Open Access Research article

Factors associated with caregiver burden in a child and adolescent psychiatric facility in Lagos, Nigeria: a descriptive cross sectional study

Mobolaji U Dada1, Niran O Okewole2*, Oluyemi C Ogun3 and Mashudat A Bello-Mojeed4

Author Affiliations

1 Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ekiti, Nigeria

2 Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro Abeokuta, Nigeria

3 Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

4 Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

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BMC Pediatrics 2011, 11:110  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-110

Published: 12 December 2011



Definitions of burden of care stress the effect of the patient's mental illness on the family. There are generally very few studies in this environment on caregiver burden in child/adolescent mental ill-health. This study aimed to identify patient and caregiver characteristics that are associated with caregiver burden.


Caregivers of patients attending the Child and Adolescent Clinic of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos [n = 155] were consecutively recruited over a one-month period. The caregivers were administered a sociodemographic questionnaire, the General Health Questionnaire, Zarit Burden Interview, and the Columbia Impairment Scale. Scoring on the Children's Global Assessment Scale was done by clinicians.


Most caregivers observed in this study were females (80.5%), with mothers of the patients accounting for 78% of all the caregivers. A higher percentage of the patients were males (52.8%). Moderate to severe/severe burden was recorded among 25.2% of caregivers. Factors associated with caregiver burden were patient's level of functioning [r = 0.489, p < 0.001], psychiatric morbidity in the caregiver [r = 0.709, p < 0.001], level of impairment as assessed by the caregiver [r = 0.545, p < 0.001], and child's level of education [t = 3.274, p = 0.001]. Each one independently predicted caregiver burden.


The study reveals a high level of burden among the caregivers of children and adolescents with mental health problems.