2012 issue 3

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Volume 21, issue 3

Original article

Caregiver burden in mental illness

Magdalena Ciałkowska-Kuźmińska1, Andrzej Kiejna1
1. Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii, Akademia Medyczna im. Piastów Śląskich, Wrocław
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2012; 21(3): 175–181
Keywords: caregiver burden, the mentally ill, carers

Abstract

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.

Address for correspondence:
dr n. med. Magdalena Ciałkowska-Kuźmińska
Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii Akademii Medycznej im. Piastów Śląskich
ul. Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wrocław
tel. 71‒7841600
e-mail: magdalena.cialkowska-kuzminska@am.wroc.pl