The impact of prolonged disorders of consciousness on family caregivers’ quality of life – a scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


Providing long-term care for a family member diagnosed with a Prolonged Disorder of Consciousness (PDoC) can have a significant impact on the lives of family caregivers. This scoping review aimed to explore the current literature investigating the impact of caring for a person in a PDoC on family caregivers’ Quality of Life (QOL), as categorized using the WHOQOL-BREF model. We observed that articles employing quantitative methodologies mostly reported QOL outcomes relating to negative feelings, thinking, learning, memory and concentration, and personal relationships. Articles employing qualitative methodologies mostly reported QOL outcomes relating to negative feelings, personal relationships, positive feelings, and health and social care accessibility and quality. A descriptive content analysis of the QOL outcomes highlighted the limitations of the current literature base in representing the complexities of the experiences of family members providing care for a person in a PDoC. To provide valuable and personalized support to caregivers, without pathologizing or medicalizing their distress, it is vital to characterize more accurately the contextual subtleties of each person’s situation.

Bibliographic note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Early online date4 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2021


  • Caregiver, Disorders of consciousness, Family, Quality of life, Scoping review