Case series/case reports (Indigo)
The objective of this study was to assess patients Quality of life (QoL) and the burden of their caregivers during COVID-19 pandemic and specifically the impact of two-month lockdown period. In April 2020, a total of 60 patients and 59 caregivers were administered by phone scales assessing patients’ QoL (McGill QoL Questionnaire), general health status (EQ-5D-5L), and caregiver burden (Zarit Burden Interview). The administration was repeated one month after the end of lockdown measures, with the addition of a qualitative questionnaire (COVID-QoL Questionnaire) exploring family reorganization and personal perception of lock down. QoL and perceived health status did not worsen during lockdown, while caregiver burden increased (p = 0.01). Patient’s QoL and caregiver burden were inversely correlated at T1 (ZBI total score mildly correlated with Mc Gill existential subscore, p = 0.02, rho = 0.30 and with Mc Gill total score, p = 0.05, rho = 0.265). No significant correlations were found at T2. According to the COVID-QoL questionnaire, caregivers perceived lower family help compared to patients (p < 0.001). The authors concluded that restricted measures of lockdown period during COVID-19 pandemic did not result in a significant reduction of QoL in our cohort of ALS patients, while caregiver burden significantly increased. ALS motor impairment may have played a role in the unchanged life conditions of patients. Instead, the restriction of family help for primary caregivers could be responsible of their increased burden, reflecting the importance of a wide social support in the management of this clinical condition.
Giusiano S, et al. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caregiver burden and patients’ quality of life during COVID-19 pandemic. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2021 Apr 16:1-3. doi: 10.1080/21678421.2021.1912772