The impact of caring for a child with autism on caregivers' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to compare the HRQOL scores of caregivers of children with autism to those of the general US population and to identify the factors that influence HRQOL. Caregivers of children with autism had lower HRQOL scores than the general population. Care recipient level of functional impairment, social support, use of maladaptive coping, and burden influenced caregiver mental HRQOL. Care recipient extent of behavioral problems and social support influenced caregiver physical HRQOL. Findings emphasize the use of multi-pronged intervention approach that incorporates components aimed at improving family functioning, increasing support services, and assisting caregivers in developing healthy coping skills.
- Health-related quality of life