Quality of Life of Caregiver Spouses of Veterans With Bilateral Lower Extremity Amputations




Background: Providing care for patients with chronic disability affects caregivers’ social lives and relationships and can lead to poor health and lower quality of life. Objectives: In this study, our goal was to assess the quality of life in spouses of war veterans with bilateral lower limb amputations to find factors affecting caregivers’ quality of life. Patients and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, spouses of 244 veterans with war-related bilateral lower limb amputations for at least one year were invited to participate in this study; 189 couples accepted to participate. Information about age, gender, education level, duration of time since amputation, duration of care provided by the spouses and SF-36 questionnaire for both veterans and their spouses were collected. Results: The average age of spouses was 47 years and duration of care provided by spouses was 25 years. We found lower scores for general health domains in amputees’ spouses compared to the general population. Factors correlated with both Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) included the duration of care, duration of marriage, spouses’ education level and the veterans’ PCS and MCS scores. Veterans’ age, spouses’ age and the number of children only correlated with PCS. Veterans’ education level only correlated with MCS. In multivariable analysis, only spouses’ education level correlated with MCS and the veterans’ PCS only correlated with that of spouses. Conclusions: The quality of life of amputees and their spouses were closely correlated; therefore, any improvement in one is likely to improve the other. In addition, lower education level should be considered as a risk factor for poorer quality of life in amputees’ spouses.