Components and Correlates of Family Burden in Schizophrenia

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ObjectiveComponents and correlates of caregiver burden in schizophrenia were studied.MethodsThe family caregivers of 623 (43 percent) of 1,460 patients with schizophrenia enrolled in the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) were interviewed about resources they provided and experiences with patient behavior over the previous month. Patients were independently evaluated on symptoms, quality of life, neurocognition, medication side effects, and service use. Factor analysis reduced the caregiver data into four orthogonal factors assessing perceptions of patient problem behavior, patient impairment in activities of daily living, patient helpfulness, and resource demands and disruptions in the caregiver's personal routine.ResultsHierarchical regression analyses demonstrated differential correlates of burden for each factor, explaining 34 percent of variance each for problem behavior and resource demands and disruption, 21 percent for impairment in activities of daily living, and 38 percent for patient helpfulness. Demographic characteristics and patient symptoms explained the greatest proportion of variance, whereas quality of life and service use explained modest variance and patient neurocognition and medication side effects were not significantly associated with burden.ConclusionsResults underscore the need for continued intervention with family members after the acute inpatient phase of treatment to address the impacts of symptoms as well as incorporation of skills training into consumer treatment programs to improve consumer contributions to household maintenance.

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