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Open Access Research article

Quality of life among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia: a cross-cultural comparison of Chilean and French families

Laurent Boyer1*, Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar2, Raphaelle Richieri1, Christophe Lancon1, José Gutiérrez-Maldonado3 and Pascal Auquier1

Author Affiliations

1 Aix-Marseille University, EA 3279 Research Unit, 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, Marseille, 13284, France

2 Departamento de Filosofía y Psicología, Universidad de Tarapacá, 18 de Septiembre # 2222, Arica, Chile

3 Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamiento Psicológico, Universidad de Barcelona, Paseo Valle de Hebrón, Barcelona, 08035, Spain

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BMC Family Practice 2012, 13:42  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-42

Published: 28 May 2012

Abstract

Background

To our knowledge, no study has examined quality of life (QoL) among caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia between a developing and a developed country. The aim of this study was to assess QoL of the caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia in two countries characterized by different social, economic and cultural conditions, namely Chile and France.

Methods

Data were collected from public mental health outpatient services in Arica (Chile), and in Marseille (France). QoL was measured with the short-form health survey scale - 36 items (SF36). QoL of 41 Chilean caregivers was firstly compared with 245 French caregivers. Univariate and multivariate analyses using linear regression were then performed to determine variables potentially related to QoL scores.

Results

The caregivers were primarily mothers in the two groups, but Chilean caregivers were younger, and lived more frequently with the individual with schizophrenia than French caregivers. The SF36 scores were globally low in the two groups, especially on the mental QoL scores. Chilean caregivers reported lower physical SF36 scores than French caregivers. In the multivariate analysis, being mother and Chilean caregivers were the most regular features associating to a lower QoL.

Conclusion

Despite differences between Chile and France, especially in terms of quality and quantity of mental health services and economic supports, caregivers’ QoL levels remain particularly low for both countries. Future support programmes should address the specific needs of caregivers.

Keywords:
Quality of life; Caregivers; Cross culture; Family support; Schizophrenia