Burden of Care of Family Caregivers for People Diagnosed with Serious Mental Disorders in a Rural Health District in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, South Africa

Jabulile Thembelihle Ndlovu*, Kebogile Elizabeth Mokwena

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An estimated 6% of the world population has serious mental illness, with one in four families having a member with some form of psychiatric disorder, who is mostly cared for by their relatives within a family setting. Although care-giving in a home setting is reported to be associated with significant mental distress, the burden of such distress is rarely measured. The purpose of this study was to quantify the burden of care among family caregivers of relatives with serious mental disorders, as well as to explore possible associations between the caregiver burden of care and a range of caregiver and Mental Health Care User (MHCU) variables in a rural district in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) scale was used to collect data from 357 caregivers, and STATA 14 was used to analyze data. The ages of the sample ranged from 18 to 65 years, with a mean of 50.29, and the majority (86%) were female and unemployed (83%). The ZBI scores ranged from 8 to 85, with a mean of 41.59. The majority (91%) were found to be affected by family caregiver burden, which ranged from mild to severe. Using the Pearson Chi-square test of association (p = 0.05), variables that were significantly associated with the burden of care were clinically related (caregiver self-reported depression, MHCU diagnosis, recent relapse of the MHCU), socio-economic (caregiver family monthly income, MHCU disability grant status and MHCU employment status) and socio-demographic (MHCU gender and MHCU level of education). The prevalence of the burden of care is high and severe, and the scarcity of resources in families and communities contributes to the high burden of care in these rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2686
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Zarit Burden Interview scale
  • burden of care
  • home care-giving
  • rural setting
  • severe mental illness

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