Introduction: Mental illness in a family member can be a huge burden and problematic on the care givers and family. The study was conducted with the aim of assessing the psychological distress and caregiver burden among care givers of schizophrenia patients.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study,detailed history, relevant sociodemographic details, clinical and psychological assessment findings were documented in a structured proforma in all the subjects. Burden assessment schedule (BAS) was administered to assess caregiver burden, Self-reporting questionnaire 20 (SRQ 20) to assess psychological distress among the caregivers and Positive and Negative symptom scale (PANSS) for severity of symptoms in schizophrenic patients.
Results: A total of 40 subjects were included in the study. The mean age of the study population was 44.08 ± 12.12, 12(30%) participants were males and 28(70%) were females. The mean total caregiving time of study population was 7.63 ± 2.37 with the range 3 to 12 hours/days. 15 caregivers (37.50%) had psychological distress, and 25(62.50%) had no psychological distress. On univariate analysis, age, caregiver burden, total caregiving time (hours/day), negative symptoms and total PANSS score were found to be significantly associated with psychological distress among caregivers. After adjusting for the effect of other variables in the equation, it was found that the odds of psychological distress increased 1.09 times (95% CI 1.108 to 1.186, P value 0.015) with one unit increase in severity of caregiver burden.
Conclusion: The most important predictive factor of psychological distress in caregivers was the severity caregiving burden.