Correlates of caregiving burden in schizophrenia : a cross-sectional, comparative analysis from India

Stanley, Selwyn and Balakrishnan, Sujeetha and Ilangovan, S (2016) Correlates of caregiving burden in schizophrenia : a cross-sectional, comparative analysis from India. Social Work in Mental Health, 15 (3). pp. 284-307. ISSN 1533-2985

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    Abstract

    Schizophrenia is a global mental health issue that has serious implications not only for the person with the diagnosis, but for caregivers as well. In Asian societies, the family tends to be the “natural” caregiver in such situations and the caregiving function is usually shouldered by parents or the spouse. Asian communities tend to be more closely knit, and it would be expected that more social support would be available to those facing distressing circumstances such as managing the demands of a person with mental illness. This study seeks to explore the perceived burden in family caregivers of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, the coping strategies that come into play, as well as the extent of social support available to them. Standardized instruments were administered to collect data at a teaching cum treatment facility in south India. A quantitative methodology was used to analyze cross-sectional data from 75 primary caregivers of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and a reference group of caregivers of patients with general medical ailments. Results indicate higher levels of burden, low social support, and poor coping in the caregivers of people with schizophrenia than the reference group. Implications for intervention with caregivers are also discussed in this article.