The psychological well-being of family members of individuals with schizophrenia
- Cite this article as:
- Martens, L. & Addington, J. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2001) 36: 128. doi:10.1007/s001270050301
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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.