Do age and quality of life of patients with cancer influence quality of life of the caregiver?

Varun Shahi, Maria I. Lapid, Simon Kung, Pamela J. Atherton, Jeff A. Sloan, Matthew M. Clark, Teresa A. Rummans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: There are significant burdens associated with providing care for loved ones with cancer. However, caregiver quality of life (QOL) is often overlooked. With the increasing number of older adults with cancer, it is important to determine whether a patient's age and QOL have any association with the caregiver's QOL. The objective of our study was to describe caregiver QOL and explore whether patient age and other psychosocial factors impact caregiver QOL. Materials and Methods: Baseline information from patients with advanced cancer undergoing radiation and their caregivers, who were enrolled in a randomized, controlled clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a structured, multidisciplinary QOL intervention, was analyzed for this study. Caregivers completed the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC) Scale. Both patients and caregivers completed the Linear Analogue Self-Assessment (LASA) to measure QOL, and Profile of Mood States (POMS) to measure mood states. Results: Overall, 131 patient-caregiver pairs participated in the study. At baseline, caregivers of older adults (≥ 65. years) had higher mental (P= 0.01), emotional (P= 0.003), spiritual (P< 0.01), and social support (P= 0.03) LASA QOL scores. Caregivers of older adults also had higher baseline QOL (CQOLC, P= 0.003) and mood (POMS, P= 0.04) than caregivers of younger adults. Caregivers of patients with higher LASA QOL scores had higher overall (P= 0.02), mental (P= 0.006), physical (P= 0.02), emotional (P= 0.002), and spiritual LASA QOL scores (P= 0.047). Conclusions: Caregivers of older adults with advanced cancer demonstrated better QOL and fewer mood disturbances compared to caregivers of younger patients. When patients have good QOL, caregivers also had good QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Informal caregiver
  • Intervention
  • Psychosocial
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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