Schizophrenia, social support, caregiving burden and household poverty in rural China

Yue Hui Yu, Man Man Peng, Xue Bai, Wei Luo, Xin Yang, Jun Li, Bo Liu, Graham Thornicroft, Cecilia Lai Wan Chan, Mao Sheng Ran

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Household poverty associated with schizophrenia has been long described. However, the mechanisms by which schizophrenia may have influenced the economic status of a household in rural communities are still unclear. This study aimed to test an integrated model of schizophrenia, social support and caregiving burden on household poverty in a rural community in China. Methods: A mental health survey using identical methods and ICD-10 was conducted in six townships of Xinjin County (population ≥ 15 years old, n = 152,776), Chengdu, China in 2015. Identified persons with schizophrenia (n = 661) and their caregivers completed a joint questionnaire of sociodemographic information, illness conditions, social support and caregiving burden. Descriptive analysis was applied first to give an overview of the dataset. Then, multivariable regression analyses were conducted to examine the associative factors of social support, caregiving burden and household income. Then, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to estimate the integrated model of schizophrenia, social support, caregiving burden and household income. Results: Households with patient being female, married, able to work and having better social function were better off. Larger household size, higher social support and lower caregiving burden also had salient association with higher household income. The relationship between schizophrenia and household poverty appeared to be mediated by the impacts of schizophrenia on social support and caregiving burden. Conclusion: There was a strong association between schizophrenia and household poverty, in which social support and caregiving burden may had played significant roles on mediating it. More precise poverty alleviation policies and interventions should focus on supporting recovery for persons with schizophrenia, as well as on increasing social support and on reducing family caregiving burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1580
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2020


  • Caregiving burden
  • Household poverty
  • Rural China
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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