Burden and quality of life of hospitalized patients’ caregivers: an analysis based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

Abstract Objective: to characterize the profile and the relationship between burden and quality of life (QOL) of hospitalized patients’ caregivers according to the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) biopsychological model. To analyze the correlation between caregiver’s burden and the level of patients’ motor and cognitive dependency. Methods: cross-sectional study, involving 68 caregivers of patients hospitalized for 12 or more days. Caregivers’ QOL and burden were assessed by the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Zarit scale (Zarit Burden Interview), respectively. Functional Independence Measure was used to characterize patients’ motor and cognitive dependency. The relationship between the results and the ICF concepts was analyzed. Results: according to ICF qualifiers, a progressive impairment in the caregivers’ QOL was observed with burden increasing. There was a statistically significant negative correlation, of low magnitude, between perception of QOL and burden. There was no correlation between caregiver’s burden and patient’s dependency level. Conclusion: SF-36 can analyze 13 ICF categories. It allows evaluating caregivers in a comprehensive way and in accordance with the biopsychosocial model. It can also help to apply ICF in clinical practice.