Assessing the Impact of Caring for a Person with Schizophrenia: Development of the Schizophrenia Caregiver Questionnaire

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Abstract

Background

The responsibilities of caring for a person with schizophrenia may significantly impact informal caregivers' lives. The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) was originally developed to assess burden among caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Objective

This research was conducted to inform the development of a revised version of the ZBI, relevant to caregivers of people with schizophrenia.

Methods

Based on published qualitative research, the questionnaire was reviewed and modified in accordance with industry-standard guidelines. The resulting questionnaire [the Schizophrenia Caregiver Questionnaire (SCQ)] was then completed by 19 caregivers during cognitive debriefing interviews to assess understanding, relevance and comprehensiveness.

Results

Review of the ZBI resulted in a number of operational changes to improve face validity and potential sensitivity. Further questions were added based on key concepts identified in existing literature and minor phrasing alterations were made to improve content validity. Findings from caregiver interviews supported the content validity of the SCQ.

Conclusion

The SCQ provides a comprehensive view of caregivers' subjective experiences of caregiving and demonstrated strong face and content validity. The questionnaire will be important in both clinical assessment and evaluating the efficacy of interventions designed to reduce or alleviate caregiver burden. Future research will seek to establish the psychometric validity of the questionnaire.

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