Correlation Between Health-Related Quality of Life in Veterans With Chronic Spinal Cord Injury and Their Caregiving Spouses


Orthopedic Research Center, Qhaem Hospital Medical School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, IR Iran



Recently, investigations have indicated that caring of a chronically ill family member strongly influences the health status and the quality of life (QOL) of the caregiving family members.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between health-related QOL of veterans with chronic spinal cord injury and their caregiving spouses.

Patients and Methods
We designed a cross-sectional study including two groups; veterans with chronic spinal cord injury and their caregiving wives who were living in the city of Mashhad, Iran. The patients with spinal cord injury were veterans from the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). All the participants filled out the short form 36 (SF-36) health survey questionnaire. A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for the scales of the two groups.

The mean age and standard deviation of veterans and their spouses were 48.5 ± 5.9 and 44.8 ± 7.2, respectively and their number of children ranged between 0-6. Our data analysis showed that there was a significant difference between the two groups in some domains of the SF-36, including PF, MH, PCS, MCS, BP and GH (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference in RP, VT, SF and RE between the two groups.

The results indicate that a decrease in health status level of veterans, physically and mentally, can affect the health-related QOL of their caregiving spouses.