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BMC Psychiatry. 2010 Sep 10;10:71. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-10-71.

Relationship of family caregiver burden with quality of care and psychopathology in a sample of Arab subjects with schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University; P,O, Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait.



Although the burden experienced by families of people with schizophrenia has long been recognized as one of the most important consequences of the disorder, there are no reports from the Arab world. Following the example of the five-nation European (EPSILON) study, we explored the following research question: How does the relationship between domains of caregiving (as in the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire--IEQ-EU) and caregiver psychic distress on the one hand, and caregiver's/patient's socio-demographics, clinical features and indices of quality of care, on the other hand, compare with the pattern in the literature?


Consecutive family caregivers of outpatients with schizophrenia were interviewed with the IEQ-EU. Patients were interviewed with measures of needs for care, service satisfaction, quality of life (QOL) and psychopathology.


There were 121 caregivers (66.1% men, aged 39.8). The IEQ domain scores (total: 46.9; tension: 13.4; supervision: 7.9; worrying: 12.9; and urging: 16.4) were in the middle of the range for the EU data. In regression analyses, higher burden subscale scores were variously associated with caregiver lower level of education, patient's female gender and younger age, as well as patient's lower subjective QOL and needs for hospital care, and not involving the patient in outdoor activities. Disruptive behavior was the greatest determinant of global rating of burden.


Our results indicate that, despite differences in service set-up and culture, the IEQ-EU can be used in Kuwait as it has been used in the western world, to describe the pattern of scores on the dimensions of caregiving. Differences with the international data reflect peculiarities of culture and type of service. Despite generous national social welfare provisions, experience of burden was the norm and was significantly associated with patient's disruptive behavior. The results underscore the need for provision of community-based programs and continued intervention with the families in order to improve the quality of care.

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