Gender differences in caregiving among a schizophrenia population
Received 18 September 2018
Accepted for publication 13 November 2018
Published 20 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 7—13
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Professor Mei-chun Cheung
Yu Yu,1 Wei Zhou,2 Zi-wei Liu,3 Mi Hu,1 Zhi-hui Tan,4 Shui-yuan Xiao1
1Department of Social Medicine and Health Management, Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China; 2Hospital Administration Institute, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China; 3Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Institute of the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China; 4Department of Gynaecology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China
Background: The present study aimed to investigate differences in family burden and caregiver distress in a population of caregivers for schizophrenia, by separating patient gender and caregiver gender.
Methods: A sample of 327 primary family caregivers was recruited from a Chinese rural community through a one-stage cluster-sampling method. A cross-sectional design was employed, using validated measures to assess both family burden and primary caregivers’ depression and anxiety.
Results: Significant differences by gender were detected in family burden and caregiver distress. Family burden was significantly higher for male patients on the domains of effect on physical and mental health of others, and significantly higher for female caregivers on the domains of financial burden and effect on physical and mental health of others. Caregivers of male patients were more likely to suffer from anxiety than caregivers of female patients (52.7% vs 38.1%, P=0.012); female caregivers were more likely to suffer from depression (51.2% vs 38.6%, P = 0.031) and anxiety (51.6% vs 38.1%, P=0.020) than male caregivers.
Conclusion: The results reinforced the expected differences in caregiving experiences of a schizophrenia population by gender, which has implications for the future design of gender-specific interventions to alleviate family burden and caregiver distress.
Keywords: gender, caregiving burden, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety
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