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Psychiatr Danub. 2015 Sep;27(3):273-7.

Burden of care and quality of life in relatives of opioid dependent male subjects.

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Department of Psychiatry, Çumra State Hospital, İzzet Bey Mah. Gazi Cd. Çumra, Konya, Turkey,



The aim of this study was to compare the quality of life (QoL) and family burden in relatives of patients with heroin dependence with that of healthy controls.


A total of 50 heroin dependent patients and 50 of their relatives and 50 healthy subjects and 50 of their relatives were included in the study. The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (SCID-I) was used to determine the heroin dependence and other Axis I psychiatric disorders. Family burden and QoL levels in the relatives were assessed with the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) protocol and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment-Brief (WHOQOL-BREF), respectively.


There were no significant differences in demographic characteristics between the groups. When compared with healthy controls, family members of heroin dependence patients had significantly higher ZBI scores and significantly lower all subscale scores of the WHOQOL-BREF. ZBI score was positively correlated with duration of the illness. All WHOQOL-BREF subscale scores were negatively correlated with duration of the illness.


The study suggests that heroin dependence not only affects the lives of patients but also the lives of their family members. Heroin dependence leads to high burden on the family and also impairs the QoL of relatives.

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