Problem solving skills predict quality of life and psychological morbidity in ALS caregivers

Virginia Murphy, Stephanie H. Felgoise, Susan M. Walsh, Zachary Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often is associated with a particularly intensive caregiving experience, and the well-being of caregivers impacts that of patients. Thus, identification of factors leading to distress in caregivers may provide avenues for intervention that will help both the caregiver and the patient. We prospectively examined caregivers' social problem solving skills, the quality of the patient-caregiver relationship, caregivers' spirituality and religiousness, and the ways in which these impact caregivers' quality of life (QoL) and psychological morbidity in 75 caregivers of ALS patients. Data were analyzed through correlational and hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Social problem solving and spirituality were the best predictors of caregivers' QoL, accounting for 15.6% and 7.8% of the variance in QoL, respectively (F (2, 69) = 11.83, p < .001). Social problem solving also predicted and accounted for 25.4% of the variance in psychological morbidity (F (1, 71) = 25.571, p < .001). Level of care provided did not predict either QoL or psychological morbidity in caregivers. In conclusion, the problem-solving skills of ALS caregivers are an important determinant of caregiver well-being. Developing interventions to teach ALS caregivers effective methods of problem solving would probably be beneficial to this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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