Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Perceived Social Support in Primary Caregivers of Patients with Schizophrenia at Hospital Sentosa, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Thong Kai Shin, Seed Hon Fei, Chua Shi Yi, Nadzirah Ruslan, Nuraini Sharkawi


Introduction: Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder that cause significant distress to the patients and their primary caregivers. Various studies showed that caregivers experienced increased levels of psychological distress.

Objective: The objective of this study is to identify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia in a mental institution, Hospital Sentosa and determine its relations with the socio-demographic, clinical characteristics and perceived social support.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study whereby 114 primary care givers of patient with schizophrenia from Hospital Sentosa were recruited between July till October 2017. Three self-report measures were used, namely the sociodemographic and clinical characteristic questionnaire, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale – 21 and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support.

Results: Fourteen (12.3 %) caregivers had depression, 19 (16.7%) had anxiety and 8 (7.0 %) had stress. None of the sociodemographic or clinical characteristics were found to be significantly associated with the outcome of depression, anxiety and stress among the carers.  The mean score of level of perceived social support was high, 5.28 (low support:1.0-2.9, moderate support: 3.0-5.0, high support: 5.1-7.0). Those who received formal education were found to have higher level of perceived social support (p=0.008). Those who perceived high and moderate social support had lesser risk to develop depression, anxiety and stress.

Conclusion: Moderate to high level of perceived social support is associated with lower risk of depression, anxiety and stress among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Interventions should be implemented to provide treatment and support to these caregivers.

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Anxiety; Depression; Stress; Schizophrenia; Caregivers

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