Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-28

Spousal caregiver burden and its relation with disability in schizophrenia

1 Department of Psychiatry, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R Arun
Department of Psychiatry, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_204_17

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Background: Schizophrenia, a chronic psychiatric disorder, can affect one's productivity and psychosocial functioning. In Indian context, the responsibility of caring persons with schizophrenia is increasingly on their spouses. Spousal caregiver experience and its relation with disability in schizophrenia need to be studied. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 52 outpatients with schizophrenia and their spouses attending a tertiary psychiatric center. The objectives were: (a) to explore spousal caregiver burden in schizophrenia and (b) to assess the relation between disability and spousal caregiver burden. The study adopted recommended ethical principles. Scales such as Burden Assessment Schedule, Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS), and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale were used to collect appropriate data. Descriptive analysis, bivariate analysis, and multivariate analysis were done in SPSS software version 16.0. Results: The mean spousal caregiver burden score was 73.5 (standard deviation: 14.0). In bivariate analysis, disability, duration of schizophrenia, severity of schizophrenia, place of residence, and socioeconomic status had statistically significant relation with spousal caregiver burden. Adjusted for spouses' age, gender, and other significant factors in bivariate analysis, the IDEAS global disability score (2.6, [confidence interval 0.5–3.8, P = 0.013]) retained statistically significant association with spousal caregiver burden. Conclusion: Spouses of persons with schizophrenia experience significant caregiver burden. Disability was found to be the most powerful determinant of spousal caregiver burden in the sample. Focus on disability alleviation in the management of schizophrenia may help reduce spousal caregiver burden.

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