Self-stigma, depressive symptoms and coping strategies among caregivers of children with mental disorder in Uganda
Kiprotich, Rael J.
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People with mental disorder suffer from stigma in addition to the illness itself; their caregivers also suffer from stigma of having a child with mental disorder. The study examined the levels and associations between self- stigma, depressive symptoms and nature of coping strategies adopted by caregivers of children with mental disorder who attend. Children and adolescence mental health unit at Butabika Hospital. A correlational study design with quantitative data collection method was used. One hundred and forty-one (N=141) caregivers of children with mental disorder participated in the study. Self-stigma was measured using affiliated Stigma scale, while depressive symptoms was determined using Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and brief cope for nature of coping strategies. Using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 20.0) descriptive statistic was used to determine the levels of self-stigma, depressive symptoms and nature of coping strategy. Spearman correlation was used to determine relationship between variables. A significant relationship was found between self- stigma and depressive symptoms (p< 0.05) and between depressive symptoms and nature of coping strategies (p< 0.05). However, there was no statistical significant relationship between self- stigma and coping strategies (p>0.05). Further analysis using chi-square was done to establish existing association, and this revealed that caregivers of children with mental disorder are more likely than the general population to suffer self-stigma and depression; and used dysfunctional coping strategies in dealing with the challenges. Professional, government support, and public awareness of mental illness are important in addressing the challenges facing these caregivers.