Comparative Effectiveness

Measuring caregiver quality of life

Poor health does not just affect the patient, but also the caregiver who provide physicial, emotional and financial support for these patients. To measure the impact of a disease on patient quality of life, there are a number of metrics one can choose from such as EQ-5D-5L, EQ-5D-VAS, SF-36 among others. Some of these surveys can be directly converted into cardinal patient quality of life (i.e., utility) values. One question that remiains is how one would measure how a disease affects the quality of life of a caregiver.

Two common approaches to measuring the effect of a disease on caregiver quality of life are the CarerQoL and the Care Experience Scale (CES). The CarerQoL has two versions, the first–Carer-QoL-7D–ask caregivers 7 questions where they rank how caregiving has affected their quality of life. The questions ask about caregivier fulfillment, relational problems with the patient, caregiver mental and physical health, caregiver ability to conduct their own household/work activities, financial issues, and support from other family members or friends. The CarerQoL–the visual analog scale CarerQoL-VAS–also askes caregivers how happy they feel at the moment and ask them to rate their feeling on a scale from one to ten.

The CES, on the other hand, asks caregivers about their experience along six attributes:

  • Activities outside of caring (e.g., socializing, physical activity)
  • Support from family and friends)
  • Assistance from government and non-profit organisations
  • Fulfillment from caring
  • Control
  • Getting-on with the care recipient

Like the CarerQoL-7D, each question caregivers can answer 1, 2, or 3, which correspond to to more, average and least positive experiences of caregiving.

In short, one can readily quantify the impact of caregiving on caregiver quality of life using either of these tools.


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