Burden on caregivers of schizophrenic patients at polyclinic outpatient psychiatric department, edward francis small teaching hospital, the gambia
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Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital; University of The Gambia Ministry of Health, The Gambia Banjul, The Gambia Gambia
Department of Nursing, University of The Gambia
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1286
Caring for schizophrenic patient is associated with a significant burden. This study determines the burden of caregivers of schizophrenic patients at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), The Gambia

Using a cross-sectional study design, a sample of 161 caregivers of schizophrenic patients were randomly recruited from the EFSTH psychiatric clinic. A 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and Zarit Burden Scale were used to measure the burden of caregivers. A General Linear Model (GLM) multivariate regression was used to determine the socio-demographic variables predicting the burden of caregivers.

The results showed that the majority (93%) of caregivers experienced psychological burden followed by social (78.3%), physical (70%) and financial (55.3%) burdens. Results of GLM multivariate regression showed that self-employed (β = 2.76; 95% CI, 0.41~5.09) and unemployed (β = 4.27; 95% CI, 2.48~6.06) and being a Wolof tribe (β = 2.64; 95% CI, 0.03~5.24), were significantly associated with financial burden on the caregivers. The total score of social burden was also significantly higher among the unemployed caregivers (β = 2.73; 95% CI, -5.09~-0.37) compared to their self-employed and employed counterparts. The caregivers with junior secondary education reported a significantly lower level of psychological (β = -2.76; 95% CI, -5.38~-0.4) and physical burden (β = -3.20; 95% CI, -6.09~-0.32) compared to those with no education. Up to 36% of the caregivers rated poor health status (OR, 5.10; 95% CI [2.71, 9.62]).

The main findings showed a significantly high psycologocal, social, physical and financial burden on the caregivers. Initiation of routine screening of caregivers will help to determine the needed help to reduce the incidence of burden.