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A study of disability profile and burden in caregivers of stable schizophrenia patients

Introduction: Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating disorders, leading to long-term and progressive disability in numerous individuals. Disability reflects an interaction between features of a person's body and of the society. In all treatments, family psycho-education is also very important as disability of schizophrenia leads to burden upon family members. Caregiver burden can be either objective or subjective. Objective burdens are behavioural phenomena: disruption of the social activities and financial difficulties. Subjective burdens comprise emotional strain on caregivers. Due to the chronic nature of the disease and the disability, patients with schizophrenia as a group need most care in social and economic areas. Aim of the study: To assess the level of burden in caregivers of stable schizophrenia patients and their relation with degree of disability in schizophrenia patients. It was a cross-sectional and observation study. Material and methods: The study was carried out with 154 stable patients of International Classification of Diseases diagnosed schizophrenia and their primary caregivers. The patients were evaluated on the Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the Burden Assessment Schedule (BAS) was used for their primary caregiver. Results: Two thirds of schizophrenia patients who were stable on medication for at least 6 months and diagnosed with schizophrenia for at least 2 years had mild (70.12%) and the rest had moderate disability (29.87%). Greater burden of care was experienced with increasing age. Conclusions: Caregivers' burden has a direct correlation with overall disability. Deficiency in interaction, communication and employment leads to more burden of care, but not a deficiency in self-care.

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Neuropsychiatria I Neuropsychologia
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