Objectives. To analyze: (1) the caregiver burden in carers of currently hospitalized patients with mental illness, and (2) health-related consequences of their caregiver burden.
Method. Participants in the study, 60 key carers indicated by inpatients of mental hospitals in Wroclaw (the capital of Lower Silesia, Poland), completed two tools: the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire (IEQ) to assess their caregiver burden, and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to assess their health deterioration.
Results. As many as 57% of the caregivers experienced the burden of caregiving in the domain of worrying, while somewhat less, i.e. 38% of caregivers in the aspect of urging. A genuine deterioration in health status as measured by the GHQ-12 was found in 67% of the caregivers. Caregiver burden experienced in the area of interpersonal tension explains as much as 44% of the total variance in the data set (sten scores in the sample studied).
Conclusions. Key carers of psychiatric inpatients do experience the burden of caregiving. Their general health is a significant indicator of the caregiver burden they experience in all aspects. Therefore, in the process of therapy provided to psychiatric inpatients interventions aimed at caregivers should be also included, such as their experienced burden and general health assessment, as well as psychoeducation concerning individual stressors and coping.