Original Research

The effect of structured psychoeducation on caregiver burden in carers of patients with schizophrenia in Nigeria: A 12-week follow-up investigation

Theclar O. Iyidobi, Justus U. Onu, Obiora Iteke, Ngozi N. Unaogu, Richard Uwakwe
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 28 | a1703 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v28i0.1703 | © 2022 Theclar O. Iyidobi, Justus U. Onu, Obiora Iteke, Ngozi N. Unaogu, Richard Uwakwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 March 2021 | Published: 24 February 2022

About the author(s)

Theclar O. Iyidobi, Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria
Justus U. Onu, Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria
Obiora Iteke, Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
Ngozi N. Unaogu, Department of Training and Research, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
Richard Uwakwe, Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria


Background: Despite robust evidence of the huge burden of caregiving amongst caregivers of patients with schizophrenia, there is a paucity of data in Africa on the interventions to address this enormous burden of caregiving.

Aim: This study aimed to determine the effect of structured psychoeducation intervention on the burden of caregiving in comparison with ‘care as usual’ in a Nigerian Psychiatric Hospital.

Setting: This study was done at the out-patient and in-patient units of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.

Methods: Caregivers of inpatients who fulfilled the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia were recruited for the study. The caregivers were then allocated into two groups (Group A received structured psychoeducation intervention in addition to ‘care as usual’ whilst group B received only ‘care as usual’). After the baseline assessment, the caregivers were followed up every 4 weeks for a period of 12 weeks. At each interval of follow-up, caregivers were assessed for caregivers’ burden using the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Repeated measures analysis of variance (mixed type) was used to determine the effects of the interventions on caregivers’ burden in the two arms of the study across the intervals of follow-up.

Results: The attrition rate at week 12 was 10.7%; leaving 130 for the assessment of outcome variable at the end of follow-up. Structured psychoeducation intervention was significantly better than ‘care as usual’ in ameliorating caregivers’ burden [F (1, 123) = 21.75, p < 0.001, Partial Eta Squared = 0.39].

Conclusion: These findings seem to suggest that caregivers who received structured psychoeducation intervention experienced a greater reduction in caregiver burden than those who received ‘care as usual’. Whilst the study addressed short-term effect, the findings of this study are in accord with other studies that have supported the impression that psychoeducational family-based intervention is useful with regard to caregiver burden.


structured; psychoeducation; caregiver; burden; care as usual; schizophrenia; Nigeria


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