The prevalence of depression and burden of care among family care givers of mentally retarded children at Gachie Catholic Parish in Kiambu
Njeri, Margaret M
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GENERAL OBJECTIVE The study was carried out so as to determine the prevalence of depression and burden among caregivers of mentally retarded children. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES To determine the social demographic profile of the study population. To determine the level of depression among the caregivers. To determine the burden of disease on the caregivers To determine the association between social demographic profile and levels of depression. To provide evidence for recommendations on any assistance required by the caregivers. STUDY SETTING The study was conducted at Gachie Catholic Parish which is made up of eight outstation churches. Some of the parishioner's children suffer from Mental Retardation. Study Population: These were the caregivers who have children in their family set up having a mental handicap. Study design: Cross sectional, Descriptive study Methodology: The caregivers of the mentally retarded children in the family set up. Those who met the criteria completed the self administered social demographic questionnaire (SDQ) which was developed by researcher to check variables such as Age, Gender, Marital status, Religion, Occupation, Beck depression inventory and burden of disease questionnaire but the researcher guided them where necessary. Data was analyzed using spss version 12: Results are presented in form of tables. Results 79% of the caregivers had clinically significant depression presented as follows: 30 subjects (26.3%) had mild depression, 24 subjects (21.1%) had moderate depression 36 subjects (31.6%) had severe depression. The unemployed caregivers were severely affected by depression and the educated caregivers were less depressed and experienced less subjective burden. Household interactions and relationship with children were of great concern to the caregiver as they contributed to subjective burden. Social life and leisure was greatly affected as the caregivers had to spend most of the time with the offspring and this limited their time to interact at community level or even going for holidays. CONCLUSION Family caregivers are at risk of developing depression and burden of disease as a consequent of taking care of their children suffering from mental retardation. Majority of the respondents (79%) had clinically significant depression symptoms while 21% had minimum depression.