Authors: Opara J., Brola W.
Published online: 22 July 2017
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most disabling disorders of the central nervous system. Caregivers of individuals with MS may experience unique caregiver strain due to the age at onset and progressive nature of the disease. Additionally, because MS is more prevalent in women, men often become spousal caregivers. This places women in the position of being care recipients rather than caregivers. Some results also supported hypothesis that female caregivers reported a higher need for emotional support than male caregivers. As with female caregivers, decreased emotional support predicted poorer QoL among male caregivers.
Caring for a MS patient may negatively impact several objective and subjective aspects of caregiver’s life, such as physical and emotional health, morale, work life, finances, social mobility, interpersonal relationships and sexual life. In studies assessing the psychological consequences of care a higher level of anxiety and depression in caregivers than in the general population has been reported. Caregivers who experience burden are more likely to have a higher risk of depression and a lower quality of life. Early recognition of caregiver burden is important in determining appropriate interventions.
In this review report the current state of knowledge about the QoL of MS caregivers as well the burden of MS caregivers has been described.