Psychosocial Burden among Close Family Members of Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder in Inpatient Treatment Centers Kiambu County, Kenya
Njango, Githae, Eunice
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Close family members of individuals suffering alcohol use disorder (AUD) have reported elevated levels of negative emotions and poor psychological wellbeing. They are at a greater risk for psychosocial distress characterized by depression, stress and anxiety. This study examined the impact of the burden of living with an individual suffering alcohol use disorder. The Family Systems Theory informed the present study in helping conceptualize the associations among variables under investigation and their interrelationships within the family context. A descriptive crosssectional study was used to determine the burden of AUD on the close relatives and to identify the level of psychosocial distress they experienced while living with the patient. Non-probability purposive sampling was done to identify n=138 close relatives of individuals suffering AUD admitted in residential rehabilitation centers in Kiambu County, Kenya. Perceptions of AUD severity, psychological distress, psychological burden, and general health were assessed. The study revealed that more than half of relatives of individuals suffering AUDs experienced reduced general health and severe to moderate level of psychosocial and burden. There was statistical significance between the level of psychosocial burden (p=0.03<0.05) and distress (p=0.048<0.05) among close relatives and living with a patient with AUD. Some of socio-demographic characteristics of the relatives such as gender, level of education, marital status and economic status yielded a statistical significance with psychosocial distress (p=0.000<0.01) and burden (p=0.001<0.05). The study recommends provision of psychosocial family support for families with individuals suffering alcohol use disorders and development of outreach programs to psycho-educate communities.