n South African Journal of Physiotherapy - Does the child’s health influence the caregiver’s health using the EQ-5D instruments?

Volume 76 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0379-6175
  • E-ISSN: 2410-8219



Background: Health- related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important aid in medical decision making. The child’s health may influence the caregiver’s health due to their intimate relationship.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the child’s health on the caregiver’s health as measured on the EuroQoL Youth and Adult instruments.

Method: A sample of 50 caregivers and their acutely-ill children, aged 3–6 years, was recruited from a paediatric hospital. Each caregiver completed the EQ-5D-Y, a proxy rating of their child’s HRQoL, and the EQ-5D-3L, a self-report measure of their own HRQoL, at baseline, 24 and 48 hours. The correlation between the caregiver and the child’s health over time was established. Forward stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed to establish the relative contribution of the child’s VAS score to the caregiver’s VAS score.

Results: The results indicated that the child’s and the caregiver’s VAS ratings were significantly correlated over time, with an improvement in HRQoL scores over 48 hours. The child’s proxy VAS rating accounted for 21% and 18% of the variance in the caregiver’s VAS score at baseline and 24 hours, respectively, which was higher than self-reported problems on the caregivers EQ-5D-3L dimensions.

Conclusion: The health of the caregiver is reported to improve as the perceived health of the child improves. The proxy rating of the child’s health influences the caregiver’s self-reported health more than their reported problems on the EQ-5D-3L.

Clinical implications: Improving the HRQoL of the child will lead to improved HRQoL in the caregiver.

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