Distress tolerance, psychosocial burden and its relationship with self-management of health in women with mental illness

D. Ram

Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, MG Road Agrahara, Mysore, India


This study was conducted to explore the relationship of caregiving burden, distress tolerance with self-health care among mentally ill women. 

Materials and Methods

One hundred women with mental illness in remission were recruited and assessed with socio-demographic and clinical proforma, Distress tolerance Scale (DTS), Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZBI) and Effective Consumer Scale (EC-17). 


The mean score of ZBI was 28.34 (SD ± 19.83) and the mean score of DTS scale was 26.80 (SD ± 12.07). The score of DTS was higher in the group without a family history of substance (MU = 532.50, Z = -2.711, p =.007), in those who remained untreated before the on-going treatment (χ2 = 4.811, df = 1, p = .028), and in the group with less awareness of treatment options (χ2 = 4.072, df = 1, p = .044). Linear multiple regression analysis (R2 = .215, df =  4, F = 6.443, Sig. = .000), showed that the score on burden was negatively associated with tolerance (β = -.416, t =-2.368, p =.020), and positively associated with regulation (β = .596, t = 3.742, p =.000) sub-scale of ZBI. The level burden was negatively associated (β = .280, t = 2.795, p =.006) with the score of EC-17, and the score on tolerance subscale of ZBI was positively associated (β = -.548, t = -3.239, p =.002) with the score of EC-17. 


The finding of this study indicates that mentally ill caregiving women had significant caregiving burden, and tolerated high distress. Caregiving burden was inversely associated with ability to tolerate distress and positively associated with emotional dysregulation. Self-management of health was negatively associated with severe level of burden and positively associated with ability to tolerate distress. 

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