Losing freedom in everyday activities as a result of COPD frequently increases reliance on informal caregivers and increases the strain of caregiving. Numerous tools have been employed to estimate the burden of caring in COPD, but their measuring capabilities in this group have received less attention. For a study, researchers evaluated the informal carers of patients with COPD for construct validity and reliability of the Informal Caregiver Burden Assessment Questionnaire (QASCI).
Participants filled out the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument – Short Form, the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), and the QASCI (higher scores implied more burden) to determine the construct validity (WHOQOL-Bref). To evaluate test-retest reliability, QASCI was repeated a week after the first completion. Construct validity was assessed using Pearson’s (r) or Spearman’s (ρ) correlations, internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach’s α, test-retest reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC2,1), and standard error of measurement (SEM), Minimal Detectable Change (MDC95), and Bland and Altman 95% limits of agreement (LoA) were calculated.
Participants included 50 caregivers (62.7±9.8 years old, 88% female; predicted FEV1 for patients was 45.2±21.3%). The mean QASCI score was 28.5±19.8. (moderate burden). QASCI was inversely connected with WHOQOL-Bref (-0.476 to -0.739) (all P< 0.01) and favorably correlated with ZBI (r = 0.908; P< 0.01), HADS anxiety (r = 0.613; P< 0.01), and depression (ρ= 0.634; P< 0.01). Cronbach’s alpha for the QASCI total score was 0.793. (subscales: 0.747–0.932). The LoA ranged from -18.3 to 11.1 and the ICC2,1 was 0.924, SEM was 2.8, and MDC95 was 7.8.
The QASCI appeared to be a good tool for determining the burden of informal caregiving in COPD.