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Objective and subjective dimensions of family burden. Towards an integrative framework for research.

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  • 1Department of Ambulatory and Social Psychiatry, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In this article the consequences for those in close contact with a severely disturbed psychiatric patient, the burden of the family, are elaborated within an integrative framework. Burden areas are described and their objective and subjective dimensions are distinguished. The framework comprises three approaches: the systems approach, role theory and the stress process. An outline of the more important burden instruments developed up to now and suggestions for further research are given.

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