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Veríssimo, Crisitna Maria Figueira ; Breda, João - Envelhecer em família : qualidade de vida dos cuidadores familiares de idosos dependentes em domicílio : contributos para uma intervenção multidisciplinar. Coimbra : [s.n.], 2001.  198 fls. . In spite of differences between countries and regions, all western countries today face the reality of ageing populations and an increase in the number of dependent elderly people. Moreover, important structural changes in family models have emerged, requiring us to reflect of the care of elderly people, responsabilities and family values. Recognisin that carre is reflected in both the family sisters and the caregivers, particularly in the state of health of caregivers, the present study can be characterised as descriptive and analytic and focuses the perception of the quality of life related to the health iof the family caregivers who look after dependent old people at home. Our main objective is to study the perception of the quality of life of these carigivers and analyse some of the factors that affect the quality of life. This study was carried out in the area of Coimbra and the participants were 126 dependent elderly people living at home and their main caregivers. The choice of participants for the study was not random but dependente on their accessibility. To evaluate the degree of physical dependence of the elderly people we have used Katz's Index, and to evaluate their cognitive level we opte for Folstein's Mini Mental Exam, using the portugueese version of Manuela Guerreiro et al. (1994). The quality of life of the family caregivers was evaluated usinf the MOS-SF 36 scale, portugueese version 2 designed by the Centro de Estudos de Investigação em Saúde (Centre of study and Research in Health). We included a questionnaire to gather data, which was designed to characterise people under study and the context in which the support was given. These instruments were applied in interviees from July to October 2000. The elderly who participated in this study are predominantly depend for all needs evaluated by Katz's Index and a majority display a cognitive deficit. The majority are married, illiterate women over 75 years of old. The family caregivers have an average of age of 60.43 years, the majority of whom are married women and descendents of the elderly people. They have had little formal education and are of a lower social and economic status and most of them are not professionally active. Caregivers who also work seem to feel that taking care of an elderly person hinders the development of their professional activity. The majority do not have anybody helping at home, nor do they get any support from other main caregivers. They have been caregivers for an average of 5.09 years and for more than 20 hours a day. Their main concern is the necessity for economic and technical suport. The most frequent types of change after they became caregivers are experienced in relation to their leisure time and to the organisation of family life. As far as the quality of life related to health is concerned, we found that there is a tendency for lower levels of health associated with mental health, physical pain in general and vitality. All facts analysed, except for sex, show statistically significant differences in one or more of the components of the SF-36. The negatice correlations for components must be emphasised in relation to the number of hours spent taking care of an elderly person and in relation to the degree of dependency. The negatice correlation in all components, except for the social function in relation to the age of the caregiver, as well as, the fact that there are stsatistically relevant differences for all components of the SF-36 in the relation to the attitude towards this activity, must also be emphasised. Active family caregivers are those who have a better perception of quality of life. In general, we can say that taking care of dependent elderly people at home seems to be an unfavorable situation for the main family caregiver's quality of life.