Pan African Medical Journal

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The burden experienced by family caregivers of patients with epilepsy attending the government psychiatric hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria

F Nuhu, A Yusuf, A Akinbiyi, O Babalola, J Fawole, Z Sulaiman, O Ayilara


BACKGROUND: Caring for patients with chronic medical and psychiatric disorders is associated with significant burden. However little is known about the burden experience by caregivers of patients with epilepsy in Nigeria. The objective of this study, therefore, was to assess the level and correlates of burden among caregivers of patients with epilepsy. METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study carried out among 231 eligible caregivers of patients with epilepsy attending the psychiatric clinic of government psychiatric hospital in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria. Socio demographic/clinical characteristics of patients and sociodemographic
characteristics of caregivers were recorded, and the Zarit Burden Interview administered to caregivers to assess their experience of burden. RESULTS: The mean age of the caregivers was 43.6 ±9.5 years, 52.4% lived outside Kaduna and the mean seizure-free period for the patients was 26.4 ±36.5 weeks. One hundred and twenty (51.9%) caregivers had high burden. High burden was significantly
associated with patients aged less than20 years, patient’s unemployment, long duration of epilepsy, short
seizure-free period, family history of epilepsy and living outside Kaduna (p value<0.05). CONCLUSION:
Caregivers of patients with epilepsy experience significant burden while caring for their relatives and this is
mainly associated with patient’s factors and location of residence. Therefore efforts should be made control
seizure and make health care available and affordable to all citizens irrespective of where they live.
AJOL African Journals Online