Outcomes Assessment in End - Stage Kidney Disease - Measurements and Applications in Clinical Practice

Evaluating the Psychological Burden and Quality of Life in Caregivers of Patients Under Dialysis

Author(s): Georgios K. Tzitzikos and Constantinos M. Togas

Pp: 167-187 (21)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608057351113010013

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Patients with end-stage kideny disease (ESKD) and their caregivers follow a rigorous program for the needs of treatment with daily restrictions and significant impact on their lifestyle. In this process, psychosocial factors (educational level, economic status, family, supportive environment) are involved, that interact with each other, influencing the subjective experience of disease, while they hinder or facilitate the adjustment of the individual to the new conditions. Caregivers are usually family members who agree to give systematic priority to the patient’s needs, neglecting their own, thus becoming vulnerable. Caregivers carry an increased psychological burden, and are often prone to stress, anxiety and depression, and their health appears to be compromised. Studies conducted so far show that caregivers of dialysis patients experience isolation have diminished confidence and express exhaustion, and generally have low quality of life. Nevertheless, there are mixed results regarding the extent and severity of impact on their lives and health. Researchers seem to agree that the most important factor affecting caregivers is the patient’s health status. The role of caregivers is often invisible and not recognized. To enable caregivers to cope with the burden borne, support services in the form of consultancy, training, social care or home care, where appropriate, should be obtained.

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