Introduction Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that constitutes a high burden on both patients and caregivers. Although many studies have assessed the burden of MS caregivers worldwide, no such studies have been conducted in Saudi Arabia. In this study, we aim to assess the burden of MS patients’ caregivers in Saudi Arabia. Methods This cross-sectional study included caregivers of MS patients (for >1 year) who visited the neurology clinic at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between July 2017 and December 2018. The study utilized the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) to assess the burden on MS patients’ caregivers. In addition, the caregivers’ demographic profile and certain information regarding the patient were also collected through an oral interview. Results There were a total of 219 respondents, of which 117 (53.4%) male caregivers. For ZBI, the majority of caregivers reported little or no burden (57.1%), followed by a mild to moderate burden (30.1%), then a moderate to severe burden (10.5%), and only five (2.3%) reported a severe burden. Conclusion Our results showed a limited burden of MS on the life caregivers of MS patients. We stress the importance of assessing the burden in MS patients and caregivers as routine practice with the other important measures such as quality of life and medication compliance. The finding of this study will help in encouraging medical centers to establish more specialized MS clinics that put into consideration the psychological factors, burden of the disease, multidisciplinary approach, and support groups, which are currently few in number.
Copyright © 2020, Algahtani et al.