Experience of Caregiving and Coping in Caregivers of SchizophreniaAuthor(s): Nimisha Doval, Eesha Sharma, Manu Agarwal, Adarsh Tripathi, Anil Nischal
Background: Caregivers of schizophrenia play a major role in community-based care of patients. Recent studies have shed light on positive aspects of caregiving, in contrast to caregiving burden. There is limited research in this area in India. Aims: To assess the “experience of caregiving” and “coping strategies” in caregivers of patients with schizophrenia, and to study associations, if any, between them. Method: 102 caregivers of out- and in-patients with schizophrenia were assessed on the “Experience of Caregiving Inventory” (ECI) and “COPE Inventory” (COPE). Sociodemographic profiles of patients and caregivers, and clinical histories of patients were also collected. Results: Maximum perceived negative experience of caregiving was “effects on family” while “stigma” was the lowest. Other domains had moderate scores. Among positive experiences, “good aspects of relationship” scored higher than “positive personal experiences.” A wide range of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies were used. Statistically significant positive correlations emerged between positive experiences of caregiving and adaptive coping strategies, and between negative experiences of caregiving and maladaptive coping strategies. Conclusion: The association between experiences of caregiving and coping strategies suggests that caregiving experiences are influenced not only by the illness but also by the coping methods employed. Helping caregivers cope better might improve caregiving experience.