Caregiver burden in alcohol dependence syndrome and its sociodemographic correlates: A cross-sectional study from South India


  • Jithin T Joseph Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka
  • Aniji V R Government Mental Health Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Arun V Government Mental Health Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Mathew J Valamparampil Department of Health Services, Government of Kerala



Caregiver burden, alcohol dependence syndrome, severity of alcohol dependence


Background: Caring for people with severe mental and medical illness adversely affects their natural caregivers, which is measured as caregiver burden (CGB). Even though many studies have investigated CGB in chronic medical and mental illnesses, such studies are minimal in substance use disorders with a chronic course, relapses and remissions. The current study intended to investigate the extent of CGB among caregivers of alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS) patients and how different sociodemographic and clinical variables affect CGB. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in a tertiary psychiatry hospital among those who were admitted for the treatment of alcohol dependence. One hundred patients and their caregivers were included in the study. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, the severity of dependence assessed using the Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SADQ) and the burden using the Burden Assessment Schedule. Data were analysed using SPSS software, and relevant statistical tests were used. Results: All our patients were male, educated and married. Most of the patients started alcohol use before the age of 20 years, had been using alcohol for more than 10 years, 91% had a history of deaddiction treatment, and 80% were using nicotine. Most caregivers were females, either the spouse or parent, from low socioeconomic status, nuclear families, from a rural background. Most were educated but didn't have jobs and stayed with the patient for more than 10 years. Our study found that 93% of the caregivers experienced moderate to severe burden, and 73% of the patients had severe alcohol dependence. The caregiver being illiterate, unemployed, and not having a permanent residence were significantly associated with a high caregiver burden, and the caregiver being male with a low burden. Patients being illiterate, unemployed, and having more than two previous admissions were the factors associated with a severe burden. Logistic regression analysis found caregiver gender and education, patient employment and number of admissions to be predictors of severe burden. Conclusions: There is a high burden among caregivers of alcohol dependent patients. Caregiver gender and education, patient employment and number of admissions were the predictors of severe burden.


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How to Cite

Joseph, J. T. ., V. R. Aniji, V. . Arun, and . M. J. Valamparampil. “Caregiver Burden in Alcohol Dependence Syndrome and Its Sociodemographic Correlates: A Cross-Sectional Study from South India”. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 36, no. 2, Nov. 2023, pp. 92-104, doi:10.30834/KJP.36.2.2023.401.



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