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Burden experienced by care-givers of persons with bipolar affective disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2018

Deborah Perlick*
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, West Haven VAMC and the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Robert R. Rosenheck
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, West Haven VAMC and the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
John F. Clarkin
Affiliation:
New York Hospital, Westchester Division and Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains. New York, USA
Jo Anne Sirey
Affiliation:
New York Hospital, Westchester Division and Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains. New York, USA
Patrick Raue
Affiliation:
New York Hospital, Westchester Division and Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains. New York, USA
Susan Greenfield
Affiliation:
New York Hospital, Westchester Division and Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains. New York, USA
Elmer Struening
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology of Mental Disorders, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University School of Public Health, New York, USA
*
Deborah Perlick, Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, 950 Campbell Avenue. West Haven CT 06516, USA

Abstract

Background

Family members of patients with schizophrenia frequently report burdens associated with caring for their relatives.

Aims

We evaluate the impact of illness beliefs on the burden reported by family care-givers of people with bipolar illness.

Method

The multivariate relationships between patient symptomatology and family illness beliefs and report of burden were examined at baseline among care-givers of 266 patients with Research Diagnostic Criteria-diagnosed bipolar illness who were subsequently followed for 15 months.

Results

At baseline, 93% of care-givers reported moderate or greater distress in at least one burden domain. As a group, care-giver illness beliefs (illness awareness, perception of patient and family control) explained an additional 18–28% of variance in burden experienced beyond the effects of the patients clinical state and history.

Conclusions

Care-givers of patients with bipolar illness report widespread burden that is influenced by beliefs about the illness.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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Footnotes

Declaration of interest

Support received from the National Institute of Mental Health, USA.

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