Caregiver strain and its associated factors in autism spectrum disorder in Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type





Objective: To determine the frequency of caregiver strain and its associated factors in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Study design: An analytical cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of the Study: Psychiatry inpatient and outpatient units at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, from December 2018 to December 2019.
Methodology: The study participants were caregivers of ASD. Data were collected from the inpatient and outpatient departments using Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ), and a demographic questionnare. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential analysis.
Results: A total of 76 caregivers participated in the study. Among them, 61 (80.3%) were females and 15 (19.7%) were males, with mean age of 37.09±6.91 years. The overall caregiver strain (both subjective and objective) was reported to be severe by 11.8%, moderate by 47.4% and low by 40.8%. About 50% of the participants had a low objective strain on CGSQ whereas 59.2% of the participants subjectively felt the strain to be at moderate level. An association was found between the gender of the participants and subjective strain (p=0.016), and gender with internalised subjective strain (p =0.002).
Conclusion: Parenting of a child with ASD involves challenges and demands support. This study supports the recommendation that the caregivers need access to appropriate means to channelize their strain and manage their role productively.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan