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Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental

versão impressa ISSN 1647-2160


ALVES, Joana F. Morgado; ALMEIDA, Assunção Laranjeira; MATA, Maria Augusta Pereira da  e  PIMENTEL, Maria Helena. Problems of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia: The family burden. Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental [online]. 2018, n.19, pp.8-16. ISSN 1647-2160.

BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is a serious mental disease. By its characteristics it leads to an increase of both objective and subjective burden of relatives. AIM: To assess the problems of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia in terms of objective and subjective burden, received help, positive atitudes and criticism as well as their connection with social and demographic characterization variables and caregiver’s contact time with the patient. METHODS: Quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive and correlational study with a convenient non-random sample of 35 family members of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Data collection was carried out with family members at the consultation or Day Hospital of Psychiatry and Mental Health Department at a Hospital of the Central Zone of Portugal from June to September 2016. Data collection tool included social and demographic questions, contact years with the patient and the original version of Family Problems Questionnaire (FPQ) by Morosini et al., (1991), validated to the Portuguese population by Xavier et al., (2002). RESULTS: The sample consisted mainly of female family members (54,3%), married (68,6%),  patient’s father/mother  (60%), holding 5 years of schooling (2nd cycle of basic scholarship) 40%), employed (40%) and with 10 or more years of contact with the patient (57,1%). The highest average in FPQ was obtained in subjective overload (M=2,35) with statistically significant differences according to scholarship level (KW=6,747; p=0,034), followed by the positive attitudes (M=2,34) and received help (M=2,33). CONCLUSION: There is family burden in the studied sample. Nurses’ support is reflected on the received help. Thus, specialist nurse in mental health within primary health care performs a major role in the interventions aiming at the reduction of family overload.

Palavras-chave : Burnout; Caregivers; Schizophrenia; Family relationships.

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