Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 393–400 | Cite as

Burden of caregivers of adult patients with schizophrenia in a predominantly African ancestry population

  • Gabrielle Alexander
  • Charlotte-Ellen Bebee
  • Kelly-Maria Chen
  • Ross-Michael Des Vignes
  • Brandon Dixon
  • Richard Escoffery
  • Chazine Francis
  • DeAngelo Francis
  • Zahra Mendoza
  • Skyla Montano
  • Maxine Nelson
  • Stephon Ramcharan
  • Siobhan Richards
  • Maria D. JacksonEmail author



There is relative inattention to caregiving burden in black populations in developing economies. This study seeks to assess the level of perceived burden and social determinants of burden of care in caregivers of adult patients with schizophrenia.


In this cross-sectional study, 115 dyads of patients with schizophrenia caregivers attending public mental health clinics were consecutively recruited. Burden of care was evaluated using the 22-item Zarit Burden Scale (maximum score, 88). Multiple linear regression model explored factors associated with caregiver burden.


Caregivers were predominantly females (75.7 %) and were on average 50.8 ± 15.0 years. Most patients with schizophrenia were males (65.2 %) and were on average 43.6 ± 17.2 years old. Caregivers showed on average, mild-to-moderate burden (score, 30.0 ± 14.7; median, 28.0). There was tendency for caregivers of patients who were parents or spouses to have higher levels of burden. In multivariable analyses, higher burden of caregiving was associated with patient’s inability to perform self-care (B ± SE, 5.12 ± 1.40; p = 0.0001), closer kinship and higher numbers of psychotic episodes in previous year. The length of caregiving relationship was inversely related.


Poorer functioning and demographic factors were important determinants of caregiver burden. Community mental health services should include self-care interventions in rehabilitation programs in Jamaica.


Caregiver burden Schizophrenia Disability level African ancestry 



We acknowledge the invaluable contribution to caregivers and patients.

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants before their inclusion in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrielle Alexander
    • 1
  • Charlotte-Ellen Bebee
    • 1
  • Kelly-Maria Chen
    • 1
  • Ross-Michael Des Vignes
    • 1
  • Brandon Dixon
    • 1
  • Richard Escoffery
    • 1
  • Chazine Francis
    • 1
  • DeAngelo Francis
    • 1
  • Zahra Mendoza
    • 1
  • Skyla Montano
    • 1
  • Maxine Nelson
    • 1
  • Stephon Ramcharan
    • 1
  • Siobhan Richards
    • 1
  • Maria D. Jackson
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Community Health Rotation, Department of Community Health and PsychiatryThe University of the West IndiesMonaJamaica
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and PsychiatryThe University of the West IndiesMona, KingstonJamaica

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