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Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of Adolescents with Depression in China: A Mixed-Method Study

Authors Zhang Y, Yang M, Guo X, Chen Q

Received 3 June 2020

Accepted for publication 12 July 2020

Published 30 July 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1317—1327


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Yinying Zhang,1 Min Yang,1 Xin Guo,2 Qiongni Chen3

1Xiangya Nursing School of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, People’s Republic of China; 2Huashan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai City, People’s Republic of China; 3Clinical Nursing Teaching and Research Section, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Min Yang Tel/ Fax +86 731 8265 0275

Purpose: In this study, we investigated quantitatively the quality of life (QoL) and its influencing factors among Chinese family caregivers who care for adolescents with depression (AWD) and we explored qualitatively their care-giving experiences.
Methods: The study was a mixed method with convergent parallel design. The sociodemographic characteristics, QoL, caregivers’ burden, family functioning, positive and negative affects were assessed by using questionnaires on 240 family caregivers of AWD in China. Twelve of these family caregivers were interviewed by using a semi-structured guide to explore their care-giving experiences.
Results: The mean score among family caregivers of AWD for physical QoL was 65.18 and 59.42 for mental QoL, which was significantly lower than the Chinese norms for QoL. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that course of disease of AWD, caregivers’ educational qualification, family functioning, positive affect and care-giving burden accounted for 57% of the variance in physical QoL. Suicide history of AWD, caregivers’ educational qualification, negative affect, positive affect, care-giving burden and family functioning accounted for 54% of the variance in mental QoL. Four major themes of the care-giving experiences emerged: lack of knowledge about depression, being overwhelmed emotionally with psychological burden, the devastating impact of illness on family, and the perceived benefits of care-giving.
Conclusion: The QoL among family caregivers of AWD in China was low. It is necessary for health-care professionals to pay more attention to the QoL of family caregivers who care for AWD.

Keywords: adolescent, depression, caregiver, quality of life, caring experience

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