Main Article Content
Aim: To ascertain the attitudes of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia comprising their knowledge of the illness and social distance towards people with the illness.
Study Design: A cross sectional study design.
Place and Duration of Study: Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Edo State, Nigeria, between April and July 2015.
Methodology: A systematic random sample of caregiver/patient dyads (n=281) were recruited. Caregivers were administered a socio-demographic questionnaire and, a brief interview on their knowledge of the aetiological factors, treatment for schizophrenia and level of social distance towards people with schizophrenia. Patients were administered a socio-demographic questionnaire and the PANSS.
Results: Three hundred and forty-one caregivers were approached but 281 gave consent and participated in the study (response rate was 82%, level of significance value was set at p<0.05 and 95% confidence interval was used). Among the 281 caregivers surveyed, 22.7% mostly ascribed psychosocial cause for schizophrenia, their level of knowledge of schizophrenia was generally average (49.5%). More than two-thirds of the caregivers reported high social distancing. Better attitudes to schizophrenia among caregivers was significantly associated with caregivers who were unemployed (p<0.03) and caregivers whose patients’ had at least 12 years of formal education (p<0.01).
Conclusion: Average knowledge of disease aetiology among caregivers was associated with high social distancing. Qualitative studies are required to explore the interactions of these identified factors.
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