Schizophrenia causes significant burden to patients' and caregivers' lives

Monika Szkultecka-Debek, Katarzyna Miernik, Jaroslaw Stelmachowski, Miro Jakovljevic, Vlado Jukic, Kaire Aadamsoo, Sven Janno, I. Bitter, Judit Tolna, Marek Jarema, Slobodan Jankovic, Jan Pecenak, Livia Vavrusova, Rok Tavcar, Jacek Walczak, Darren Talbot, Joanna Augustynska

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Schizophrenia is a serious public health problem and is ranked among the most disabling diseases in the world. The sub-study presented here was part of a larger project to characterize the burden of schizophrenia on healthcare systems and on individuals living with the disease in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Aims: This sub-study aimed to assess and analyze the impact of schizophrenia on many aspects of the lives of patients and caregivers. Methods: Psychiatrists from selected centers in seven Central and Eastern European countries were asked to complete a questionnaire in order to collect information about the disease history, characteristics, treatment protocols and resources used for each randomly selected patient. All data were statistically analyzed and compared between countries. Results: Data from 961 patients with schizophrenia (mean age 40.7 years, 45.1% female) were included in the analysis. The mean number of days spent in hospital per patient per year across all seven countries was 25.3 days. Hospitalization occurred on average once per year, with psychiatrist visits 9.4 times per year. Of the patients in the study, 61% were single, 12% divorced and 22% married or cohabiting. Almost 84% were living with relatives or a partner; only 17% lived alone and, on average, 25% of patients received support from social workers. Relatives provided care for approximately 60% of patients and 4% of them had to stop working in order to do so. Twenty-nine percent of the patients were unemployed, and 56% received a disability pension or were retired, with only 19% in full-time employment or education. Conclusion: Schizophrenia has a significant effect on the lives of patients and caregivers and impacts their social integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatria Danubina
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Burden of disease
  • Caregivers
  • Patients
  • Retrospective data collection
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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  • Cite this

    Szkultecka-Debek, M., Miernik, K., Stelmachowski, J., Jakovljevic, M., Jukic, V., Aadamsoo, K., Janno, S., Bitter, I., Tolna, J., Jarema, M., Jankovic, S., Pecenak, J., Vavrusova, L., Tavcar, R., Walczak, J., Talbot, D., & Augustynska, J. (2016). Schizophrenia causes significant burden to patients' and caregivers' lives. Psychiatria Danubina, 28(2), 104-110.