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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-20

A study on socioeconomic correlates of family caregiver burden: Comparison between geriatric patients with dementia and with schizophrenia in a tertiary care center in Kolkata

Department of Community Medicine, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Santanu Ghosh
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, 578, BT Road, Kolkata - 700 058, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_7_22

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Background: The role of being a caregiver of elderly patients with chronic psychiatric illnesses can be challenging. The objective of the current study was to determine and compare the family caregiver (FCG) burden of dementia and schizophrenic elderly patients and their associated sociodemographic factors. Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 122 randomly-selected FCGs of geriatric patients with dementia (84) and schizophrenia (38) in the psychiatry outpatient department of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata. The original 22 items Zarit Burden Interview tool was used to assess caregiver burden. Data were analyzed in SPSS Version 20.0. The Mann–Whitney U-tests and Chi-square test were performed for bivariate analyses. Value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Median age (inter quartile range) of dementia and schizophrenia patients were 74 (13) years and 67 (6) years, respectively. All FCGs studied were burdened with caregiving. FCGs of the schizophrenic group were more burdened than those of the dementia group (median score: 66 vs. 45, P = 0.000016). The female gender of patients and caregivers, years of institutional education, years of illness of the patient, and dependence on the caregiver for activities of daily living were positively associated with burden in both the groups. For FCGs of dementia patients, patients being widowed or separated (P = 0.00128), belonging to Islam by religion (P = 0.0083) and joint families (P = 0.00672), lower monthly family income (P = 0.00021), no current income of patient (P = 0.0001), higher monthly expenditure on patients (P = 0.0000), and the presence of chronic ailments requiring regular treatment (P = 0.00078) were found to be significantly associated with more burden. Conclusion: Field-based strategies addressing the caregiver burden of geriatric psychiatric patients must be developed and integrated into the existing health-care system.

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