Document Type : Original Article
Department of Neurology, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Background: Caregivers of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may suffer from anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of life (QoL). Our goal was to evaluate the QoL and mood disorders in caregivers and their correlation with the patients' demographic, physical, and mental conditions.
Methods: We analyzed data from 39 patients with ALS and their caregivers. Patients completed questionnaires of anxiety assessed by Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7), depression using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and QoL via 40-item Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40). Physical impairment was also measured in the patients using the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R). Caregivers were also assessed by BDI-II, GAD-7, and 36-item Short-Form Health Survey questionnaire (SF-36).
Results: The prevalence of depression and anxiety in the patients was 82.1% and 71.8%, respectively. Caregivers also had higher rates of anxiety and depression and lower levels of QoL in comparison with the general population (anxiety: 66.7%, depression:
43.6%). Depression and anxiety were considerably associated with worsened QoL in the caregivers. None of the demographic, physical, or mental characteristics of patients with ALS were related to either mood status or QoL of the caregiver population.
Conclusion: Caregivers experience higher rates of anxiety and depression and lower QoL in comparison with the general population. The severity of mood disorders is inversely associated with the physical and mental domains of caregivers' QoL. Nonetheless, QoL in the caregivers is not affected by the physical or mental disability of the patients.
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