The effect of COVID-19 pandemic on quality of life of family caregivers of chronically ill patients, health expenditure and home-based medical devices in India: a cross sectional study
Keywords:Detrimental effects, Health expenditure, Multiple-organ failure syndrome, Telemedicine facilities
Background: The novel coronavirus had a severe impact on India, with cases ranging from mild disease to severe multiple-organ failure syndrome. Caregivers of high-risk individuals face additional responsibilities that have detrimental effects on their mental and physical health. This study aimed to assess the quality of life of family caregivers, the impact on health expenditure, and the role of home-based medical devices during the pandemic in India.
Methods: This retrospective study collected data from 358 participants using a validated caregiver self-assessment questionnaire and demographic details. The data were processed using the statistical tool chi-square, with p-value <0.05 considered significant, and analyzed using SPSS 11. The data is depicted using pie charts and bar diagrams.
Results: 93.02% of our participants assumed a caregiver role. Among these, 58.26% reported mental distress. 7.21% of caregivers reported using telemedicine facilities, and 32% reported an increase in health-related expenditure in an attempt to provide better medical care to their loved one. More than 80% of the participants reported having a family member suffering from diabetes, while 70% reported old age or hypertension. Less than 10% had a loved one who was a pregnant woman or a frontline worker.
Conclusions: The study highlights the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of family caregivers of chronically ill patients in India. The use of telemedicine facilities and the increase in health-related expenditure reflect the need for advancement in healthcare infrastructure in India.
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