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Study of family burden in substance dependence: A tertiary care hospital-based study

Background: A substance-dependent person affects almost all aspects of family life, for example, interpersonal and social relationships, leisure time activities, and finances. Substance dependence invariably increases conflicts, negatively affects family members, and burdens the families. Aims and Objectives: To assess family burden perceived by primary caretakers (PCTs) of individuals with substance dependence and relevant clinico socio demographic profile of individuals as well as PCTs. Materials and Methods: Individuals and primary caretakers (n = 150) attending psychiatry OPD and emergency were included in the study. Individuals were selected by convenient sampling. The individuals and PCTs were administered psychiatric thesis/interview pro forma and drug abuse schedule. PCTs were administered "family burden interview schedule." Results: Majority of caretakers had moderate objective burden (65.3%) and severe subjective burden (74%). Objective burden was more in areas of "financial burden" and "disruption of routine activities." Objective burden had correlation (P < 0.05) with monthly family income, monthly expenses on substance, number and type of substances, treatment history, sex and type of caretaker. Subjective burden was dependent on sex and type of caretaker and treatment history of the patient. Conclusion: Our study concluded that substance dependence is associated with substantial burden for family members, more for subjective and objective burden in families with low income and with patients who are dependent on more number of substances and had taken treatment in the past. Higher proportion of severe burden was reported by female caretakers. These findings suggest directions for future research in this area.

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Wolters Kluwer India Pvt Ltd
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Indian Journal of Psychiatry
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