Anxiety and depression among caregivers of inpatients suffering from chronic debilitating and terminal illnesses

Basavakumar S. Anandi, Meenakshi M. Dhadave


Background: Depression and anxiety are the priority conditions covered by WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme. Depression is a common illness worldwide, despite effective treatments available, fewer than half of those affected receive such treatments. Caregivers of the patients, attributed to bear higher burden of personal, financial, family, and social problems are expected to be predisposed to psychological illness. Thus this study was undertaken with following objectives; i) to estimate prevalence of anxiety and depression and ii) to find associated factors for anxiety and depression among in-patient care givers of a tertiary care hospital.

Methods: An observational study was undertaken in the cardio, neuro, medical and cancer in-patient setting, in a tertiary care hospital, of Kalaburagi district. Study was undertaken for 2 months from Dec-2017 to Jan-2018. Care-givers of all, receiving in-patient care were included in the study. The anxiety and depression levels were assessed using GAD-7 & PHQ-9 questionnaires respectively.

Results: All in-patient care-givers had some degree of anxiety of which majority of them had severe level of anxiety (50%). Likewise, 96% of the subjects had some degree of depression, of which 40% of them had moderately severe level of depression. Severe levels of anxiety and depression were found to be high among 30-40 years age group.

Conclusions: It is crucial to screen the care givers, especially females, for presence of anxiety and depression. This approach will help timely identification and proper management of these individuals.


Anxiety, Depression, Debilitating illness, Chronic illness, Primary caregiver

Full Text:



Verama R, Sharma S, Singh Balhara YP, Mathur S. Anxiety and Depression among the Caregivers of patients with Neurological illness. Delhi Psychiatry J. 2011;14(1):120-3.

Quittner AL, Goldbeck L, Abbott J, Duff A, Lambrecht P, Solé A, et al. Prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with cystic fibrosis and parent caregivers: results of The International Depression Epidemiological Study across nine countries. Thorax. 2014;69(12):1090–7.

Chen D, Guo X, Zheng Z, Wei Q, Song W, Cao B, et al. Depression and anxiety in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: correlations between the distress of patients and caregivers. Muscle Nerve. 2015;51(3):353-7.

Avşar U, Avşar UZ, Cansever Z, Yucel A, Cankaya E, Certez H, et al. Caregiver Burden, Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Quality Differences in Caregivers of Hemodialysis Patients Compared With Renal Transplant Patients. Transplant Proc. 2015;47(5):1388–91.

Definition of Chronic disease. MedicineNet.. Available at: main/art.asp?articlekey=33490. Accessed on 12 February 2018.

Debilitating Diseases - 12 Diseases that change millions of lives. Dodge Park Rest Home. 2013. Available at: debilitating-diseases/. Accessed on 12 February 2018.

GAD7 Anxiety Test Questionnaire. Available at: Accessed on 12 February 2018.

Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JBW. The PHQ-9. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16(9):606–13.

Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JBW, Monahan PO, Löwe B. Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care: Prevalence, Impairment, Comorbidity, and Detection. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(5):317.

Brodaty H, Donkin M. Family caregivers of people with dementia. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2009;11(2):217–28.

Watts S, Leydon G, Birch B, Prescott P, Lai L, Eardley S, et al. Depression and anxiety in prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence rates. BMJ Open. 2014;4(3):e003901.

Cabral L, Duarte J, Ferreira M, dos Santos C. Anxiety, stress and depression in family caregivers of the mentally ill. Aten Primaria. 2014;46:176–9.

Mystakidou K, Parpa E, Panagiotou I, Tsilika E, Galanos A, Gouliamos A. Caregivers’ anxiety and self-efficacy in palliative care. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2013;22(2):188–95.

Use of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in Spanish caregivers - Sánchez-López - 2015 - Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences - Wiley Online Library. Available at: http://onlinelibrary. Accessed on 11 February 2018.

Casado R, Moral PA, Osuna A. The Association of Satisfaction and Perceived Burden With Anxiety and Depression in Primary Caregivers of Dependent Elderly Relatives. Res Nurs Health. 2015;38(5):384-91.

Bademli K. Anxiety and Depression in Caregivers of Chronic Mental Illness. J Depress Anxiety. 2016;6(1):1000254.

Mateen FJ, Cornblath DR, Jafari H, Shinohara RT, Khandit D, Ahuja B, et al. Guillain–Barré Syndrome in India: Population-based validation of the Brighton criteria. Vaccine. 2011;29(52):9697–701.