ORIGINAL PAPER

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 128-133

First online:

The psychological well-being of family members of individuals with schizophrenia

  • L. MartensAffiliated withDepartment of Educational Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • , J. AddingtonAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Psychology University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Abstract

Background: The purpose of the study was to attempt to understand the experience of family members of individuals with schizophrenia. More specifically, we wanted to determine whether a measure of caregiving would be a stronger predictor of the psychological well-being of families who have a member with schizophrenia than a measure of burden. Method: Forty-one family members of 30 individuals with schizophrenia were recruited. A measure of burden, a measure of the experience of caregiving, and the duration of the illness were used to determine the best predictor of psychological well-being. Results: Regression analyses indicated that the strongest predictor of psychological well-being was the negative scale of the Experience of Caregiving Inventory (ECI). There was also a significant relationship between poor psychological well-being and short duration of illness. Conclusions: The findings of the study indicated that family members are significantly distressed as a result of having a family member with schizophrenia. There is support for using newer scales, like the ECI. Furthermore, increased family support is required in the early stages of the illness.