Abstract

Cross-Sectional Study on Stigma among Care Givers of Patients with Mental Illness in Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu

Author(s): Umesh G.1, Asokan T.V.2, Roselin V.3, Sri Santhanakrishnan V.4

BACKGROUND
Stigma experienced by caregivers of patients with mental illnesses remains
unnoticed. This study was conducted to evaluate the stigma perceived by the care
givers of patients with various mental illnesses and the factors associated with
stigma.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study was conducted among the care givers of patients with
mental illnesses who accompanied the patients to the outpatient department
(OPD) of Psychiatry in Meenakshi Medical College Hospital and Research Institute,
from January 2017 to March 2017. A total of hundred care givers were included in
the study. All care givers aged between 18 - 50 years of age in both sexes were
included in the study. Care givers of substance abuse cases were excluded from
the study. A total of hundred care givers with fifty care givers of neurosis patients
and another fifty care givers of psychosis were included in the study. Family
interview schedule (FIS) stigma scale was used to assess the stigma perceived by
care givers. Data was entered in Microsoft excel and data analysis was done using
statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 17.
RESULTS
Mean perceived stigma score was 12.27 ± 9.43. High, low and zero stigma was
noted among 44 %, 36 % and 20 % of care givers, respectively. Also, it was found
that care givers of psychosis patients had more stigma than the care givers of
neurosis patients (P = 0.0008). Statistically significant association was found
between patient’s duration of illness (P = 0.003), patient’s diagnosis (P = 0.000)
and care givers burden (P = 0.000) with severity of stigma perceived by the care
givers.
CONCLUSIONS
Proportion of stigma prevailing among the care givers is high and it depicts only
the cases which were reported to the health care center, whereas a larger
proportion of cases remains not seeking the health care. An early intervention by
conducting routine assessments of the mental status of caregivers is necessary.