METHODS: This cross-sectional study involved 340 caregivers of chronic kidney patients undergoing hemodialysis. The setting was in Terengganu, Malaysia. The caregivers completed the measures of caregiving burden, quality of life, social support, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
RESULTS: About 28.8% and 52.4% of caregivers showed clinically moderate levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, respectively. Furthermore, 35.9% and 3.8% of them showed clinically high levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, respectively. Analyses showed that general quality of life was a significant predictor of both anxiety and depressive symptoms. Burden and psychological domains of quality of life significantly predicted anxiety. In addition, a lack of social support was a determinant of depressive symptoms. Evidence suggested that social support moderated the burden-anxiety relationship. Specifically, caregivers with low levels of social support showed more elevated levels of anxiety symptoms when their burden was higher.
CONCLUSION: There is an urgent need for early detection to initiate prompt treatment in this population. The study provides some important insights into offering comprehensive intervention to help caregivers cope more effectively through the provision of sufficient social support to buffer the effects of caregiving burden and improve mental health.