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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 299-304

Evaluation of burden felt by caregivers of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Department of Psychiatry, GMERS Medical College, Junagadh, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kajal Jitendrakumar Tanna
Associate Professor Psychiatry, GMERS Medical College, Junagadh, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_28_21

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Background: It can be a difficult task to provide care to the patients living with mental health issues, especially with chronic diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder where the patient loses touch with reality. Aim: The current study was aimed to assess the of burden of care that caregivers feel while giving care to the patients of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and to compare the difference in burden between these two conditions. The study also evaluated the factors affecting the caregiver's burden. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional interview-based study conducted at the psychiatry department of a tertiary care hospital in Gujarat among caregivers of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Subjects and Methods: Each caregiver was given the Zarit-Burden Interview scale in vernacular language and asked to rate each statement from 0 to 4 where 0: never, 1: rarely, 2: sometimes, 3: quite frequently, and 4: nearly always. The final score was calculated and interpreted as: 0–21 – little or no burden, 41–60 – moderate to severe burden, and 61–88 – severe burden. Statistical Analysis: Data of the burden score were expressed as mean and standard deviation and compared using unpaired t-test. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used for correlation between burden score and variables such as age, years of education, and duration of illness. The analysis was done using GraphPad version 3.0 and Microsoft Excel 2016. Results: A total of 210 caregivers reported the interview scale completely, of which 105 caregivers belonged to schizophrenia group and 105 were related to bipolar disorder. Average of burden score was 64.89 ± 15.7 and 59.11 ± 17.8 (maximum score: 88) in schizophrenia and bipolar group, respectively, and difference between the group was statistically significant. In both the groups, it was found that, with increase in the age of patients, caregiver's burden significantly increased. Conclusion: Caregivers of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients feel a considerable burden of care with more burden felt by the caregivers of schizophrenia. The more vulnerable to burden are females, elderly, low-income groups, and patients in whom longer duration of care is required. The caregivers should receive an adequate support for maintaining their own mental health. they should be provided support for maintaining their mental health. Particularly, vulnerable are females, elderly, low-income groups, and longer duration of care. They should be provided with adequate support.

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