DOI: 10.4103/tjp.tjp_32_23 ISSN: 2772-8706

An explorative study comparing the burden of the caregivers of patients with mood disorders and alcohol dependence syndrome

Arudra Gopalakrishnan, Niveditha Vasireddy, Vidya Sanapala



Alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS) and mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression, are psychiatric disorders punctuated by many relapses and remissions. Patients suffering from these disorders impose a considerable burden on their caregivers. The burden includes multiple responsibilities such as financial costs and physical care of the patient while compromising on their freedom. Due to their nature of relapses and chronicity, they also harm the caregiver’s mental health. Hence, our attempt to study and compare the caregiver burden imposed by mood disorders and ADS.

Aims and Objectives:

To study the burden between caregivers of patients with mood disorders and ADS and to identify a significant association, if any, between sociodemographic characteristics and caregiver burden.


It is a cross-sectional hospital-based study. Sixty patients, along with their primary caregivers attending the psychiatry outpatient department at a teaching hospital, were included in the study. Detailed evaluation was done on patients and caregivers using a semi-structured pro forma. The Burden Assessment Schedule is a standardized tool that was used to assess the caregiver burden. Those with severe burden were then screened for psychiatric disorders using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview.


The burden was similar in caregivers of mood disorders and ADS patients. Only 17% of caregivers were found to have a clinically diagnosable psychiatric illness. Marital relation was more affected by alcohol dependence than mood disorder. Furthermore, caregivers of patients with ADS were more likely to develop psychiatric illnesses. A more significant burden was seen with increased duration of illness, though not significantly.


The mean total burden score being similar in both groups implies that the degree of burden experienced is the same. Most caregivers reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, though not clinically significant.

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