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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2002 Apr;190(4):241-7.

Caregiver burden in recent-onset schizophrenia and spectrum disorders: the influence of symptoms and personality traits.

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Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Earlier studies that used two symptom dimensions indicate that the caregiver burden for patients with schizophrenia is significantly determined by their negative symptoms. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between symptom severity in recent-onset schizophrenia and caregiver burden in a more differentiated way (i.e., five-symptom dimensions). Based on previous research, which shows that patients' personality traits influence the course of schizophrenia, we theorize that personality traits could also influence caregiver burden. So far, this hypothesis has never been studied. Therefore, the second purpose of this study is to examine whether patients' personality traits would contribute to caregiver burden. The results of this study showed that the disorganization symptom component was the predicting variable of the subscales supervision, tension, urging, distress, and the overall amount of caregiver burden in a linear regression analysis. Personality traits of patients played no substantial role in caregiver burden. These findings suggest that psychoeducational programs should address the severity of disorganization symptoms to reduce caregiver burden in the early phase of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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