Gender aspects of parents’ needs of schizophrenia patients
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Most studies about the problems and needs of schizophrenia carers included only one care-giving relative, usually the patients’ mothers.
101 mothers and fathers of the same patients suffering from schizophrenia were included into this study. Their needs were assessed by means of the “Carers’ Needs Assessment for Schizophrenia”.
Mothers reported significantly more often problems than fathers concerning stress due to earlier life events and burn-out. Mothers needed interventions such as individual psychoeducation or family counselling more than twice as often as fathers. Overall, mothers reported higher numbers of problems and needs for intervention than fathers. The number of mothers’ problems was predicted by not living with a partner and by a shorter duration of the patients’ illness. The number of mothers’ needs was predicted by more psychiatric symptoms, not living with a partner and a shorter duration of the patients’ illness. Among fathers we could not identify any predictors, neither for the number of problems nor for the number of needs.
Fathers and mothers often report problems and frequently need professional support. Overall, mothers exhibited more problems and needs for interventions than fathers. The differences between mothers and fathers indicate the importance of considering the carer’s gender in clinical work.
Keywordsschizophrenia carers gender need for intervention
This research was supported by a grant of the Jubilaeumsfond der Oesterreichischen Nationalbank (Grant number 11550).
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