The Quality of Life and Caregivers Burden among Caregivers of Psychiatric Patients: Evidence from Chongqing/China

Background: Since the last few decades the disease burden caused by mental illness has been increasing. According to recent studies and reports, the disease burden caused by mental illness occupies the second lank of all non-communicable diseases. Studies show that the increase of mental illness in the general population goes together with the increases of multiple challenges within primary caregivers of psychiatric patients who are mostly family members of these patients. Like the rest of the world, in china, the increase of mental illness is becoming critical in different generations of the Chinese population. Many studies have been conducted on different topics related to caregiving psychiatric illness. Most studies have focused on psychosis illnesses such as schizophrenia and mood disorders. Psychological status and other related topics have been conducted in probably many if not all provinces of China. As per our knowledge to date, the psychological status such as quality of life, the caregiver burden of caregivers of multiple forms of psychiatric illness has been not yet studied in Chongqing. In this study, we aimed to investigate the quality of life, the caregiver burden, and Hopelessness within caregivers of psychiatric patients in three hospitals in Chongqing.

Methods: This study resulted on an on-going cross-sectional study in the psychiatry department of the first affiliated hospital of Chongqing medical university. The participants were males and female caregivers aged from 18-65 years old with no history of psychiatric illness caring for patients of all diagnosed forms of psychiatric illness. N=122. We used Chinese versions of Quality of Life (QoL), the Beck Hopelessness (BHS), and the Zarit caregiver Burden Interview (BIZ). Data analysis was performed using SPSS.

Results: The QoL was respectively presented as poor in 9% of participants. The high care burden was in 5.7% of caregivers while the severe despair was present in 7.7% and 12.8 with moderate despair while 23.4% have mild despair. Not having other help for caring for the patient, the frequency of hospitalization, daily living relation patient and caregiver and education of caregiver were significantly correlated with QoL P<0.05. Similarly, patients having other diseases, caring for more than one patient, caregiver relation with the patient, and daily living relation patient and caregiver were significantly correlated with the BHS P<0.05. The frequency of hospitalization and the total time caring for the patient in months have significantly correlated with BZI P<0.05.

Conclusion: Psychological health of caregivers in Chongqing tends to be critical we recommended Chinese authorities especially policymakers in healthcare to reflect on primary mental healthcare and all concerned parties should increase effort in implementing strategies of increasing awareness of mental health, they must consider the found factors that influence challenges in caregivers and must act accordingly.


Nkundimana Balthazar, Xu Xiaoming, Kuang Li and Zhou Yi

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