Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Second Advisor

Michael Levin, DO

Third Advisor

Barbara Golden. PsyD, ABPP


Caregivers are considered extended parts of the healthcare system. As the responsibilities of caregivers increase, they are more prone to develop a poorer quality of life (QOL; Avsar et al., 2013; Rafati et al., 2019; Sajadi et al., 2020; Turner & Finch-Guthrie, 2020). Further, as the prevalence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) continues to increase, factors that impact coping and QOL should be evaluated.

Understanding the relationship between coping, social problem solving, and QOL may increase professionals’ ability to help caregivers flourish. However, little is known about the QOL in spousal caregivers of kidney dialysis patients in the United States. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate how specific variables impact QOL in spousal dialysis caregivers in the United States, in the context of the Social Problem-Solving Model. A demographic questionnaire, Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised-Short Form (SPSI-R-SF), Caregiving Stress Appraisal Scale, and World Health Organization Quality of Life Measure (WHOQOL-BREF) were administered to recruited participants via national social media sites targeted for kidney dialysis caregivers.

Descriptive statistics were calculated for participants' personal characteristics. Caregivers of kidney dialysis patients’ quality of life scores on the four factors of the WHOQOL-BREF were compared to those of other chronically ill medical populations: with spousal dialysis caregivers scoring below one standard deviation in physical, psychological, and social relationship domains. A forward multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine if spousal caregiver stress appraisal, negative problem orientation, positive problem orientation, and rational problem-solving skills predict QOL as defined by the four domains in the WHOQOL-BREF. Positive PO, rational PS, and caregiver stress appraisal significantly predicted specific domains of QOL. Ultimately, the aim was to guide the development of future interventions for this population.