Abstract

QUALITY OF LIFE AND COPING STRATEGIES OF UNPAID CAREGIVERS OF HYPERTENSIVE PATIENTS

ABSTRACT

Background: Quality of life (QoL) is an important outcome in management of patients and their caregivers. Use of coping strategies by caregiver may influence his or her quality of life.

Objectives: The main objective of this study was to assess the quality of life and coping strategies of caregivers of hypertensive patients and to examine the determinants of QoL.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey. This study verified the quality of life and coping strategies of caregivers of hypertensive patients using a self-administered questionnaire. The study was conducted in Federal Medical Centre Lokoja.  Respondents were all the unpaid caregivers taking care of hypertensive patients on admission. Validated questionnaires (Adult Caregiver Quality of life questionnaire, ACQoL and Stress Coping) were used to collect information from these caregivers. The questionnaires were sorted. Domains of the questionnaires were coded and analyzed using the IBM SPSS version 21.0  for windows. Results were presented as frequency and mean± standard deviation.

Result: A total of two hundred and fifteen (215) caregivers completed the questionnaires. Over half of the caregivers were males 116(54.0%). About 29(13.5%) reported ‘low self esteem’ due to the nature of the caring activities. About 69.3% of the caregivers reported that their patients were dependent on them to perform most of their activities. The satisfaction of the care givers was influenced by duration of patients’ illness, employment status, and co morbidities. Confiding in someone had a positive outcome on the quality of life of the caregivers. Emotional focused (avoidance and blaming others) was the major coping strategy employed by the caregivers. This coping strategy has been known to have a negative impact on their quality of life.

Conclusion: The caregivers had low quality of life with high stress levels. Emotional focused was the major coping strategy employed by the caregivers. Increasing age of the caregivers, unemployment status, female gender, low education level, presence of health problems, duration of care above four weeks had negative impact on their Quality of life.


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