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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia
On-line version ISSN 1982-0232
PANHOCA, Ivone and RODRIGUES, Aline Nascimento. Evaluation of the quality of life of caregivers of aphasic patients. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.3, pp.394-401. ISSN 1982-0232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-80342009000300017.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the quality of life of caregivers of aphasic patients using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36). METHODS: Thirty caregivers of aphasic patients of both genders, with ages varying from 16 to 70 years, were analyzed. Thirty other individuals composed the control group, totalizing 60 subjects. All subjects were invited to answer to the questions of the SF-36. Moreover, the following variables were considered: gender, age, for how long have been occupying the position of caregiver, degree of kinship with the patient, and degree of the aphasic's motor impairment (gait). Univariate and descriptive regression analysis were carried out in order to test the associations among the variables. The scoring was statistically analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. RESULTS: Variables such as age, time occupying the position of caregiver, degree of kinship with the patient, and degree of the aphasic's motor impairment (gait) influenced significantly the questions related to physical aspects. In the questions regarding emotional aspects only the variables age and kinship of the caregiver were significant. In the domain of global aspects, the only variable that influenced the final score was time acting as caretaker. In the questions related to physical and global aspects, the caregivers presented scores statistically similar to those of the control group, while in the questions regarding emotional aspects it was observed that they had lower scores than the control group. CONCLUSION: Regarding physical aspects and general conditions, caretakers and control group did not present considerable differences. However, regarding emotional aspects, caregivers had worse scores than the control group.
Keywords : Caregivers; Patient care; Aphasia; Health care; Quality of life; Stroke; Language; Questionnaires.