Frequency and severity of depression in primary caregivers of psychotic patients.
Objectives: The study aimed at determining the frequency and severity of depression in primary caregivers of psychotic patients. Study Design: Cross sectional study. Setting: Out-patient as well as in-patient setting of Department of Psychiatry, Military Hospital Rawalpindi. Period: Six months, from 20th April 2017 to 19th October 2017. Material and Methods: Purposive, non-probable sampling technique was used. A total of 246 caregivers of the same number of psychotic patients were studied after consent, using the General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ-28) and Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI). The mean total BDI scores were calculated and correlated with the socio-demographic variables. Results: The mean total GHQ-28 score of 246 caregivers was 7.32 (cut off score is >7) which indicate definite psychopathology among them. Out of 246 caregivers, 175 (71.1%) showed scores greater than 7 (GHQ positive) while 71 (28.9%) showed scores less than 7 (GHQ negative). The mean total BDI score of 175 caregivers (who were GHQ positive) was 17.83 (cut off score for depression is >9). Out of 175 GHQ positive caregivers, 72 (41.14%) showed subclinical or no depression, 49 (28%) showed mild depression, 40 (22.86%) showed moderate depression and 14 (8%) showed severe depression on BDI. The results show that there is considerable caregiver burden in relatives of psychotic patients. Conclusion: Caregivers of psychotic patients suffer clinical depression with obvious negative outcomes for the patient. Younger age group, female gender and illiteracy typically carry a greater risk of experiencing higher burden in terms of depression.