Background: Caring for relatives with schizophrenia is complicated and has been associated with burden. Caregivers may also experience satisfaction, but these outcomes have not been simultaneously studied in family caregivers of relatives with schizophrenia.
Objectives: The aim was to investigate the attributes of caregiver burden and satisfaction among individuals and families as well as the association of caregiver burden on caregiver satisfaction in the care of Taiwanese individuals with schizophrenia.
Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational design was used. A convenience sample of 140 families (243 individual family caregivers) was recruited from two psychiatric hospitals in Taiwan. Participants were interviewed individually to complete questionnaires regarding pileup of demands, sense of coherence, mutuality, caregiver burden, and caregiver satisfaction. Linear mixed modeling was used.
Results: Female caregivers, greater family demands, decreased sense of coherence, and lower mutuality were associated with higher levels of caregiver burden, whereas being siblings or close relatives and being friends of the affected individuals were associated with lesser self-reported burden. Satisfaction was positively associated with caregiver age, sense of coherence, and mutuality. Burden and satisfaction were not significantly related.
Discussion: Caring for family members with schizophrenia is burdensome but can also be a source of satisfaction. Correlates of caregiver burden appeared to be somewhat distinct from those of caregiver satisfaction. Further research on negative and positive aspects of caregiving is warranted to broaden the understanding of caregiving experiences and design therapeutic interventions to mitigate caregiver burden and enhance the sense of satisfaction with caregiving.