A Study on the Attitudes Towards Mental Illness and the Burden of the Patient's Family
Lee Mi Kyoung
Supervising Professor: Seok-Jun Yoon
Department of Health Policy and Hospital Management
Graduate School of Public Health Korea University
Object; This study was designed to identify the attitudes of the patient's family towards mental illness. We also wanted to access the burden of a family having a mentally ill family member, such as the financial burden and the interference with the family's daily living and leisure time. We also wanted assess the interactions among the family members to see the possible influences of a mentally ill family member on physical and mental health of the family.
Method; The subjects were 180 family members who were receiving out-patient- treatment or admission treatment at the psychiatric ward of three hospitals attached to a university. I used Terashima's measurement that was originally constructed by Star for the attitude test, and I used Pai and Kapur's measurement for the family's burden.
I collected the data for 18days from August 23 to September 10, 2004 and analyzed the data using SPSS 10.0 version
Result; First, in case that a caregiver is a patient's brother or sister, and a caregiver's monthly income is less than 2.5million won, and also that a caregiver has to spend 100,000 won on medical fees, then the caregiver will have a great burden. Second, in case where a caregiver is under 30 years of age, the patient is hospitalized for less than a month, and the caregiver has a education equal to or higher than a college education, then the caregiver's attitude toward mental illness will be positive. Third, if a caregiver has too much burden, the attitude toward mental illness is likely to be negative.
Conclusion; A negative attitude toward mental illness by the patient's family will have a poor effect upon a patient. The attitude of the patient's fam