing health services known to improve QoL and alleviate burden, and to explore new effective interventions.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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