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To Assess the Quality of Life (QOL) of Caregivers and Patients Suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Sanjeev Kumar, Prithpal S Matreja, Ashwani K Gupta, Amandeep Singh and Preeti Garg

Rationale: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is associated with physical and psychological burdens. The impact of disease has been studied on patients but it also has a profound and pervasive effect on family and friends resulting in psychological strain, social isolation, relationship strains and financial strains from the added responsibilities of managing the patients. Few studies have found a significant burden on both caregivers and patients alike, but the data from the Indian setup in lacking. Hence, we designed this study to assess the Quality of Life (QOL) of caregivers and patients suffering from COPD.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with forty-six COPD patients and their primary caregivers. Patients were assessed with St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and WHO-QOL-Bref scores. The caregivers were divided into two groups. Group 1 volunteers were caregivers of patients recently diagnosed with COPD (Last 1 year), whereas Group 2 were caregivers of patients with COPD diagnosed more than 1 year back. The caregivers in both the groups were subjected to Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and WHO-QOL-Bref scores.

Results: 46 patients and caregivers were enrolled in the study. Majority of patients were over the age of 50 years (55.67 ± 12.45), and 67% caregivers were females. Patients had poor QOL as per SGRQ. The caregivers in Group 1 had significantly lower (p < 0.05) burden as compared to Group 2 as evident by ZBI scores. The WHO-QOL-Bref scores in all the 4 domains were significantly higher in Group 1 which predicts a better quality of life.

Conclusion: COPD takes a toll not only on the patient but also the caregiver of the patients. The amount of burden increases as the disease progress with worsening quality of life.