To date, there have been only few studies which investigated the situation of care for the elderly and caregiver burden in China. We performed a structural interview with 172 frail elderly and their caregivers, in pairs, in Shenyang City, China, after explaining the purpose of our study and obtaining consent. The interview was comprised of the Chinese version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Inter view (ZBI) questionnaire, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) questionnaire and questions on the char acteristics of the elderly and his/her caregiver. Responses from 150 elderly-caregiver pairs (87%), sufficient for analysis, were collected. Caregivers with high burden were defined as those who scored 51 points or more out of 88 points (66l or higher) on the ZBI. There were significant differences in ADL of frail elderly, caregiver's age, average number of hours of caregiving per day and elderly-caregiver relationship between caregivers with and without high burden from x 2 analysis. Using a multi variate logistic regression, we found that caregiver burden was associated with ADL of frail elderly, caregiver's age and elderly-caregiver relationship. The results of this study showed that ADL of frail elderly, caregiver's age, average daily hours of care provided and relationship between elderly and their caregivers affect burden among caregivers in China.
The present study investigated changes in the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with chronic hepatitis C by identifying differences in patients'attributes during the first six months of interferon therapy and the factors related to these changes. Subjects were 35 patients with chronic epatitis C who responded to a total of 4 questionnaire surveys that were conducted at the time of hospitalization, one month after medical treatment began, after three months of treatment, and after six months of treatment. The main findings are as follows : In males, "mental health" HRQOL scores declined, and these reduced scores were maintained for six months. In females, "physical functioning" HRQOL scores declined, and these reduced scores were maintained for six months. For middle-aged patients, "role-physical" and "role-emotional" scores declined. For employed patients, "physical functioning", "role-physical", "bodily pain", "vitality", "social functioning", "role-emotional", and "mental health" scores declined, and these reduced scores were maintained for six months. The present findings suggest that sex, age, and employment are factors associated with HRQOL. In addition, since negative correlations were observed between HRQOL subscale scores and side effect scores, side effects are considered to have influenced HRQOL scores. With respect to HRQOL and self-efficacy, different correlations were observed depending on when during the treatment they were assessed. In order to maintain or improve the QOL of patients with chronic hepatitis C, future research must investigate continuous support systems that correspond to physical and mental changes and consider patients'attributes.
In this study we sought to demonstrate the reliability and validity of the Japanese Herth Hope Index (HHI) 12, a psychometric instrument for measuring hope, in a general urban population, and to investigate factors correlated with the HHI score. Anonymous written surveys were collected from 255 male and female residents living in Tokyo "N" ward and Saitama "T" township aged 20-69. The Cronbach α coefficient was 0.89, and confirmatory factor analysis showed three-dimensionality. We also observed hope to strongly correlate with having reasons for living and benefit-finding, confirming the reliability and validity of the Japanese HHI scale. Mean HHI score was 35.5. Stratified multi ple linear regression analysis on factors which correlated with the HHI score showed HHI scores to correlate positive with age, the presence of a spouse, and sufficient psychosocial support. We also found that younger subjects receiving sufficient social support enjoyed HHI scores equivalent to older subjects, while women's higher HHI scores appeared attributable to extensive social support networks. No correlation was observed with adverse experiences or history of illness. This study shows that HHI scores in the general urban population are not unexpectedly high compared with pre viously studied subjects with serious disease, that advanced age correlates with higher HHI scores, and that receipt of social support may mediate positive influences on the HHI score.