BACKGROUND The caregivers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) individuals are usually burdened with a wide range of MS-related caregiving tasks which may result in damages of their daily life and quality of life (QOL). OBJECTIVES This study was designed to compare according to the disability level (1) the walking ability, quality of life (QOL), and disease impact of the MS patients (2) and the burden, QOL, self-efficacy and life satisfaction of their caregivers; (3) to determine the relationship between these outcome results, disease duration and caregivers' age. METHODS 772 MS patients were recruited, 47 MS patients and their 47 caregivers finished the study. Disability, walking ability, QOL, disease impact of the MS participants; the burden, QOL, self-efficacy, life satisfaction of the caregivers were evaluated. RESULTS MS Patients with higher disability had significantly worse scores on the MSWS-12, MUSIQOL, MSIS-29, and PDSS (p < 0.01). The caregivers facing with higher disability had significantly worse scores on CBI and CAREQOL (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS The impairments on disability level, walking and QOL of MS patients were related to OQL declines and increased burden of their caregivers. Therefore, it may be important to provide acceptable education and support strategies with individual intervention while defining the needs and goals of the MS patients and their caregivers to improve the rehabilitation success.
Özge Ertekin, S. Özakbas, E. İdiman