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Determinants of quality of life in Alzheimer's disease: perspective of patients, informal caregivers, and professional caregivers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2012

Maria Gómez-Gallego
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain Department of Quantitative Methods, Aging Institute of Murcia, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Jesus Gómez-Amor
Affiliation:
Department of Psychobiology, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain Department of Quantitative Methods, Aging Institute of Murcia, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Juan Gómez-García
Affiliation:
Department of Psychobiology, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain Department of Quantitative Methods, Aging Institute of Murcia, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic medical condition with symptoms that compromise patients’ quality of life (QoL). The identification of the factor predicting QoL in AD is essential to develop more effective interventions. Recent research suggests that these factors could be different for the distinct informants. This study explores the QoL predictors considering three different sources of information: patients, caregivers, and healthcare staff.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 102 patients, their primary caregivers, and 15 members of the healthcare staff evaluated patients’ QoL (QoL-AD Scale). Patients’ and caregivers’ demographic and clinical data (cognitive function, neuropsychiatric symptoms, depression, and caregivers’ burden) were considered as QoL predictors.

Results: In multivariate-adjusted linear regression analyses, we observed that patients’ ratings were mainly affected by their mood whereas caregivers’ ratings were also negatively influenced by patients’ irritability and burden. According to staff ratings, both psychotic symptoms and neuroleptics were associated with lower QoL.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that depression is the main variable related to patients’ QoL and that more careful management of neuropsychiatric disorders is necessary. Both proxies’ ratings are not equivalent to patients’ reports in terms of predictors but they are complementary. Thus, a thorough QoL assessment should consider separately the perspective of the different informants.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2012

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