South African Journal of Psychiatry

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Caregiver burden among relatives of patients with schizophrenia in Katsina, Nigeria

AJ Yusuf, FT Nuhu, A Akinbiyi


Background. Caring for patients with schizophrenia places
an enormous burden on the caregivers. The magnitude of this
problem remains largely unknown in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective. The objective of this study was to determine the
nature of the burden reported by caregiving relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
Materials and method. A total of 129 primary caregivers of patients with schizophrenia attending the outpatient clinic of Katsina State Psychiatric Hospital were interviewed, using a socio-demographic data collection sheet and the Zarith Burden Interview (ZBI).
Results. The mean age of the respondents was 45.1±8.9
years. Most of the caregivers were female. A high level of burden was found in 47.3% of respondents. The level of burden experienced was significantly associated with place of residence and family size.
Conclusion. Schizophrenia is associated with a high level of caregiver burden. Efforts should be made to alleviate this burden for better outcomes in both patients and caregivers.
AJOL African Journals Online