Burden of caregivers of people suffering from schizophrenia versus symptom severity, social functioning and treatment satisfaction of patients treated by a CMHT
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Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Wydział Lekarski, Katedra Psychiatrii, Ośrodek Psychiatrii Środowiskowej i Badań nad Psychozami
Pracownia Badań nad Schizofrenią Stowarzyszenia na rzecz Rozwoju Psychiatrii i Opieki Środowiskowej, Kraków
Wydział Psychologii, SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistycznospołeczny, Sopot
Szpital im. J. Babińskiego, Kraków
Andrzej Cechnicki   

Ośrodek Psychiatrii Środowiskowej i Badań nad Psychozami Katedry Psychiatrii UJ CM
Submission date: 2022-03-22
Final revision date: 2022-05-29
Acceptance date: 2022-06-13
Online publication date: 2023-02-28
Publication date: 2023-02-28
Psychiatr Pol 2023;57(1):19–33
This study aims to assess the caregivers’ burden in schizophrenia amongst patients treated by Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) and its relation to patients’ demographic, clinical and social characteristics, with emphasis on their satisfaction with care, and to evaluate the correlation of selected characteristics of caregivers with the level of their burden.

A total of 65 patient-caregiver dyads remaining in home treatment were included. Caregivers were assessed with demographic questionnaires, and the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). The patients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Verona Service Satisfaction Scale (VSSS-54), the Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0), the Social Network Index (SNI) and with the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Data were analysed using multiple linear regression.

Increased caregiver burden was associated with: greater symptom severity in patients, lower satisfaction with staff professionalism, and a high level of emotional expressiveness in relationships. The regression model explaining 57% of the variance in the caregivers’ emotional burden consisted of four factors: the patient’s positive syndrome intensity, patient’s remaining in an emotional relationship, gender i.e. higher burden amongst female caregivers of male patients, and smaller social network.

The caregivers’ burden severity is related to patients’ sociodemographic, clinical and social characteristics and their satisfaction with treatment. The emotional burden of caregivers is impacted by: greater symptom severity, especially the positive syndrome, lower patient satisfaction with staff professionalism, and a high expression of emotions in family relationships. The patient’s and caregiver’s gender and education level, the patient’s degree of disability, them being in a relationship and social support network size are also significant.