Mental illness poses a great deal of burden on other family members, particularly the primary caregiver. In the Indian context for a married person with mental illness, the caregiving burden is usually experienced by the spouse, who is considered to be the ‘natural’ option. This quantitative study used survey methodology to assess caregiving burden in 50 spouses of persons diagnosed with a psychotic illness. Data was collected at a neuro-psychiatric facility in Tiruchirappalli, India. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and the Burden Assessment Schedule were the instruments administered to assess the mental health status of the spouse and their perceived burden. Findings revealed that the majority of spouses were classified as experiencing ‘severe’ and ‘extremely severe’ in terms of their depression, anxiety and stress levels and ‘high’ in terms of perceived burden. The specific ‘type’ of clinical diagnosis, however, did not differentiate the spouses on the key variables studied. The correlation of these key variables with other background variables has also been examined. The implications of the results of this study for psychosocial intervention have also been discussed in this article.
- Psychosis, caregiving burden, mental illness, spouses of persons with mental illness
- mental illness
- spouses of persons with mental illness
- caregiving burden