Original Research

Caregiver burden and its sociodemographic determinants in family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia attending a psychiatric tertiary hospital in South Africa

Chioma O. Onyia, Julia S. Lethole, Gbenga Olorunfemi, Nnabuike C. Ngene
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 30 | a2252 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v30i0.2252 | © 2024 Chioma O. Onyia, Julia S. Lethole, Gbenga Olorunfemi, Nnabuike C. Ngene | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 January 2024 | Published: 21 June 2024

About the author(s)

Chioma O. Onyia, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Julia S. Lethole, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Gbenga Olorunfemi, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nnabuike C. Ngene, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Leratong Hospital, Krugersdorp, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Chronic mental illnesses such as schizophrenia affect patients’ functioning, making caregiving necessary although burdensome.

Aim: This study aimed to determine caregiver burden and its sociodemographic determinants in family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia attending a Psychiatric Outpatient Department (POD).

Setting: Tertiary hospital in Northern Pretoria, South Africa.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study conducted over 3 months, 300 consecutive family caregivers who attended the POD were administered a 22-item Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI-22), which has a score of 0–88, with higher values indicating more burden. Their sociodemographic characteristics were ascertained. Linear and ordinal logistic regression analyses were performed to identify determinants or predictors of total and severe burdens, respectively.

Results: Most caregivers were aged 46.0 ± 14 years, females (62%), parents (39%), of low-income status (93.7%), had secondary education (70%), resided with the patient (87%), and helped with all troublesome activities (95.3%). The median ZBI-22 score was 19.0 (interquartile range: 13.0–30.5). The determinants of both total and severe burdens were: caregiver age ≥ 50 years adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 2.55, confidence interval (CI): 1.49–4.36; residential area farther away from the hospital aOR: 1.76, CI: 1.3–2.99; increasing months of caregiving aOR: 1.0, CI: 1.001–1.009, p = 0.006; and not having another family member that needs care aOR: 0.43, CI: 0.24–0.78.

Conclusion: Having mental healthcare facilities close to residential areas and assisting caregivers aged ≥ 50 years who have multiple family members who need care may alleviate the burden.

Contribution: Predicting total and severe caregiver burdens contemporaneously is effective for identifying potential burden interventions.


Keywords

caregiver burden; family caregivers; ordinal logistic regression; predictors; schizophrenia; sociodemographic factors

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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