Psychological Distress, Subjective Burden and Stigma among Caregivers of People with Mental Illness in Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia


  • Lelsie Bekuma
  • Mastewal Ababaw
  • Steve Melluish


Psychological distress, Subjective burden, Stigma, Caregivers


Care givers play a vital role in supporting their own relatives who are mentally ill, infirm who have disabilities. There is concern that the families of those with mental disorders are affected by the condition of their loved ones. The main purpose of this study was to assess the psychological distress, subjective burden and stigma among caregivers of people with mental illness in University of Gondar Hospital. Three hundred and eighty-five caregivers (M=134 and F=251) were selected using simple random sampling technique. Data were collected through Self-Report Questionnaire (SRQ-20), Experienced Stigma Scale (the Family Version) and Caregivers’ Burden Inventory (CBI). Data was checked, coded, entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Descriptive and inferential data analysis techniques like percentage, independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA, Linear and multiple regression were employed. Data analyses showed that a bit higher203 (52.7%) of primary care givers of mentally ill patients were psychologically distressed. Besides, 247(64.2%) caregivers of mentally ill patients experienced high subjective burden. The majority of them also faced stigma as a result of being caregiver of mentally ill patients. Stigma and subjective burden significantly predict psychological distress, indicating that as stigma and subjective burden increase, psychological distress also increases. Male and female caregivers significantly differ in psychological distress. Most importantly, caregivers of mentally ill patients manifested symptoms of psychological distress, subjective burden and stigma. Therefore, due attention should be given for caregivers of people with mental illness.