Author : Bansal, Amit
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 7, Pages 1916-1930
If there are shortcomings in the community-based mental health systems, the family members must undertake additional responsibilities and tasks. Over the past 2 decades, the responsibility of providing care and assistance to persons with mental illness has increasingly befallen upon the family members. Many caregivers of a person with mental illness suffer from ongoing distress whereas professionals tend to underestimate family burden. . Of all the burdens, emotional burden is the most pervasive negative consequence of care giving. Various dimensions of perceived burden affect the psychological well-being of the caregivers, thereby, highlighting the distinct need to explore and understand the extent and nature of burden experienced by the caregivers of chronic mentally ill patients and to provide appropriate interventions to improve the Quality of Life of the patient and the caretaker. This study attempts to compare caregiver burden in caregivers for depression and schizophrenia and at the same time tries to explore the determinants of the resultant burden. A total of 100 primary caregivers and patients who regularly accompanied patients for OPD follow ups for a diagnosis of schizophrenia or depression as per ICD-10 criteria were interviewed over a period of 18 months. It was observed that the primary care givers in case of schizophrenia group were mostly parents (39% vs. 17%) and in case of depressive disorders caregivers were mostly spouses (60% vs. 34%), which was found to be statistically significant. It was observed that all types of burden scores (both subjective and objective) significantly higher in caregivers of schizophrenia group as compared to that of depression except scores of burdens due to effect on physical health of caregiver.