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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-39

Relationship between illness disability in patients with first-episode schizophrenia with caregivers' perception of their needs

Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mamta Sood
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_111_18

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Introduction: The humanistic burden of schizophrenia is levied mostly upon the families in India which act as the primary source of caregiving. Studies have found that symptomatic patients with schizophrenia suffer from significant disability compared to those patients with minimal symptoms. Studies have reported positive correlation between patient's disability and higher number of needs perceived by caregivers of schizophrenia. There has been no evaluation of this aspect in first-episode schizophrenia (FES). Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the disability in patients with FES and find the relationship with the caregivers' perception of their needs. Methodology: This cross-sectional study included symptomatic patients with FES (Group 1; n = 30) along with their caregivers and patients with FES having minimal or no symptoms (Group 2; n = 30) along with their caregivers. The assessment was done using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 for patients and Camberwell Assessment of Need-Short Appraisal Schedule for caregivers. The correlation was done among the level of disability in patients, patients' needs as perceived by their caregivers, sociodemographic, and clinical variables. Multiple regression analysis was done with needs as the dependent variable and other variables as independent predictors. Results: Among the patients with FES, Group 1 had higher disability scores than the Group 2 (t = 23.22, P < 0.01). Total needs of the patients as perceived by their caregivers were similar in both the groups. The unmet needs were more for Group 1 as compared to Group 2 (t = 16.45, P < 0.01). The former had more met needs compared to the latter (t = −13.23, P < 0.01). Disability in patients was positively correlated to illness duration (r = 0.65), unmet needs (r = 0.96), and total needs (r = 0.71). Sociodemographic parameters are not related to illness-related disability or caregivers' perception of the needs. Patients' disability, alogia, and asociality were the significant positive predictors of the unmet needs as perceived by caregivers in Group 1. Conclusion: Symptomatic patients with FES have more disability and more unmet patients' needs as perceived by their caregivers as compared to FES with minimal or no symptoms.

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