OBJECTIVES: This study aimed at characterizing 3 populations of family/friend caregivers of patients with different life-threatening organ failure regarding health-related quality of life, caregiver burden, and dyadic coping.
METHODS: Three cross-sectional (population) studies were conducted at a tertiary hospital in Denmark (2019-2020). Patients with renal failure (RF), cystic fibrosis (CF), and intestinal failure (IF) were asked to designate the closest person with ≥18 years old involved in the care (caregiver) to participate in this study. Number of caregivers included were RF = 78, CF = 104, and IF = 73. Electronic questionnaires were filled in by caregivers to assess health-related quality of life and caregiver burden and by caregivers and respective patients to assess dyadic coping.
RESULTS: The 3 caregiver groups had self-perception of poor health and energy; however, caregivers of CF patients perceived their physical role functioning better than those caregiving for RF and IF patients (p = 0.002). The level of caregiver burden was reported as not high, but caregivers used in average 13 hours/day for caring. Moreover, cleaning tasks (p = 0.005) and personal care (p = 0.009) were more demanding in RF and IF patients. Caregivers also did not differ regarding dyadic coping. When comparing patients and caregivers, stress communication by oneself and the partner differed (p < 0.001).
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Caregivers spent many hours in the care role, they reported poor health, and dyadic coping may be improved. Interventions in caregivers of patients with life-threatening organ failure could help to improve care management at home, caregiver's health, and dyadic coping between caregiver and patient and consequently reduce caregiver burden.