Quality of life in caregivers of patients with schizophrenia: A literature review

Caqueo-Urizar, A.; Gutierrez-Maldonado, J.; Miranda-Castillo, C.


BACKGROUND: A couple of decades ago, hospitals or psychiatric institutions were in charge of caring for patients with schizophrenia; however, nowadays this role is performed by one or more patient's relatives. Evidence shows that informal caregivers experience negative changes in their quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study is to review the main factors associated with the QOL of caregivers of people with schizophrenia. METHODS: A search through databases from journals published last decade between 1998 and 2008 was performed. In accordance with the inclusion criteria, titles and abstracts of citations obtained from the search were examined independently by two authors and irrelevant articles discarded. The full text of those studies considered relevant by either reviewer were obtained and assessed independently. Where differences of opinion rose they were resolved by discussion. Out of the 258 references, 37 were included in the review. Studies which assessed factors associated with caregivers of people with schizophrenia's quality of life were included and the information summarized. RESULTS: Evidence suggest that physical, emotional and economic distress affect negatively caregiver's QOL as a result of a number of unfulfilled needs such as, restoration of patient functioning in family and social roles, economic burden, lack of spare time, among other factors. CONCLUSION: Decreased QOL may be associated with caregivers' burden, lack of social support, course of the disease and family relationships problems. In addition, in developing countries, QOL is affected by caregivers' economic burden. High quality research is needed in order to identify factors associated with QOL over time and testing the efficacy of interventions aiming to improve QOL in caregivers of patients with schizophrenia.

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Editorial: BMC
Fecha de publicación: 2009
Notas: ISI