Family caregivers experience significant burden in taking care of their patients with schizophrenia. Research on predictors of caregiver burden in India, where families are the primary caregivers of schizophrenia patients, is lacking.
To study the predictors of burden experienced by the family caregivers of first admission in-patient schizophrenia patients in India.
Methods and Materials
Family caregivers of 137 schizophrenia patients admitted to an in-patient facility of a hospital in south India were interviewed using the Burden Assessment Schedule. The coping, knowledge about schizophrenia, perceived social support of the caregivers and illness severity, psychopathology and disability experienced by the patients were also assessed.
Statistical Analysis: Bivariate correlation and multivariate regression analysis were used to study the association of different factors on burden.
Duration of illness and levels of psychopathology and disability had significant direct correlation with total burden score; perceived social support had significant inverse correlation with total burden score. There was a high correlation between psychopathology and disability (p < 0.001). Two separate regression analysis, each including total PANSS score (psychopathology) or total IDEAS score (disability) showed that duration of illness and perceived social support were significant predictors of burden in addition to psychopathology and disability.
During the first hospitalization, in addition to symptom reduction and disability limitation, focus should be on enhancing social support in order to reduce caregiver burden among family members of schizophrenia patients.