Burden and related factors in caregivers of young adults presenting bipolar and unipolar mood disorder
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BACKGROUND: Caregiver burden has been associated with caregivers' mental disorders and need for support and information. However, the lack of quantitative studies and formal interventions aiming to lower burden levels in this population reflect the current negligence regarding this important issue. AIM: To identify burden levels and associated factors in caregivers of young adults with bipolar and unipolar mood disorder. METHOD: This is a cross-sectional study nested within a population-based cross-sectional study with young adults. Caregiver burden was assessed through the Burden Interview. Information about caregiver mental disorders (Axis I) and alcohol abuse were obtained through the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) and the Cut-Down, Annoyed, Guilty and Eye-Opener (CAGE) questionnaire, respectively. RESULTS: Caregiver burden was associated to caregiver's mood and anxiety disorders, suicide risk and being the caregiver of young adults with depression disorder and bipolar disorder. Also, burden was higher among caregivers of bipolar individuals. When excluding the control group from the analysis, only mood and anxiety disorders remained associated to caregiver burden. CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers are affected by the young adult's disorder even before a diagnosis has been given, with serious impairments in their lives. Thus, this is a subject in need of designing relevant strategies aiming to provide them with care.
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