Author(s): Prashant Kumar Sharma*
Family is an important social agency that takes care of various needs of its members. Families with mentally ill persons certainly face many challenges as people with mental illness face a broad range of problems. Being a caregiver of a schizophrenic patient involves a significant burden. Several studies have outlined the components of this burden, which include disturbance of domestic routine, constraints of social and leisure activities, added financial responsibilities and reduced attention to other family members, but similar studies in India are scarce. The present study aims to assess burden on caregiver of the patients with schizophrenia and its relation to various socio-demographic variables. This is a prospective, observational, epidemiological single sitting study. In tools, DSM-IV-TR, Burden assessments schedule and socio-demographic data sheet were used in the study. The data were analyzed by Student-tTest using Graph Pad Prism v 5.01software. This study showed that quite a high degree of burden of care exists. Significant burden (p<0.05) and (p<0.001) were noticed among caregivers when compared between age group, gender, residence, family income, occupation, education and relation to the patient. The present study has shown a significant amount of burden experienced by caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Less education and low income cause more burden beside being residence in rural areas. This analysis provide basic data required for making decisions, future research and generation of interventional strategies, all geared to promote holistic caring.