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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 139-143

Analysis of burden on family caregivers of hospitalized patients with psychiatric illness: An observational, analytical, cross-sectional study

Occupational Therapy School and Centre, T. N. Medical College and BYL Nair Ch. Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Pratibha M Vaidya
Occupational Therapy School and Centre, T. N. Medical College and BYL Nair Ch. Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_20_20

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Background: The caregiver's burden refers to a people's emotional response to the change in their life roles and the increased responsibilities that they need to deal with when they are expected to care for an ill person. The burden on a family can be due to a multitude of reasons which include increased workload, type of caregiving tasks that need to be performed, the amount of time consumed performing these tasks, the personal sacrifices that need to be made to accommodate these, disruption of family routine, and stigmatization by society. The caregiver's gender, age, level of education, employment status, family history of mental illness, family type, etc., are few of the factors considered to evaluate the level of burden on the caregiver in this study. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate/gauge the level of burden of family caregivers of admitted psychiatric patients and determine the influence of various factors on this burden. Study Design: An observational, analytical, cross-sectional study was conducted. Methods: One hundred and fourteen family caregivers of age ≥18 years, who have been caring for hospitalized patients with psychiatric illness for more than 6 months, were included in the study. Demographic data gathered included age, gender, family history of mental illness, type of family, relationship with the patient, educational qualifications, and employment status. The caregivers were interviewed using the Zarit Burden Interview to evaluate their level of burden, which consists of 22 questions. The caregivers were asked to rate each question on a scale of 0–4 in ascending order of occurrence. Results: The level of burden in 42% (n = 48) of the family caregivers was moderate, and in 34% (n = 36) of the caregivers, it was severe. Seventy-seven percent of the caregivers from nuclear families (n = 89) experienced moderate-to-severe burden as compared to 68% of those from joint family (n = 25). Younger caregivers of age 18–40 years experienced moderate-to-severe stress. Sixty-seven percent of the caregivers were females (n = 76) and 33% were males (n = 38) of a total of 114 caregivers, and the level of burden was more in males. Employed caregivers had a higher burden than those who were unemployed. Conclusion: The level of burden ranges from “moderate” to “severe” among the family caregivers of hospitalized patients with psychiatric illness, wherein younger, employed caregivers from nuclear families without a family history of mental illness were significantly more burdened.

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