Caregiver burden is an important predictor of quality of life (QoL) among caregivers of stroke patients. While caregiver burden and QoL might be closely related, caregiver burden seems also to be a potential modifier of the associations between patients’ and caregivers’ characteristics and caregivers’ QoL.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of caregiver burden in caregivers of hospitalized chronic stroke patients and the predictors of caregivers’ QoL by level of caregiver burden.
A total of 238 patients and their caregivers were interviewed using questionnaires consisting of the Zarit Burden Interview and the Korean-version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed to determine the predictors of caregivers’ QoL among caregivers stratified by median caregiver burden score (high/low).
Caregiver burden had a modifying effect on caregivers’ QoL. In caregivers with high burden, the patient characteristics of being unemployed and the caregiver characteristics of poor health status, lower income, and being a spouse were negative predictors of caregivers’ QoL. In caregivers with low burden, the patient characteristics of being hospitalized for a longer duration and the caregiver characteristics of poor health status were negative predictors of caregivers’ QoL (all ps < 0.05).
This study found that in South Korea, more attention should be paid to spouses who are caring for hospitalized chronic stroke patients, particularly with regard to their health status and financial problems. Further studies are needed to examine the impact of factors not examined in the Korean cultural context.