Frailty Does Not Impact Caregiver Burden in Patients with Cirrhosis

Elizabeth S. Aby, Nguyen V. Pham, Jung J. Yum, Tien S. Dong, Hussein Ghasham, Fatima Bedier, Claire Malley, Joanna Schaenman, Sammy Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Frailty is common and is associated with increased mortality, lower quality of life, and higher readmission rates in cirrhotic patients. Not only are these outcomes important, but further understanding the impact of frailty on a caregiver’s life is crucial to better comprehend caregiver burden in cirrhotic patients and develop strategies to improve care for patients and their caregivers. Methods: A single-center, prospective study was conducted of cirrhotic patients and their caregivers between 4/1/2019 and 11/1/2019. Frailty testing combined aspects from the Fried Frailty Instrument, Short Physical Performance Battery, and activities of daily living. Caregivers completed questionnaires to evaluate caregiver burden using the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI-12), and perceived social support, using the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List. Results: In total, 94 cirrhotic patients were included, 50% males with a median age of 63.1 years. The most common etiology of cirrhosis was nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Frailty was prevalent (45.1%). In total, 12.8% of caregivers reported a high burden based on ZBI-12. There was no association between frailty and caregiver burden, hospitalization rates, or death. However, frailty was associated with a higher number of outpatient GI visits (p = 0.002). Lower perceived social support among caregivers was associated with a higher caregiver burden (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Frailty is prevalent in cirrhotic patients but is not associated with higher rates of caregiver burden. Low perceived social support among caregivers, however, was associated with higher caregiver burden. It is important to recognize the impact of caregiver burden on caregivers of cirrhotic patients and ensure caregivers have the appropriate support to mitigate burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3343-3351
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number10
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Caregiver burden
  • Cirrhosis
  • Frailty

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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