Background: Quality of life (QOL) is increasingly recognized as the main target of currently available dementia care. Its assessment has grown exponentially in the dementia field, but few studies have examined predictive factors for QOL taking caregiver variables into account. We examined patient and caregiver factors related to the QOL of dementia patients.
Methods: The study design was cross-sectional. 161 couples of community residing dementia patients and their primary caregivers were interviewed. QOL was measured by the ADRQL, a proxy-rated, dementia-specific QOL instrument. Demographic factors were collected and clinical characteristics assessed using validated scales.
Results: In univariate analyses several patient and caregiver characteristics appeared associated with patient QOL. In multivariate analyses, independent predictors of worse patient QOL were behavioral and depressive symptoms of dementia patients, dependency in basic activities of daily living, poorer cognitive function, use of antipsychotic medication, caregiver burden, and caregiver not being an adult child. The adjusted R2 of the final, seven-factor model was 0.598.
Conclusions: QOL for a person with dementia is a complex issue that is associated with several patient and caregiver factors. Efforts to improve patients’ QOL should be addressed for both patients and caregivers. The measurement of QOL should be included, when possible, as a standard measurement tool, in everyday dementia clinical practice.