European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists vol:19 issue:7 pages:395-401
PURPOSE: Investigation into the family burden (FB) of schizophrenic patients has recently risen sharply. Nevertheless, to date there has been little consensus as to what factors influence the FB. The purpose of this study is to acquire a greater insight into the variables that influence the FB. SUBJECTS/METHODS: The FB was measured with the interview for the family burden (Kluiter H, Kramer JJAM, Wiersma D, et al. Interview voor de belasting van de familie 1997 [Interview for the burden on the family]. Department Sociale Psychiatrie. Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit). One hundred and fifty family members (parents/partners) of schizophrenic patients participated in the study. RESULTS: The results of our study show (1) that family members experience burden both on a practical and an emotional level, (2) a highly significant correlation between the amount of symptomatic behaviour of the patient and FB, (3) that parents had taken on more tasks, had contributed more financially and had experienced a tenser atmosphere at home than partners did and (4) that family members of patients who have been treated for less than 1 year worry more about the other members of their family than family members of patients who have been receiving treatment for more than 1 year. CONCLUSIONS: Family members of schizophrenic patients experience burden on a practical, financial and emotional level and the extent of the burden is closely linked to the amount of symptomatic behaviour of the patient.