Quality of relationship and quality of life: a comparison between care recipients and their caregivers

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The relation between quality of relationship ratings and quality of life ratings was investigated among rural-dwelling vulnerable elders living with chronic health conditions and their informal caregivers. Care recipient (i.e., vulnerable elders) and caregiver dyads rated the amount of strain specific to their caregiving relationship, and agreement within dyads was assessed using a Person r correlation. Well-being of all participants was evaluated using a measure examining weighted satisfaction across 16 life domains (e.g., health, goals and values, love, neighborhood). For those dyads with longitudinal data, exploratory analyses were applied to assess the impact of a psychological intervention to affect the relation between quality of relationship and quality of life. The association between care recipient and caregiver quality of relationship ratings was strong and positive, indicating parallel strain within dyads. There was no significant correlation between quality of relationship and quality of life measures. However, good internal consistency among measures was found within this rural, older adult sample. Notably, the Quality of Life Inventory (QOLI) is a measure that has been established within adult samples, but has not been extensively evaluated within older adult populations. It exhibited good internal consistency with the vulnerable elders in this study, providing support for its continued use with older adults.

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