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Omslag 2020 10 kijk verder

Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 44 (2002) 3, 151 - 159

New research

Burden on the family

B. Lowyck, M. De Hert, E. Peeters, M. Wampers, P. Gilis, J. Peuskens

background Mental health care in Belgium has been characterised by an increasing tendency to deinstitutionalise persons with psychiatric problems. Despite a growing number of studies evaluating the burden on the family of schizophrenic patients a consensus on the factors that determine the burden on the family is still lacking.
aim The purpose of our study is to describe and quantify the burden on the family for 120 relatives of schizophrenic patients in Belgium, and to identify the main factors influencing the burden on the family. method The applied instrument is the Interview for the Burden on the Family (Interview voor de Belasting van de Familie), a valid, semi-structured interview which explores the various aspects of the burden on the family.
results Our study shows that family members experience a practical, a financial and an emotional burden. There is a considerable correlation between the amount of the patient's symptom behavior and burden on the family. Family members experience more inconveniences when the patient is in ambulatory treatment than when the patient is hospitalized. Family members take over more of the patient's tasks if the patient has been in treatment for over one year than if the patient has been in treatment for less than one year. Family members feel emotionally more burdened if the patient has been in treatment for less than one year than if the patient has been in treatment for over one year. conclusion Family members of schizophrenic patients experience a practical, a financial and an emotional burden, and there is a strong correlation between the amount of burden on the family experienced and the amount of the patient's symptom behaviour.

keywords burden, family, schizophrenia