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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2013 Dec;21(4):220-3.

Quality of life of key caregivers of schizophrenia patients and association with kinship.

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Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center, Zagreb, Croatia.
Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center, Zagreb, Croatia.
Neuropsychiatric Hospital Dr. Ivan Barbot, Popovaca, Croatia.
Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Youth, Zagreb, Croatia.



Reports on the quality of life (QOL) of family caregivers of schizophrenia patients are uncommon. Relations of different degree of kinship to caregivers' QOL are unexplored, but may be relevant. The purpose of this study was to assess the subjective QOL of caregivers of stable outpatients with diagnosis of schizophrenia compared with controls, and to assess factors associated with QOL in this population.


Responses of 138 schizophrenia outpatient' family caregivers to the Quality of Life, Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (QLESQSF) were compared with those of a sex- and age-matched control group. Patients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and data were collected for kinship relationship and hospitalization.


Group of caregivers had significantly lower QOL compared with controls (t=11.347; df=271; p=0.0001). Caregivers' QOL correlated significantly with their age and differed according to the degree of kinship and marriage status. ANCOVA, with age as covariate, performed to asses the differences in QOL according to kinship, showed that parents and own children had significantly lower QOL than patients' siblings who were also caregivers.


QOL of the schizophrenia patients' caregivers is lower in comparisons to controls. It depends on the degree of kinship and caregivers' age. Parents and own children have lower QOL than siblings. Psycho-educational intervention programmes should target specific needs of the family as a whole, depending also on their age and kinship relationship.

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