Author(s): C. Jayakrishnaveni, W. J. Alexander Gnanadurai, Rekha Ravindran

BACKGROUND Mental and behavioural disorders have a large impact on individuals, family and communities. There is a paucity of studies on burden and cost of illness of Bipolar Affective Disorder both internationally and in India. Such studies are important for clinical management and policy decisions. Aim of the study - The aim of the present study is to assess the magnitude of the cost of illness and family burden of Bipolar Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia and to find out the difference in the burden of the caregivers for both the groups. MATERIALS AND METHODS The study was conducted in the outpatient department of Institute of Mental Health, Chennai. Sixty patients in each group were included by stratified sampling. Caregivers living with patients for atleast one year are included in the study, and those with any comorbid illness, were excluded from the study. ICD -10 diagnostic and research criteria were used for diagnosis of BPAD and Schizophrenia, Questionnaire for Assessment of Cost of Illness was used to assess cost of illness and Family Burden Interview Schedule was used to assess burden of caregivers. RESULTS Schizophrenia patients are mostly from urban, nuclear family. The illness characters & sociodemographic profile of caregivers are comparable. Lifetime costs and loss of income over lifetime was more in schizophrenia. Loss of income in the past year was similar. The burden was comparable for caregivers of both groups in disruption of family routine, interaction with family members, effect on mental health. CONCLUSION Burden of both diseases were comparable except schizophrenics experience more financial burden.