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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-103

Quality of life and perception of burden among caregivers of persons with mental illness

1 Psychologist, Roshini Counselling centre, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India
2 Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Sucharita Narasipuram
Psychologist, Roshini Counselling Centre, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Family care-giving for persons with mental illness has been associated with reduced quality of life and high levels of burden. Most studies on care-giving focused on burden of caregivers in schizophrenia and to some extent on bipolar affective disorders. Aim: The current study examined perceived burden and its influence on the Quality of Life in caregivers of persons suffering from severe and persistent psychiatric illness. Methods: Care givers of persons suffering from mental illness of three groups viz., Schizophrenia (35subjects), Affective Disorder (36subjects), and Mental Retardation (32subjects) attending the outpatient department of a psychiatry hospital were assessed on Zarit Burden interview and World health organization Quality of Life -Bref (WHOQOL-Bref). Care receiver's functional ability was associated with care giver's perception of burden. Results: Care givers of Schizophrenia group reported higher burden than care givers of Affective Disorder followed by Mental Retardation. Overall, care givers reported high burden and significantly reduced Quality of Life in the domains of physical health, social relationships and environment. In particular, Schizophrenia group of caregivers reported higher levels of burden and reduced quality of life in psychological and environmental domains Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that caregivers need social support and family intervention programmes to cope with the burden of care-giving and enhance better quality of life.

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