Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 140, Issue 2, pp 367–375 | Cite as

Interaction of quality of life, mood and depression of patients and their informal caregivers after surgical treatment of high-grade glioma: a prospective study

  • Maxi SacherEmail author
  • Jürgen Meixensberger
  • Wolfgang Krupp
Clinical Study



Patients who are diagnosed with high-grade gliomas (HGG) have poor prognoses and often experience rapid declines in functional and cognitive status, which makes caring for them particularly stressful. We conducted a prospective study to investigate the factors influencing the quality of life of HGG patients and their informal caregivers and analyzed their reciprocal impacts. Based on our results, we elaborated a screening model to identify patients and caregivers in need of psychooncological support.


A total of 45 matched HGG patient–caregiver dyads completed the Multidimensional Mood State Questionnaire, the 12-Item Short Form Medical Outcome Questionnaire and the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale. A subsequent semi-structured interview was performed with each individual.


We found a significant relationship between the mood and depression scores of patients and caregivers, with a third of them displaying symptoms of a major depressive episode. Our screening model showed that 73% of the dyads exhibited signs of severe emotional strain with the need of psychooncological support. Beneficial factors that helped patients and caregivers cope with the illness included mutual respect, good communication, caregiver mastery and resilience.


For a more comprehensive understanding of patient–caregiver interactions, we recommend using a combination of standardized psychometric tests and a semi-structured interview. The high percentage of emotional strain and depression found in patients and their caregivers facing HGG highlights the necessity of methodical screening for warning signs and consequent initiation of psycho-oncological interventions.


Cancer caregiver High-grade glioma Quality of life Oncology Patient–caregiver relationship Semi-structured interview 



Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale




General population


High grade glioma


Multidimensional Mood State Questionnaire


Good mood–bad mood






Sum Score




Mini Mental Status Examination


Not significant


Karnofsky Performance Scale


Standard deviation


Short Form Medical Outcome Questionnaire


Physical component summary


Mental component summary


Quality of life


World Health Organization


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (approval number 387-11-12122011) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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