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The Burden of Schizophrenia on Caregivers

Hülya Arslantaþ, Filiz Adana.

Cited by (2)

Caregivers’ burden in schizophrenia is a complex concept often with negative connotations. The concept refers to the impact of having a schizophrenia patient in the family including emotional, psychological, physical, economic distress and feelings of shame, embarrassment, guilt, and self-blame expe-rienced by the caregivers. There are objective and subjective aspects of care-givers’ burden. The objective burden refers to observed and verifiable impact of the diseased person in the family such as the patients disturbing behaviors, economic difficulties, and loss of income, restricted social activities, distressed household atmosphere, and undesirable influences on physical and mental health of the family members. The subjective burden refers to the extent of emotional distress caused by the objective burden. The data in the pertinent literature suggest an association between caregivers’ burden and sex, ethnicity, culture, caregivers’ health and quality of life, social support, and the symptomatology as presented by the patient. In order to promote mental health of schizophrenia patients along with their caregivers, the mental health workers should strive to find the means of supporting, informing, and cooperating with the family members. Psychosocial interventions designed for families and psychosocial rehabilitations programs designed for schizophrenia patients are effective means of easing caregivers’ burden.

Key words: caregiver burden, mental illness, schizophrenia

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