Article | Published:

Predicting quality of life among family caregivers of people with spinal cord injury having chronic low back pain in Nepal: a cross-sectional pilot study

Spinal Cord Series and Casesvolume 4, Article number: 72 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Study design

Descriptive cross-sectional study.

Objective

This study aims to determine the factors predicting quality of life among Nepalese family caregivers of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) having low back pain.

Setting

Eight districts of the Bagmati Zone of Nepal.

Methods

Sixty-five family caregivers of people with SCI having chronic low back pain were recruited from January to March 2017. The factors examined as independent variables included monthly household income, daily caregiving hours, functional independence of people with SCI, low back pain intensity, and functional disability of family caregivers. The measures were the Family Caregivers’ and Spinal Cord Injury Patients’ Demographic Form, the Modified Barthel Index, the Pain Intensity Scale, the Oswestry Disability Index, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF Nepali version. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to predict quality of life.

Results

Functional independence of people with SCI, monthly household income, and functional disability of family caregivers with chronic low back pain could significantly predict quality of life at 41% (adjusted R2 = 0.41, Fchange (3,59) = 11.02, p < 0.01). The functional dependence of persons with SCI was the most powerful factor contributing to QoL of caregivers (β = 0.36, p < 0.01) followed by monthly household income (β = 0.30, p < 0.01) and caregivers’ functional disability (β = –0.28, p < 0.01).

Conclusion

The findings suggested that in order to improve the quality of life of family caregivers who have chronic low back pain while providing care for people with SCI during a long period, health professionals should strengthen the functional independence of the patients after discharge to reduce the functional disability of the caregivers. Financial support is needed for caregivers who have a low income.

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Acknowledgements

The first author acknowledges Thailand’s Education Hub for ASEAN Countries (THE-AC) and the Graduate School and Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand for partially supporting the funding of this study. She also thanks the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Center, Nepal and all of the participants who agreed to take part in this study.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand

    • Pasang Doma Sherpa
    • , Luppana Kitrungrote
    •  & Wipa Sae-Sia
  2. Department of Nursing, Nepal Institute of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal

    • Pasang Doma Sherpa

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Luppana Kitrungrote.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41394-018-0110-7