Background: Little is known about long-term caregiver burden in meningioma patients. We assessed meningioma caregiver burden, its association with informal caregiver's well-being and possible determinants.
Methods: In this multicenter cross-sectional study, informal caregivers completed the Caregiver Burden Scale (five domains and total score). Patients completed a disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaire focusing on symptoms (EORTC QLQ-BN20) and underwent neurocognitive assessment. Both groups completed a generic HRQoL questionnaire (SF-36) and the Hospital Anxiety, and Depression Scale. We assessed the association between caregiver burden and their HRQoL, anxiety and depression. Furthermore, we assessed determinants for the caregiver burden. Multivariable regression analysis was used to correct for confounders.
Results: One hundred and twenty-nine informal caregivers were included (median 10 years after patients' treatment). Caregivers reported burden in ≥1 domain (34%) or total burden score (15%). A one-point increase in total caregiver burden score was associated with a clinically relevant decrease in caregiver's HRQoL (SF-36) in 5/8 domains (score range: -10.4 to -14.7) and 2/2 component scores (-3.5 to -5.9), and with more anxiety (3.8) and depression (3.0). Patients' lower HRQoL, increased symptom burden, and increased anxiety and depression were determinants for higher caregiver burden, but not patients' or caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics, patients' neurocognitive functioning, or tumor- and treatment-related characteristics.
Conclusions: Ten years after initial treatment, up to 35% of informal caregivers reported a clinically relevant burden, which was linked with worse HRQoL, and more anxiety and depression in both patients and caregivers, emphasizing the strong interdependent relationship. Support for meningioma caregivers is therefore warranted.