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Keywords:

  • clinical diseases;
  • family burden;
  • family environment;
  • panic disorder

Aims

The objective of this study was to compare the family burden and environment of patients with panic disorder (PD) with those of a control group composed of relatives of patients with clinical diseases.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was performed with 67 relatives of patients with PD, and 66 family members of patients with clinical diseases. All patients were administered a set of instruments to assess family burden and environment.

Results

Multivariate analyses revealed significant between-group differences on measurements of objective and subjective burden, both of which can be influenced by kinship, since higher levels of family burden tend to be reported by the children of the affected individual. Levels of family burden also tend to be associated with the severity of PD symptoms.

Conclusions

The assessment of family burden may be useful in developing family-focused therapeutic strategies and may contribute to the improvement of patient outcomes.