, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1359-1369
Date: 04 Mar 2011

Quality of life among caregivers of patients with eating disorders

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Abstract

Purpose

To analyse health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and its associated social and clinical variables among a sample of caregivers of patients with eating disorders (ED).

Methods

It is a cross-sectional study involving 145 patients receiving outpatient treatment for an ED and 246 related caregivers. ED patients completed two self-administered questionnaires: the Health-Related Quality of Life in ED-short form and Eating Attitudes Test-26 questionnaires. Caregivers completed four self-administered questionnaires: the Short Form-12, Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire-EU version, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Anorectic Behaviour Observation Scale. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Chi-square and Fisher’s exact test were applied to examine the inter-variable relationships.

Results

Caregivers had low scores on the mental health component of the SF-12 (P < 0.05). Low SF-12 scores were associated with a greater perceived care burden in the stress domains in interpersonal relationships (beta = −0.360, SE = 0.162, P = 0.029) and the need to urge their sick relatives to undertake healthful activities (beta = −0.340, SE = 0.155, P = 0.031).

Conclusions

Low scores in the mental health domain of HRQoL among caregivers of patients with EDs indicate the need to pay particular attention to caregivers’ emotional status, especially among mothers and partners.