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Original Papers

Depression and quality of life among caregivers of children with psychiatric disorders

Authors:

T. D. Nanayakkara,

Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, LK
About T. D.
University Psychiatry Unit
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R. M. N. C. Singharathna,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R. M. N. C.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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P. Ginige,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, LK
About P.
University of Peradeniya
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S. Tennakoon,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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S. R. Perera

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. R.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background

Providing care for children with mental health issues creates a huge burden on their primary caregivers and depression is recognized as one of the commonest mental health problems among caregivers of children who are unwell with psychiatric disorders. In addition, these caregivers have also been found to have a poor quality of life.

 

Aims

To compare the level of depression and quality of life among caregivers of children with mental and behavioural disorders with age and sex-matched controls and to describe the psychiatric disorders in children which are associated with depression and reduced quality of life in their caregivers.

 

Methods

A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at the child psychiatry clinic of the Teaching Hospital Peradeniya. The study population included primary caregivers of children aged less than 18 years with mental and behavioural disorders who attended the above clinic. The control group was obtained from age and sex-matched primary caregivers of school children without any psychiatric diagnosis in the same area. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score and the WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment scores were used to determine the level of depression and quality of life, respectively.

 

Results

We recruited 54 cases and 53 controls. The prevalence of depression was significantly higher in the cases when compared with the controls (P<0.001). The caregivers of children with mental and behavioural disorders had a significantly lower quality of life in the psychological (P=0.028) and social (P=0.025) subdomains when compared with the cases. The proportion who had depression was higher in the caregivers of children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder and depression than in the caregivers of children with other psychiatric disorders even though this difference was not statistically significant.

 

Conclusions

Caregivers of children with mental and behavioural disorders had a higher prevalence of depression and lower quality of life when compared with controls. These findings highlight the need to strengthen social support networks to improve the lives of caregivers of children with mental and behavioural disorders.

How to Cite: Nanayakkara, T.D., Singharathna, R.M.N.C., Ginige, P., Tennakoon, S. and Perera, S.R., 2022. Depression and quality of life among caregivers of children with psychiatric disorders. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 13(2), pp.9–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v13i2.8395
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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