Article

Family burden, family health and personal mental health

BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.32). 03/2013; 13(1):255. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-255
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background
The economic and moral implications of family burden are well recognised. What is less understood is whether or how family health and family burden relate to personal mental health. This study examines family health and perceived family burden as predictors of personal mental health, taking personal and sociodemographic factors into consideration.

Methods
Data used was from the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R), namely the random 30% of participants (N = 3192) to whom the family burden interview was administered. Measures of family burden and mental health were considered for analysis.

Results
Binary logistic regressions were used as means of analyses. Perception of family burden was associated with an increased vulnerability to personal mental health problems, as was the presence of mental health difficulties within the family health profile. Which member of the family (kinship) was ill bore no relation to prediction of personal mental health. Personal and socio-demographic factors of sex, age, marital status, education and household income were all predictive of increased vulnerability to mental health problems over the last 12 months.

Conclusions
Certain elements of family health profile and its perceived burden on the individuals themselves appears related to risk of personal incidence of mental health problems within the individuals themselves. For moral and economic reasons, further research to understand the dynamics of these relationships is essential to aid developing initiatives to protect and support the mental health and wellbeing of relatives of ill individuals.

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Available from: Edel Ennis, Aug 17, 2015
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    • "Platt (1985) presented one of the first definitions of burden; this definition referred to difficulties, problems, and adverse events affecting people with mental illness and their families (Schene, 1990). Although the term burden is sometimes perceived as a stigmatizing term, its use in research to refer to " all the difficulties and challenges experienced by families as a consequence of someone's illness " (Ennis and Bunting, 2013, p. 255) is well known, and it is in this sense that it is used in this study. Several researchers argued that family burden was a multidimensional concept because the problems and challenges that may be experienced by family members of someone with a mental illness include financial hardships, time-consuming caregiving activities, disruption of normal household routines and roles, as well as psychological distress related to the illness of this family member (Schene, 1990). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To test the hypothesis that women with epilepsy come from families with poor cohesion and adaptability to the disease, compared with healthy women. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting A retrospective study was done on 263 women from a neurology outpatient department and a family medicine unit from the Mexican Social Security Institute in Sonora (Mexico) between 2010 and 2011. Participants Were 82 women with epilepsy (cases), and 181 healthy women (control group). Age and area of residence was utilized to pair the sample (1:2,2). Measurements Univariate analysis was performed for socio-demographic variables, family type, socio-economic status, level of cohesion and family adaptability based on FACES III. A logistic regression analysis was performed for those variables that were associated with functionality of family in women with and without epilepsy. Results A family dysfunction were found in 22% of epileptic women (OR = 2.91 [2.17, 3.89], p=.0001). Univariate analysis suggested the presence of epilepsy and of family dysfunction associated with age, disease more than 15 years of evolution, and family type (rural, urban and traditional). The logistic regression model confirmed an association only for presence of epilepsy (OR = 7.30 [4.00, 13.33], p=.0001). Conclusion The study answers the hypothesis that women with epilepsy live in families with greater psychosocial impairment, manifested by deficiencies in cohesion and adaptability to the disease, compared with healthy women.
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