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Quality of life and perception of burden among caregivers of persons with mental illness

Author(s): Sucharita Narasipuram | Sivaprasad Kasimahanti

Journal: Andhra Pradesh Journal of Psychological Medicine
ISSN 2249-5851

Volume: 13;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 99;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Caregivers | Perceived burden | Quality of Life | Schizophrenia | Affective Disorder | Mental Retardation

Background: Family care-giving for persons with mental illness has been associated with reduced quality of life and high levels of burden. Most studies on care-giving focused on burden of caregivers in schizophrenia and to some extent on bipolar affective disorders.Aim: The current study examined perceived burden and its influence on the Quality of Life in caregivers of persons suffering from severe and persistent psychiatric illness.Methods: Care givers of persons suffering from mental illness of three groups viz., Schizophrenia (35subjects), Affective Disorder (36subjects), and Mental Retardation (32subjects) attending the outpatient department of a psychiatry hospital were assessed on Zarit Burden interview and World health organization Quality of Life -Bref (WHOQOL-Bref). Care receiver's functional ability was associated with care giver's perception of burden.Results: Care givers of Schizophrenia group reported higher burden than care givers of Affective Disorder followed by Mental Retardation. Overall, care givers reported high burden and significantly reduced Quality of Life in the domains of physical health, social relationships and environment. In particular, Schizophrenia group of caregivers reported higher levels of burden and reduced quality of life in psychological and environmental domainsConclusions: The findings from this study suggest that caregivers need social support and family intervention programmes to cope with the burden of care-giving and enhance better quality of life.
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