Roles of Changing Physical Function and Caregiver Burden on Quality of Life in Stroke: A Longitudinal Dyadic Analysis

Gianluca Pucciarelli, Ercole Vellone, Serenella Savini, Silvio Simeone, Davide Ausili, Rosaria Alvaro, Christopher S. Lee, Karen S. Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - The purpose of this study was to examine changes in stroke survivor and caregiver quality of life (QOL) and to determine whether changes in survivor physical functioning and caregiver burden (ie, the impact of the physical, psychological, and social demands of caregiving) influence changes in QOL. Methods - Longitudinal design with 226 stroke survivor-caregiver dyads enrolled at survivor discharge from rehabilitation hospitals. Data collection was performed over 12 months. We measured survivor physical functioning, caregiver burden, and QOL (physical, psychological, social, and environmental) in both survivor and caregiver. Multilevel modeling was used to control for the interdependence of the data. Results - Survivors (50% male sex) and caregivers (66% female sex) were 70.8 (SD=11.9) and 52.4 (SD=13.1) years old, respectively. Over the 12 months, stroke survivor's physical (γ=1.59; P<0.001) and psychological (γ=0.86; P<0.05) QOL significantly improved; social and environmental QOL did not P>0.05. Caregiver QOL, on average, did not significantly change over time P>0.05. Improvements in survivor physical functioning were associated with increases in survivor and caregiver physical and psychological QOL and survivor environmental QOL. Decreases in caregiver burden were significantly associated with improvements in caregiver physical, psychological, and environmental QOL but not with survivor QOL. Conclusions - QOL of stroke survivors and caregivers covaries and is greatly impacted by the physical function changes of the survivor. Dyadic approaches to stroke rehabilitation that acknowledge the interdependence of dyads are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • caregiver
  • quality of life
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke
  • survivor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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