The following resources examine caring for people with mental health needs.
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What Is Known on the Subject: Family members and friends (informal carers) are very important for providing support to people with mental health difficulties. When these carers are included to care planning patients seem to benefit, as they are less likely to relapse.; What the Paper Adds to Existing Knowledge: There are three types of interventions including carers in the patients'transition 1) programmes that offer education in hospital; 2) programmes that involve carers in planning the patients discharge; and 3) programmes that involve carers in hospital care, discharge planning and also follow-up in the community. Interventions including carers that take place both in the hospital and the community have the clearest evidence for benefit on relapse reduction.; What Are the Implications for Practice: Comprehensive interventions have the best evidence for effectiveness but challenges in their implementation and resourcing should be considered. It might worth trying to identify and test simpler interventions focusing on discharge planning that can be used in busy services and require more limited resources whilst providing opportunities for the participation of carers.;
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Involving informal carers (family and friends of patients) in mental health interventions can lead to positive clinical and psychosocial outcomes such as relapse prevention or treatment adherence.; Aim/question: To explore the evidence on the effectiveness of different models that involve carers in the transition between hospital and community mental health care.; Methods: Five electronic databases (PsycINFO, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Embase and Scopus) and Grey literature (Open Grey and Grey Literature report) were systematically searched. The results were analysed using a narrative synthesis.; Results: Fourteen papers were identified. They described twelve interventions that were categorized into three groups: 1) purely educational programmes in preparation of discharge; 2) programmes that involved carers in planning the transition from the mental health inpatient treatment to community mental health services; and 3) programmes that bridged into the aftercare involving carers in community follow-up. The most comprehensive interventions, i.e. those including psychoeducation, care planning and aftercare follow-up were better evaluated and showed a clearer benefit in improving long-term outcomes and, in particular, reduce re-hospitalization.; Implications for Practice: Comprehensive interventions showed the clearest benefit in improving long-term clinical outcomes of patients. Future research should explore implementation, costs and cost-effectiveness, as comprehensive interventions delivered across different settings are likely to require wide-ranging organizational changes and significant resources.
This article describes the application of quality improvement (QI) to solve a long-standing, ongoing problem where service users or their carers felt they were not given enough information regarding diagnosis and medication during clinic assessments in a community mental health setting. Service users and carers had shared feedback that some of the information documented on clinic letters was not accurate and the service users were not given the opportunity to discuss these letters with the clinician. The aim of this QI project was to improve the communication between the community mental health team (CMHT) and service users and their carers. Wardown CMHT volunteered to take on this project. The stakeholders involved were the team manager and deputy manager, the team consultant, the team specialist registrar, team administrative manager, two carers and one service user. The project had access to QI learning and support through East London NHS Foundation Trust's QI programme. The team organised weekly meetings to brainstorm ideas, plan tests of change to review progress and to agree on the next course of action. The outcome was an increase in service user satisfaction from 59.9% to 78% over a period of 6 months, and a reduction in complaints to zero.
Introduction: Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating disorders, leading to long-term and progressive disability in numerous individuals. Disability reflects an interaction between features of a person's body and of the society. In all treatments, family psycho-education is also very important as disability of schizophrenia leads to burden upon family members. Caregiver burden can be either objective or subjective. Objective burdens are behavioural phenomena: disruption of the social activities and financial difficulties. Subjective burdens comprise emotional strain on caregivers. Due to the chronic nature of the disease and the disability, patients with schizophrenia as a group need most care in social and economic areas. Aim of the study: To assess the level of burden in caregivers of stable schizophrenia patients and their relation with degree of disability in schizophrenia patients. It was a cross-sectional and observation study. Material and methods: The study was carried out with 154 stable patients of International Classification of Diseases diagnosed schizophrenia and their primary caregivers. The patients were evaluated on the Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the Burden Assessment Schedule (BAS) was used for their primary caregiver. Results: Two thirds of schizophrenia patients who were stable on medication for at least 6 months and diagnosed with schizophrenia for at least 2 years had mild (70.12%) and the rest had moderate disability (29.87%). Greater burden of care was experienced with increasing age. Conclusions: Caregivers' burden has a direct correlation with overall disability. Deficiency in interaction, communication and employment leads to more burden of care, but not a deficiency in self-care.
Stress associated with caring for a mentally ill spouse can adversely affect the health status of caregivers and their children. Adding to the stress of caregiving is the stigma often placed against spouses and children of people with mental illness. Contrary to mental illness, many physical disorders such as cancer may be less stigmatized (expect pulmonary cancer). In this study, we measured externalized and internalized stigma, as well as psychological (depressive symptoms and stressful life events) and physiological (basal salivary cortisol levels) markers of stress in 115 spouses and 154 children of parents suffering from major depressive disorder, cancer, or no illness (control group). The results show that spouses and children from families with parental depression present significantly more externalized stigma than spouses and children from families with parental cancer or no illness, although we find no group differences on internalized stigma. The analysis did not show a significant group difference either for spouses or their children on depressive symptomatology, although spouses from the parental depression group reported greater work/family stress. Finally, we found that although for both spouses children the awakening cortisol response was greater on weekdays than on weekend days, salivary cortisol levels did not differ between groups. Bayes factor calculated on the null result for cortisol levels was greater than 100, providing strong evidence for the null hypothesis H0. Altogether, these results suggest an impact of stigma toward mental health disorder on psychological markers of stress but no impact of stigma on physiological markers of stress. We suggest that these results may be due to the characteristics of the families who participated in the present study.
Background and objectives Family caregivers play a curial role in supporting and caring for their mentally ill relatives. Their struggle for facing stigma and shouldering caregiving burden is marginalized, undervalued, and invisible to medical services. This study assessed the stigma and burden of mental illnesses, and their correlates among family caregivers of mentally ill patients. Methods A cross-sectional study design was used to collect data from 425 main family caregivers of mentally ill patients at Assiut University Hospital. A structured interview questionnaire was designed to collect socio-demographic data of both patients and their caregivers. Stigma scale for caregivers of people with mental illness (CPMI) was used to assess the affiliate stigma, while the associative stigma was assessed by the explanatory model interview catalogue stigma scale (EMIC-Stigma scale). The caregivers' burden was assessed using Zarit burden Interview, and Modified Attitude toward Mental Illness Questionnaire was used to assess caregivers' knowledge and attitude towards mental illness. Results Bipolar disorder (48%) and schizophrenia/other related psychotic disorders (42.8%) were the most common mental illnesses among the study patients. The mean scores of CPMI total scale, EMIC-Stigma scale, and Zarit Burden scale were 56.80 +/- 7.99, 13.81 +/- 5.42, and 55.20 +/- 9.82, respectively. The significant correlates for affiliate stigma were being parents of patients (ss = 4.529, p < 0.001), having higher associate stigma (ss = 0.793, p < 0.001), and aggressive behavior of mentally ill patients (ss = 1.343, p = 0.038). The significant correlates for associate stigma of the study caregivers were being caregivers' relatives other than parents (ss = 1.815, p = 0.006), having high affiliate stigma (ss = 0.431, p < 0.001), having poor knowledge and negative attitude towards mental illness (ss = - 0.158, p = 0.002), and aggressive behavior of mentally ill relatives (ss = 1.332, p = 0.005). The correlates for the high burden were being male (ss = 3.638, p = 0.006), non-educated caregiver (ss = 1.864, p = 0.045), having high affiliate stigma (ss = 0.467, p < 0.001), having high associative stigma (ss = 0.409, p < 0.001), having poor knowledge and negative attitude toward mental illness (ss = - 0.221, p = 0.021), seeking traditional healers and non-psychiatrist's care from the start (ss = 2.378, p = 0.018), and caring after young mentally ill relatives (ss = - 0.136, p = 0.003). Conclusion The studied caregivers suffered from stigma and a high level of burden. Psycho-educational programs directed toward family caregivers are highly recommended.
Aims To test a multiple mediation model of internalized stigma and caregiving burden in the relationship between severity of illness and distress among family caregivers of persons living with schizophrenia. Design This is a cross-sectional study. Methods Data were collected from a consecutive sample of 344 Chinese family caregivers of persons living with schizophrenia between April-August 2018. Instruments used in this research included the Clinical Global Impression-Severity of Illness, the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale, the Caregiver Burden Inventory, and the Distress Thermometer. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics, the Spearman correlation, and regression analysis to estimate direct and indirect effects using bootstrap analysis. Results This research found that internalized stigma and caregiving burden can separately and sequentially mediate the relationship between severity of illness and distress. Moreover the mediation of internalized stigma plays the largest role among the multiple mediations. Conclusion The severity of illness, internalized stigma, and caregiving burden are significant factors of distress among family caregivers of persons living with schizophrenia. The future intervention studies which be designed aiming at the three factors may be beneficial for family caregivers of persons living with schizophrenia. Impact This research examined the psychosocial development of distress and indicated that interventions improving patients' symptoms and decreasing internalized stigma and caregiving burden can help to prevent or reduce distress among family caregivers.
Informal caregivers have a leading role when implementing health care services for people with cognitive disorders living at home. This study aims to examine the current evidence for interventions with dual satisfaction with health care services for people with cognitive disorders and their caregivers. Original papers with quantitative and mixed method designs were extracted from two databases, covering years 2009-2018. Thirty-five original papers reported on satisfaction with health care services. The International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) was used to classify the interventions. Most interventions had a home-based approach (80%). Reduction in caregiver depression was the outcome measure with the highest level of satisfaction. Interventions to reduce depression or increase cognitive performance in persons with cognitive disorders gave the least satisfaction. Satisfaction of both caregivers and persons with cognitive disorders increased their use of services. In the ICHI, nearly 50% of the interventions were classified as activities and participation. A limited number of interventions have a positive effect on satisfaction of both the persons with cognitive disorders and the caregiver. It is important to focus on interventions that will benefit both simultaneously. More research is needed with a clear definition of satisfaction and the use of the ICHI guidelines.
Facilitated self-help and problem-solving strategies can empower and support family carers to cope with caregiving for people with severe mental illnesses. This single-blind multi-site randomised controlled trial examined the effects of a five-month family-facilitated problem-solving based self-learning program (PBSP in addition to usual care), versus a family psychoeducation group program and usual psychiatric care only in recent-onset psychosis, with a six-month follow-up. In each of three study sites (integrated community centres for mental wellness), 114 people with early psychosis (≤5 years illness onset) and their family carers were randomly selected and allocated to one of three study groups ( n = 38). Caregiving burden (primary outcome) and patients' and carers' health conditions were assessed at recruitment, and one-month and six-months post-intervention. Overall, 106 (94.7%) participants completed the assigned intervention and ≥1 post-test. Generalised estimating equations and subsequent contrast tests indicated that the PBSP participants showed significantly greater improvements in carers' burden, caregiving experiences and problem-solving ability, and patients' psychotic symptoms, recovery, and duration of re-hospitalisations over the six-month follow-up, compared with the other two groups (moderate to large effect size, η 2 = 0.12-0.24). Family-assisted problem-solving based self-learning programs were found to be effective to improve both psychotic patients' and their carers' psychosocial health over a medium term, thus reducing patients' risk of relapse.
Background: Management of schizophrenia is now shifted to the community setting and family caregivers are the primary caregivers. Managing medications is a complex responsibility of family caregivers caring for patients with mental illness. Medication compliance contributes to improve health outcomes and reduced hospitalization for the care service users; however, little is known about attitudes and perception of family caregivers. Aims and objectives: To explore family caregivers experience towards antipsychotic medications. Methods: A purposeful sampling of 21 family caregivers was included in the study. Semi-structured interview was employed to collect data from the participants between May and October 2015. Thematic analysis approach was used to identify the common pattern in the data. Results: Four main themes emerged from the study: insight into illness (poor understanding of illness), treatment factor (thinking about medication, poor guidance for medication compliance), resources and support (availability of medication and cost of medication), health care provider factors (communication gap and poor assessment with follow-up, social dysfunction (social isolation, disruption in life routine) of the primary caregivers. Conclusions: Responsibility for providing care for patients with mental illness are taken place in the community setting and cared by family caregivers. More information resources are required for this role, which requires specific medication management skills and knowledge.
The present study is one of the first attempts to examine the connection of physical activity with the mental health of people that care for family members with mental illness. Caregiving is a load with negative effects on well-being but caring for a family member with mental illness results to a higher psychological burden, due to other factors involved (i.e. stigma). Physical activity and exercise have been found to be variables that lead to better quality of life for caregivers in many chronic illnesses. The participants of the study were 300 caregivers of patients with mental illness - family members (96 men, 204 women) of a mean age 60.64 (+/- 10.08) years old. They were administered the Leisure Time Physical Activity questionnaire and according to their responses, they were divided in two groups: physically active and sedentary. Mental health was assessed using the DASS 21 questionnaire, with three subscales: depression, anxiety and stress. According to the results of the one-way MANOVA, physically active caregivers had a better score than their sedentary counterparts on all three DASS 21 subscales: anxiety (p < .001), stress (p < .01), depressive symptoms (p <.001). According to the results, physical activity and exercise of even low intensity, seems to play an important role on caregivers' mental health by leading to reduced stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Although more research is needed in this area, it seems that physical activity interventions should be considered as an additional type of support offered to caregivers of mental ill patients.
Objectives: To examine perceived stigma and its correlates in remitted patients with mental illnesses and their caregivers.; Methods: In patients with mental illnesses, their perceived stigma (Perceived Devaluation Discrimination Scale), endorsed secrecy (Secrecy scale), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), functioning (Work Social Adjustment Scale), and emotional wellbeing (Well Being Index) were assessed. In caregivers, their perceived stigma towards patients (Devaluation of Consumer Scale) and families (Devaluation of Consumer Families Scale), emotional wellbeing (Well Being Index), and depressive symptoms (Centre for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale) were assessed. Differences between diagnoses were examined using ANOVA. Correlation between perceived stigma among patients and caregivers was studied.; Results: Of 152 patients with mental illnesses, 76.3% and 85.53 % reported moderate-to-high levels of perceived stigma and endorsed secrecy, respectively. Of 152 caregivers, 40.13% and 25.65% reported moderate-to-high levels of perceived stigma towards patients and families, respectively. Overall, patients had high levels of perceived stigma and endorsed secrecy, low self-esteem, moderate functional impairment, and extremely poor emotional wellbeing. There were significant differences across different diagnostic categories with respect to self-esteem, functioning, perceived stigma, secrecy, and emotional wellbeing. Patients with substance use disorders reported highest perceived stigma, lowest self-esteem, and most severe functional impairment, and their caregivers reported highest perceived stigma towards patients and families, most-reduced emotional wellbeing, and highest rates of depressive symptoms. Patients' perceived stigma was not associated with caregivers' perceived stigma.; Conclusion: Perceived stigma is prevalent among patients and caregivers and affects their quality of life. The stigma associated with substance use disorder merits special attention.
Pathological narcissism is characterized by impaired interpersonal functioning, but few studies have examined the impact of the disorder on those living in a close relationship. Participants (N = 683; comprising romantic partners [77.8%], mothers [8.5%] or other family members [10%]) in a close relationship with a relative with pathological narcissism completed measures assessing levels of grief, burden, mental health, and coping style. Participants' reported burden was over 1.5 standard deviations above comparison carers of people with mood, neurotic, or psychotic disorders, and higher than carers of people with borderline personality disorder. Similarly, caseness for depression (69% of sample) or anxiety disorders (82%) in the sample was high. Relationship type, subtype expression (vulnerable/grandiose), and coping style were all found to significantly relate to experienced psychopathology. Although limitations exist regarding sample selection that may influence interpretation of results, these findings quantify the significant interpersonal impact of pathological narcissism in this sample.
Demographic changes have placed age-related mental health disorders at the forefront of public health challenges over the next three decades worldwide. Within the context of cognitive impairment and neurocognitive disorders among elderly people, the fragmentation of the self is associated with existential suffering, loss of meaning and dignity for the patient, as well as with a significant burden for the caregiver. Psychosocial interventions are part of a person-centered approach to cognitive impairment (including early stage dementia and dementia). Dignity therapy (DT) is a therapeutic intervention that has been shown to be effective in reducing existential distress, mood, and anxiety symptoms and improving dignity in persons with cancer and other terminal conditions in palliative care settings. The aims of this paper were: (i) To briefly summarize key issues and challenges related to care in gerontology considering specifically frail elderly/elderly with cognitive decline and their caregivers; and (ii) to provide a narrative review of the recent knowledge and evidence on DT in the elderly population with cognitive impairment. We searched the electronic data base (CINAHL, SCOPUS, PSycInfo, and PubMed studies) for studies regarding the application of DT in the elderly. Additionally, given the caregiver's role as a custodian of diachronic unity of the cared-for and the need to help caregivers to cope with their own existential distress and anticipatory grief, we also propose a DT-dyadic approach addressing the needs of the family as a whole.
Background: Caregiving to patients with schizophrenia is burdensome for family caregivers and has profound effects on them. Objectives: This study aimed to explore the impacts of informal caregiving among the family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted on a purposive sample of 12 family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia and 3 health-care providers. Semi-structured interviews were held for data collection, and conventional content analysis was used for data analysis. Results: Four main subthemes were developed during data analysis, namely threatened health, helplessness, patient abandonment, and personal growth. Together with their eight subcategories, these subthemes were grouped into the main theme of the "Consequences of caregiving burden." Conclusion: Caregiving to patients with schizophrenia imposes heavy burden on family caregivers and has different consequences for them. The findings of this study can improve the knowledge and awareness of mental health and psychiatric nurses about schizophrenia and its consequences for family caregivers and can help them identify family caregivers who are at risk for negative consequences and design proper family-based interventions to reduce the effects of these negative consequences.
To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviors among individuals with eating disorders and caregivers. We analyzed service utilization data from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). We compared the number of contacts and symptom frequency between the pandemic period and previous years. NEDIC was contacted 609 times during March 1–April 30, 2020 (72.1% individuals affected by disordered eating, 20.4% caregivers). The number of total contacts significantly increased from 2018 to 2019 and 2018 to 2020 (X2(3) = 50.34, p <.001). Among affected individuals (80.4% women), the number of contacts during the pandemic period was significantly higher (n = 439; X2(2) = 92.74, p <.001) compared to 2018 (n = 197) and 2019 (n = 312). There were higher rates of eating disorder symptoms, anxiety, and depression in 2020 compared to previous years. Thematic analysis of instant chats from the pandemic year revealed four emerging themes: 1) lack of access to treatment, 2) worsening of symptoms, 3) feeling out of control, and 4) need for support. These findings point toward the impact of COVID-19 in individuals affected by disordered eating and hold implications for service delivery during times of crises.
This is a cross-sectional study conducted with 537 family caregivers of people with mental disorders. The objective was to quantify the degree of burden experienced by men and women, and identify the most affected dimensions of their lives and the factors associated with burden manifestation by gender. The Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) scale was used to assess burden. Mean burden was 22.8 points (SD = 6.3) for men and 27.8 points (SD = 17.8) for women. The most affected dimensions among the two groups were the same; however, among the 22 items on the scale, 11 presented significantly higher means among women. The factors associated with the manifestation of burden in both groups were as follows: low income; use of psychotropic drugs; greater degree of dependence of the service user; not receiving family support; and dissatisfaction with family relationships. For men, manifestation of burden was also associated with age. For women, there were further associations of the outcome with the presence of health problems, not having someone to share care with, and caring for the assisted person for >10 years. Our findings suggest that the degree of burden of family members caring for those with mental disorders is associated with gender, and this should be considered by services responsible for planning care shared by professionals and relatives. Guidelines for Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE Statement) were adhered to in this study.
WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Adults who support an adult family member with a severe and enduring mental health problem often experience carer burden. Over time, this often negatively affects their mental and physical health and social well-being. Understanding and communicating about mental health problems in families can help to improve resilience and coping among both adults and children. WHAT DOES THIS PAPER ADD TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: We conducted a review of studies looking at how adult relatives understand and communicate about an adult family member's mental health problem. The findings highlight that how relatives make sense of MHP is related to historical family relationships, their mental health literacy and whether they see themselves as a "carer" or not. The findings also show that little research to date has explored how adult relatives talk with children about their parent's difficulties, and how the adults' understanding might affect what children learn about the MHP. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: There is a research gap to be addressed regarding family communication with children about parental mental health problems. This knowledge gap likely impacts family-focused mental health nursing and therapy provision. Mental health nursing, therapeutic and support workers and advocates are ideally positioned to assist relatives with improving their mental health literacy and confidence communicating about mental health, and to promote inclusion of relatives and children in interventions.
ABSTRACT: Introduction Relatives are profoundly affected by an adult family member's severe and enduring mental health problem (MHP). The burdens of caring impact on adult relatives' emotional, physical and social well-being. How relatives make meaning and communicate about the MHP is thought to affect family talk about mental health, and this can impact family coping and well-being. Aim No review has yet drawn together research about how adult relatives of people with severe and enduring MHP make meaning and communicate about their relatives' difficulties. We aimed to address this gap. Method We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed primary research. SCOPUS, PubMed, Psychnet, SCIE, Cochrane and CINAHL+ databases were searched. Results Nineteen papers qualified for inclusion. Findings are organized under four themes: making meaning about the MHP and affected individual; conceptualizing the self in the presence of the MHP; meaning-making processes underlying relatives' well-being outcomes; and relatives' perspectives on family talk about the MHP. Discussion Historical relationships, caregiver identity and mental health literacy moderate relatives' understanding and talk about the MHP. Implications for practice Psychoeducation and communication support for relatives should be provided by mental health practitioners. Future research should address familial communication about MHP, including with children.
Objective: To explore caregivers' perspective on factors affecting the recovery of their family members diagnosed with schizophrenia.; Methods: A qualitative grounded theory approach was used. A convenience sample of seven male and eleven female family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were invited from outpatient (n = 6), inpatient (n = 7), and psychiatric rehabilitation (n = 5) services in an Indian mental health institute to participate in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed. Similar themes were grouped and the main themes identified.; Results: Caregivers' perspectives on factors affecting recovery from schizophrenia were categorised to two themes: facilitators and barriers. The nine facilitators were (1) getting into a precise treatment regimen and sticking to it, (2) developing some personal attributes, (3) exercising family's role diametrically, (4) paying attention to basic needs, (5) sharing with the Almighty, (6) adapting to a supportive lifestyle, (7) not being idle… engage in something, (8) coming out, being and sharing with others, and (9) having adequate resources with a good support system. The ten barriers were (1) detrimental treatment practices, (2) hampering illness impacts, (3) off-putting personality elements, (4) unaccommodating family circumstances, (5) caregivers' limitation, (6) flaccid support system and scarce resources, (7) ambiguous treatment outcome or prognosis, (8) futile religious, health, and social belief systems, (9) situational factors, and (10) presence of troubling physical or psychological stressors.; Conclusion: The recovery process is facilitated through family involvement and support by mental health professionals. Thus, giving a pre-treatment counselling to the caregivers and repeating the same content to the patients after regaining insight can be helpful.
Background - Family carers with mental illness is an integral form of care in our nation as in most Non-Western countries. With limited mental health institutions facilities, the care-givers involve various activities in furnishing care for clients with psychological disturbances. The care-givers from the family of mentally ill undergone significant trouble because of the care-giving responsibility they participate in and required assistance from mental health professionals if they face any emotional or psychological alterations. Objective - To evaluate the baseline mental health of care givers of mentally ill. To develop self help-mental health promotion model for the care givers of mentally ill. Evaluate the efficacy of self help mental health promotion model on mental health of care givers of mentally ill Methodology - A pre experimental one group pre-test and post-test design was adopted to assess the efficacy of self help mental health promotion model among the care givers of mentally ill. In this study, interventional analytical study will be used. Purposive sampling technique will be used to collect data. Selected care givers of mentally ill will be assessed primarily for positive mental health of care givers by the WEBMW scale to measure the mental wellbeing of care givers of mentally ill. And to evaluate psychological morbidities of the care givers of mentally ill will be assessed by using GM-HAT PC Marathi version. And then structured counselling programme will be given to selected sample by Self Help Mental Health Promotion Model developed by researcher as intervention. Secondary outcomes involve evaluation of efficacy of self help mental health promotion model. IEC approval was obtained from Institutional Ethics Committee, Dutta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed to be University)/IEC/ JUNE-2018/7345). Expected Results: This study is mainly planned to evaluate the improvement in mental health of care givers of mentally ill with the help of self help mental health promotion model, hence it will be assessed by Global Mental Health Assessment Tool and Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well Being Scale. After 28th days of intervention the level of stress reduced down around 60%.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an emerging evidenced-based practice based on a psychological flexibility model encompassing six processes, including acceptance, cognitive defusion, self-as-context, being present, values, and committed action. ACT aims to improve overall psychological flexibility and the six processes. This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effects of ACT on measures of purported processes among family caregivers. Four electronic databases were searched from the date of inception of each database to March 30, 2020. A total of 18 studies met the eligibility criteria, including 8 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 1 nonrandomized control group pretest-posttest design study, and 9 one group pretest-posttest design studies. A meta-analysis of 8 RCTs found a moderate effect of ACT on psychological flexibility among family caregivers at the immediate posttest and follow-up. A meta-analysis of 9 one group pretest-posttest design studies showed a large effect of ACT on psychological flexibility at the immediate posttest and follow-up. No significant effect was found in measures of cognitive fusion, valued living, and mindfulness except for a meta-analysis of 2 RCTs showing a small effect of ACT on cognitive fusion at follow-up. This review discusses synthesized findings, a gap in the literature, and suggestions for future studies.
Background: Considering the importance of family participation in patients' treatment and the positive effects of simultaneous patient and family education, this study was conducted to determine the effect of a family and patient-oriented empowerment program on depression, anxiety, and stress in patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and their caregivers' burden. Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 50 OCD patients along with their primary caregivers. The intervention group participated in eight sessions of training, each lasting from 60 to 90 min (twice a week), and the control group received the usual treatment. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, Maudsley's Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory, Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire, and Zarit's Burden Inventory were used to collect the data before, immediately after and 1 month after the intervention, and then the gathered data were analyzed with t-test and analysis of variance using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software, version 21. Results: The changes in the mean scores of depression (F2,48= 21.02, p < 0.001), anxiety (F2,48= 29.72, p < 0.001), and stress (F2,48= 16.52, p < 0.001) of the patients in the intervention group showed significant decrease over time; however, in the control group, there was no significant decrease in the mean scores of depression (F2,48= 1.69, p = 0.19), anxiety (F2,48= 0.47, p = 0.62), and stress (F2,48= 1.09, p = 0.34) over time. The changes in the caregiver's burden score in both groups indicated a significant decrease over time in the intervention group (F2,48= 24.70, p < 0.001) and the control group (F2,48= 33. 30, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The findings of this study revealed that concurrently training the patients and caregivers could reduce the negative emotions of the patients and their caregivers' burden.
Objective: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the leading causes of disability and poor quality of life, with impairment in many areas. It can also adversely affect family members and friends that the person lives with, and this results in a burden. We aimed to evaluate the disease burden in caregivers of patients with OCD and the factors that negatively affect caregiver burden. Method: The study population consisted of 94 patients with OCD and their caregivers. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire Brief Form were filled out by the patients, and the Burden Assessment Scale (BAS) by the caregivers. Results: Longer duration of treatment, higher YBOCS obsession and compulsion scores of the patients, and lower environmental quality of life dimension scores of the patients were found to increase the BAS scores of the caregivers. Additionally, these variables were found to be significant predictors for disease burden (BAS score) (p<0.05). Conclusion: Our study revealed that many variables affect burden, even in caregivers who have no extra burden (who has no disease to cause a burden). Caregivers of patients with OCD should be included in the behavioral and pharmacologic treatment process for the benefit of both the OCD treatment management and the protection of family health.
The fluctuation of psychological conditions among people with mental disorders are suspected to burden the family caregiver. Horticultural therapy has been known as an effective complementary therapy to enhance people mental health. Family assistance in the implementation of horticultural therapy is a form of family caring which contributes greatly in determining the achievement of horticultural therapy goals. However, not many previous studies have explored family experiences when accompanying family members who suffer from mental disorders in undergoing horticultural therapy.This study aims to explore family experiences when accompanying family members who suffer from mental disorders when undertaking horticultural therapy. Qualitative research using a hermeneutic phenomenology approach was conducted in 5 homes of people with mental disorders who had experienced horticultural therapy. Five family participants were selected by purposive sampling and considered data saturation. Family data were analyzed by using data analysis content. Interview notes are read repeatedly to identify data saturation and formulate the unit of analysis. Furthermore, the data is structured through the coding phase, followed by formulating categories and abstracting them to obtain a brief overview. To guarantee the validity of the data, this study pays attention to its credibility, confirmability, dependability, transferability and authenticity. The results of the study indicate that the family is aware that while assisting the patients during horticultural therapy, the family must have strong motivation, patience, sincerity and confidence. It is proven that the patient's self-confidence, ability to interact and communicate shows positive development after undertaking horticultural therapy.As one form of complementary therapy, the sustainability of horticultural therapy should be done continuously by the health care provider accompanied by family support.
Background/Aims: Caregivers perform an important role but caring affects other roles they perform, resulting in poor time management and reduced quality of life. This study aimed to compare the time-use patterns and self-efficacy of caregivers of two groups of patients with chronic disease: those with a diagnosis of mental illness and those without a diagnosis of mental illness. Methods: Family caregivers of patients with a chronic disease who were aged between 20–60 years, resident in Arak, not taking care of another patient and literate were eligible to participate. The presence of mental illness was based on a psychiatrist's diagnosis at least 6 months before the study. The Mothers' Time Use Questionnaire, Sherer Self-efficacy Scale and a demographic questionnaire were used to capture data relating to time-use, self-efficacy and participant characteristics. Data were analysed using independent t-test and Mann–Whitney U test to identify and compare time-use patterns and self-efficacy. Results: There were no significant between-group differences in demographics or mean time-use scores in six domains (rest/sleep, leisure, housework, work/occupation, social participation and satisfaction with time management). Self-care time-use scores (time, quality, importance and enjoyment) were significantly higher for caregivers of patients with chronic disease with a diagnosis of mental illness. Patient care time-use scores were significantly higher for caregivers of patients with chronic disease without a diagnosis of mental illness. Mean self-efficacy score was significantly higher in the group caring for patients with a diagnosis of psychiatric disease. Conclusions: Chronic physical illnesses may result in greater dependence on caregivers than mental illness, increasing the amount of time spent on care and reducing caregiver self-efficacy.
The South African Mental Health Act of 2002 advocates the de-institutionalization of treatment of patients with mental disorders, so that the mental health care users or patients are treated in their communities. Although this approach is often used to discharge patients from hospital, no feasibility assessments are conducted to ascertain adequate care for these patients. The objective of the study was to explore the experiences of family members who provide home care for patients with serious mental disorders. A qualitative explorative design was used to interview 20 primary caregivers whose family members were readmitted to a public psychiatric hospital in Pretoria. Data were analysed using NVivo version 11. The findings are that caring for patients with serious mental illness at home is difficult, sometimes unbearable, because the families have to deal with violence perpetrated by the patients, safety concerns, financial difficulties and emotional turmoil, and wish that the patients would be kept in institutions. The absence of required skills and resources to care for the mentally ill at home exposes the patients and their families to emotional, financial and social difficulties, and results in unfavourable outcomes for both the patients and their families.
Background: According to the literature reviewed, although families living with a mentally ill relative often face violence, this issue has been little studied in nursing. Methods: We conducted a qualitative research study to explore the experience of families dealing with this complex reality. We adopted Jacques Donzelot's theory of the government of family as our theoretical framework and used grounded theory as our research methodology. In total, 14 participants who had been victims of violence perpetrated by relatives with severe mental illness were interviewed. Findings: Qualitative analysis led to the identification of five themes: (a) medico-legal apparatus; (b) experience of violence; (c) the family's responsibility toward the violent relative; (d) exclusion and stigmatisation; and (e) suffering and resilience. The present paper focuses on the study's central theme: the family's responsibility toward the violent relative.
Background: Close relatives of people with severe mental illness (SMI) experience problems known as family burdens. In addition, they may have their own needs for support, something often overlooked by the healthcare system. Meta-syntheses in this area may help explore the meaning of the experience of living with someone who has a SMI. Aim: Our aim was to describe the burdens experienced and needs perceived on a daily basis by relatives to someone who has a SMI. Methods: The databases PubMed, CINAHL, and PsychInfo were searched using a systematic search strategy. Studies were screened for relevance and quality was appraised. A meta-synthesis of nine qualitative studies was then conducted. Results: The nine studies discerned the following themes. Burden themes; Forced to carry a sometimes unbearable burden; Burdened by own ill-health and disrupted relationships; Distressed and stigmatized by society. Needs themes; strengthening protective factors; Skills and practical support greatly appreciated. Conclusions: The burdens and needs of relatives of persons with SMI strongly influence their lives. They require relief from both practical and emotional burdens. Family interventions and other programs to support relatives should be encouraged with this knowledge in mind.
This study assessed grief in caregivers of family members with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD) using the Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory Short Form (MM-CGI-SF). We used snowball sampling to recruit participants who had family members with AUD and SUD. The sample was comprised of 100 caregivers of family members with AUD and 75 caregivers of family members with SUD. The original MM-CFI-SF was modified by changing the wording to reflect those with AUD and SUD. The 18-item instrument consisted of 3 factors: personal sacrifice burden, sadness and longing, and worry and felt isolation. The professional care of caregivers with family members with AUD and SUD should be addressed by health professionals in the same manner as dementia caregivers. AUD and SUD caregivers may also downplay the distress, require social support, or have a common reaction to the stress and grief encountered. The correlations were moderate to strong and significant between each of the factors for both AUD and SUD caregiver scale.
This study examined the multidimensional nature of experiences of being an intimate partner of an Australian veteran or emergency service first responder (ESFR) with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Using a qualitative phenomenological approach, inductive thematic analysis was undertaken on data collected in 2017–2018 through individual interviews with a purposive sample of 22 partners of veterans, paramedics, fire and police officers living in Australia. Analysis revealed that the key concern of the participants was to protect their family unit and the intimate relationship, highlighting the ways in which they adapted, managed and coped with the changes that PTSD brought to the relationship. However, lack of understanding by healthcare providers, government, military and emergency service organizations of their daily lives, and of the strength of commitment to their relationship, resulted in a sense of invisibility and was revealed as the key barrier to the support they crave. The findings underscore the importance of recognizing the significance of the intimate relationship in trauma recovery and of responding to the support needs of the intimate partner.
People with schizophrenia have an increased risk of experiencing physical ill health and thus risk premature death. It is important to gain knowledge about the next-of-kin's experiences of lifestyle interventions in order to increase the understanding of the development of health promotion. This study aimed to describe the experiences of next-of-kin of lifestyle interventions for people with schizophrenia. Ten next-of-kin to people diagnosed with schizophrenia were interviewed and content analysis was used to analyze the data. Three categories emerged in the analysis: Low prioritization of physical health, Patients' needs for motivational support and Next-of-kin's' limited and distant participation. Mental health nurses need a holistic view of human beings and to include the patients' physical health and the role of the family in their responsibilities. Further studies are needed that focus on the views of the next-of-kin and the staff from the mental health services about the care and support needs for promoting physical health in this patient group.
Across the world, people living with schizophrenia (PLS) are often cared for by family caregivers. This is especially true in China where community-based systems of care for PLS are underdeveloped. Thus, family caregivers of PLS may experience emotional distress and burden in the absence of community-based services. Pearlin (1990) proposed a highly influential model for understanding the stress process and its relationship to health and wellbeing. Although the model has been examined worldwide, it has yet to be studied in China for caregivers of PLS. In the present study, we use Pearlin's stress process model to examine the mediating effect of perceived caregiver burden, family functioning, and caregivers' positive feelings about caregiving on PLS global functioning and caregiver depressive symptoms. We also examine whether the model differs for parent and spouse caregivers. A total of 327 primary family caregivers of PLS in Hunan province, China, were assessed cross-sectionally using culturally-validated measures. Bootstrap methods with Hayes's PROCESS Macro were used to test multiple mediation models of global functioning scores of PLS and caregiver depressive symptoms. In this first study of the stress process model of family caregivers of PLS in China, the results generally support the model. Caregiver perceived burden, family functioning, and positive caregiver feelings about caregiving all mediate the relationship between PLS global functioning and caregiver depression, with perceived caregiver burden having the strongest indirect effect. Analyses also show that the stress process differs between parent and spouse caregivers, with perceived caregiver burden a mediator for both groups but family functioning only a mediator for parent depressive symptoms. We discuss implications of these findings for extending the stress process model cross-culturally; suggest hypotheses for future research to examine parent and spouse differences; and discuss fruitful directions for intervention. • Test of the stress process model of family caregivers of persons living with schizophrenia (PLS) in China. • Results support the model with caregiver depressive symptoms predicted by global functioning of the PLS. • Caregiver burden, family functioning, and caregiver rewarding feelings mediate caregiver depressive symptoms. • The stress process model differs for parent and spouse caregivers.
Purpose: Household poverty associated with schizophrenia has been long described. However, the mechanisms by which schizophrenia may have influenced the economic status of a household in rural communities are still unclear. This study aimed to test an integrated model of schizophrenia, social support and caregiving burden on household poverty in a rural community in China. Methods: A mental health survey using identical methods and ICD-10 was conducted in six townships of Xinjin County (population ≥ 15 years old, n = 152,776), Chengdu, China in 2015. Identified persons with schizophrenia (n = 661) and their caregivers completed a joint questionnaire of sociodemographic information, illness conditions, social support and caregiving burden. Descriptive analysis was applied first to give an overview of the dataset. Then, multivariable regression analyses were conducted to examine the associative factors of social support, caregiving burden and household income. Then, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to estimate the integrated model of schizophrenia, social support, caregiving burden and household income. Results: Households with patient being female, married, able to work and having better social function were better off. Larger household size, higher social support and lower caregiving burden also had salient association with higher household income. The relationship between schizophrenia and household poverty appeared to be mediated by the impacts of schizophrenia on social support and caregiving burden. Conclusion: There was a strong association between schizophrenia and household poverty, in which social support and caregiving burden may had played significant roles on mediating it. More precise poverty alleviation policies and interventions should focus on supporting recovery for persons with schizophrenia, as well as on increasing social support and on reducing family caregiving burden.
Objective: To synthesise qualitative research that explored caregivers' experiences of caring for family diagnosed with schizophrenia. Methods: Electronic databases including PsycINFO, PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus were searched to identify relevant journal articles published from 2000 to March 2019. Quality was assessed and thematic synthesis of the qualitative research evidence undertaken. Papers were screened and independently appraised by two reviewers using The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) for Qualitative Studies Checklist. The review was guided by Thomas and Harden's framework for thematic synthesis of qualitative research evidence. Results: The breadth of information across the 43 papers was noteworthy. Review of the findings noted that almost all of what was discussed fell into three broad themes: the 'feelings' of the caregiver towards their role, the patient and others, including the health system; the 'impacts' of the diagnosis and their caregiving role on the caregiver; and the 'needs' of the caregiver to improve the patient's quality of life and thereby the caregiver's quality of life. Within needs also came recommendations for future changes. Conclusion: Studies have shown that the caregiving process is a complex one, with both negative and positive emotional reactions, societal barriers, such as stigma and isolation, and unmet needs, such as timely, relevant and helpful information. Meeting the needs identified by caregivers has the capacity to address the impacts of the illness and caregiving and thereby reduce the negative feelings associated with the caregiver role.
Purpose Families play an instrumental role in helping relatives experiencing mental health issues to stay well. In the context of wider initiatives promoting family and carer needs, this study aims to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and potential benefits of bespoke training to develop clinicians’ skills in working with families in crisis. Design/methodology/approach The study was an uncontrolled evaluation of a one-day workshop for home treatment team staff using pre- and post-questionnaires. Findings In total, 83 staff members participated. Overall, there was a strong agreement for the involvement of families, which increased marginally after training. There were significant changes in views about talking to family members without service user consent (p = 0.001) and keeping them informed of their relative’s well-being (p = 0.02). Qualitative feedback indicated that participants enjoyed the interactive elements, particularly role-playing. Training provided an opportunity to practice skills, share knowledge and facilitate the integration of family work into their professional role. Research limitations/implications Confident support for families contributes to effective mediation of crisis and continuation of care; factors important in reducing admission rates and protecting interpersonal relationships. Overall, the consistency of responses obtained from participants suggests that this workshop offers a helpful introduction to a family approach at times of a mental health crisis. Originality/value This pilot evaluation suggests this new one-day workshop, is a feasible and acceptable training program, which is beneficial in developing clinicians’ skills in working with families in a crisis.
Mechanisms underlying the manifestation of relatives' expressed emotion (EE) in the early stages of psychosis are still not properly understood. The present study aimed to examine whether relatives' psychological distress and subjective appraisals of the illness predicted EE dimensions over-and-above patients' poor clinical and functional status. Baseline patient-related variables and relatives attributes comprising criticism, emotional over-involvement (EOI), psychological distress, and illness attributions were assessed in 91 early psychosis patients and their respective relatives. Relatives were reassessed regarding EE dimensions at a 6-month follow-up. Relatives' psychological distress and illness attributions predicted criticism and EOI over-and-above patients' illness characteristics at both time points. Relatives' increased levels of anxiety, attributions of blame toward the patients, an emotional negative representation about the disorder, and decreased levels of self-blame attributions predicted EE-criticism at baseline. Relatives' anxiety and negative emotional representation of the disorder were the only significant predictors of EE-criticism at follow-up, whereas anxiety, attributions of control by the relative and an emotional negative representation about the disorder predicted EE-EOI both at baseline and follow-up assessments. Understanding the components that comprise and maintain EE attitudes should guide early psychosis caregivers in family interventions, enhancing proper management of psychological distress and reduction of negative appraisals about the illness. The prevention of high-EE attitudes over time in a sensitive period such as early psychosis might be critical in shaping the health of caregivers and the outcome of the affected relatives.
This pilot study evaluated a video-based educational program for improving communication skills and reducing family violence between parents and their adult children with schizophrenia. We used a one group pretest-posttest design. The program included a main 90-min video and six stories, each 20–30 min long. We made assessments at baseline and program completion (three months after baseline). Sixty-six parent participants completed the intervention. The average frequency of acts of family violence significantly decreased from 11.4 (SD = 26.2) at pretest to 5.1 (SD = 13.2) at posttest (p = 0.016). Our findings showed significant improvements regarding expressed emotion, psychological distress, family empowerment, and hope, demonstrating preliminary positive results for this video-based educational program. The program was shown to be feasible for support/educational groups of family members of adults with mental disorders to deliver and may also be useful for practitioner-led educational groups for families in public health centers or medical settings to offer.
Background: Integration of mental health services into primary health care systems has been advocated as a strategy to minimize the tremendous mental health treatment gap, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Barriers to integration of mental health into primary health care have been widely documented; however, very little is known about the perception of service users and their caregivers on primary care-based mental health services. This study assessed service users' and caregivers' perceptions of mental health services provided by trained primary health care workers in Nepal. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted among people with depression, psychosis, alcohol use disorder and epilepsy, and their caregivers in Chitwan, a district in southern Nepal. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 43 service users and 38 caregivers to assess their perceptions about the accessibility of the services, types of services they received, skills and competencies of health care providers, satisfaction and barriers to receiving services. Results: Overall, both service users and caregivers were satisfied with the mental health services provided by primary health care providers. They also perceived health workers to be competent and skillful because the services they received were effective in reducing their mental health problems. Both psychological and pharmacological services were made available free of cost, however, they considered psychological services more effective than pharmacological treatment. Major challenges and difficulties accessing services were associated with frequent transfer of trained health workers, non-availability of the same health care provider at follow-ups, frequent stock-out of medicines or non-availability of required medicines, lack of a confidential space for consultation in health facilities, and stigmatizing and negative behavior of some health workers. Conclusion: The results demonstrated that both service users and caregivers perceived primary care-based mental health services to be accessible, acceptable and effective. The key recommendations emerging from this study for improving mental health services in primary care include the provision of a separate cadre of psychosocial workers to provide psychological interventions, developing quick and efficient mechanisms for the procurement and supply of psychotropic medicines, establishing a confidential place within health facilities for consultation, and further training of health workers to reduce stigma.
Training-based intervention such as psychoeducational groups has become increasingly popular to empower family caregivers of people with schizophrenia, yet existing supportive programs for caregivers tend to focus more on the needs of the patients rather than the development of the caregivers. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of a skill-based empowerment psychoeducational group and an inner-resource enhancing empowerment narrative therapy group for family caregivers of people with schizophrenia. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with a longitudinal design. The sample consisted of 132 family caregivers who were randomly assigned to eight sessions of the two groups (i.e. a narrative-based group, or a psychoeducational group), or a control group with delayed treatment. Psychometric scales were administrated throughout the project. Both the psychoeducational group and the narrative group showed significant improvements in family relationships, caregiving burden, and coping skills compared with the control group across the three time points (pretest, posttest, and 2-month follow-up). A statistically significant advancement in coping skills was found in the psychoeducational group. The narrative group outperformed the psychoeducational group and the control group in the enhancement of inner resources, perceived control, and level of hope. The findings call for the need of an integrative empowerment approach that both values the inner strength and unique experiences of the caregivers and at the same time provides them with necessary skills and knowledge in taking care of their family members with schizophrenia.
The aim was to explore informal carers' perceptions of supporting the everyday life of a relative who has a psychiatric disability and resides in supported housing (SH). A qualitative study based on interviews with 12 informal carers was performed, and the data was analyzed with qualitative content analysis. The theme "Navigating in a misty landscape when striving to support a relative with a psychiatric disability" was identified, encompassing four categories pertaining to residents' needs, collaboration, environmental issues and the carer's situation. SH services can be enhanced by addressing informal carers' experiences and developing greater collaboration involving informal carers, residents and staff.
Background: The CAregiver Perceptions About CommunIcaTion with Clinical Team members (CAPACITY) instrument measures how care partners perceive themselves to be supported by the patient's health care team and their experiences communicating with the team. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the measurement properties (ie, structural validity of the construct and internal consistency) of the CAPACITY instrument in care partners of patients with cognitive impairment, and to examine whether care partner health literacy and patient cognitive impairment are associated with a higher or lower CAPACITY score. Research Design: This was a retrospective cohort study. Subjects: A total of 1746 dyads of community-dwelling care partners and older adults in the United States with cognitive impairment who obtained an amyloid positron emission tomography scan. Measures: The CAPACITY instrument comprises 12 items that can be combined as a total score or examined as subdomain scores about communication with the team and care partner capacity-assessment by the team. The 2 covariates of primary interest in the regression model are health literacy and level of cognitive impairment of the patient (Modified Telephone Interview Cognitive Status). Results: Confirmatory factor analysis showed the CAPACITY items fit the expected 2-factor structure (communication and capacity). Higher cognitive functioning of patients and higher health literacy among care partners was associated with lower communication domain scores, lower capacity domain scores, and lower overall CAPACITY scores. Conclusions: The strong psychometric validity of the CAPACITY measure indicates it could have utility in other family caregivers or care partner studies assessing the quality of interactions with clinical teams. Knowing that CAPACITY differs by care partner health literacy and patient impairment level may help health care teams employ tailored strategies to achieve high-quality care partner interactions.
Background: Family caregivers contribute to engagement in treatment and adherence, reduced substance misuse and relapse, and increased well-being of recipients with substance use disorder. However, providing care has also been associated with negative emotional and physical health outcomes for caregivers. The purpose of this integrative review was to determine what instruments are used to measure caregiver burden in informal caregivers of individuals with substance use disorder. Methods: An integrative review framework was applied to examine empirical and theoretical literature to answer the guiding research question, "How is caregiver burden measured in caregivers of individuals with substance use disorder?" PubMed, CINAHL, and APA PsychINFO were searched using a combination of search terms. The initial 1,198 articles were narrowed to 32 that fit the search criteria and purpose of the review. Results: A variety of scales have been used to measure caregiver burden. Caregiver burden is operationalized as objective or subjective burden. Objective burden refers to changes in the home, finances, employment, social life, and leisure, whereas subjective burden refers to the emotional reaction of the caregiver in coping with providing care. Caregiver burden was most often reported as moderate to severe in populations with substance use disorder. Attributes measured included anxiety, depression, stress, worry, displeasure, care recipient behavioral problems and substance abuse, stigma, relationship strain, financial expenses, social support, family disruption, and the effect on caregiver physical and emotional health. Conclusions: Specific instruments that can accurately evaluate objective and subjective caregiver burden are needed to measure the quality of caregiver health. More research is necessary to better understand the physical and emotional health of caregivers of persons with substance use disorder and the factors that contribute to increased quality of life. Understanding the relationship between outcomes and protective factors could help nurses to develop prevention strategies and treatment interventions aimed at decreasing the psychosocial trauma and stress associated with caregiver burden.
Background: Mental health recovery narratives have been defined as first-person lived experience accounts of recovery from mental health problems which refer to events or actions over a period of time and which include elements of adversity or struggle, and also self-defined strengths, successes or survival. They are readily available in invariant recorded form, including text, audio or video. Previous studies have provided evidence that receiving recorded recovery narratives can provide benefits to recipients. This protocol describes three pragmatic trials that will be conducted by the Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) study using the NEON Intervention, a web application that delivers recorded recovery narratives to its users. The aim of the NEON Trial is to understand whether receiving online recorded recovery narratives through the NEON Intervention benefits people with experience of psychosis. The aim of the NEON-O and NEON-C trials is to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a definitive trial on the use of the NEON Intervention with people experiencing non-psychosis mental health problems and those who care for others experiencing mental health problems respectively. Methods: The NEON Trial will recruit 683 participants with experience of psychosis. The NEON-O Trial will recruit at least 100 participants with experience of non-psychosis mental health problems. The NEON-C Trial will recruit at least 100 participants with experience of caring for others who have experienced mental health problems. In all three trials, participants will be randomly allocated into one of two arms. Intervention arm participants will receive treatment as usual plus immediate access to the NEON Intervention for 1 year. Control arm participants will receive treatment as usual plus access to the NEON Intervention after 1 year. All participants will complete demographics and outcome measures at baseline, 1 week, 12 weeks and 52 weeks. For the NEON Trial, the primary outcome measure is the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life at 52 weeks, and secondary outcome measures are the CORE-10, Herth Hope Index, Mental Health Confidence Scale and Meaning in Life Questionnaire. A cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted using data collected through the EQ-5D-5 L and the Client Service Receipt Inventory. Discussion: NEON Trial analyses will establish both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the NEON Intervention for people with experience of psychosis, and hence inform future clinical recommendations for this population. Trial Registration: All trials were prospectively registered with ISRCTN. NEON Trial: ISRCTN11152837 . Registered on 13 August 2018. NEON-C Trial: ISRCTN76355273 . Registered on 9 January 2020. NEON-O Trial: ISRCTN63197153 . Registered on 9 January 2020.
Background: Many clinical trials have assessed treatments for depressive disorders and bipolar depression. However, whether, and which, assessed outcome domains really matter to patients, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals remains unclear.; Methods: We did an international online survey in French, German, and English. Participants were adult patients with a history of depression, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals, recruited by purposeful sampling. To identify outcome domains, participants answered four open-ended questions about their expectations for depression treatment. We disseminated the survey without restriction via social media, patient and professional associations, and a media campaign. Four researchers independently did qualitative content analyses. We assessed data saturation using mathematical models to ensure the comprehensive identification of outcome domains.; Findings: Between April 5, 2018, and Dec 10, 2018, 1912 patients, 464 informal caregivers, and 627 health-care professionals from 52 countries provided 8183 open-ended answers. We identified 80 outcome domains related to symptoms (64 domains), such as mental pain (or psychological or psychic pain, 523 [17%] of 3003 participants) and motivation (384 [13%]), and functioning (16 domains), such as social isolation (541 [18%]). We identified 57 other outcome domains regarding safety of treatment, health care organisation, and social representation, such as stigmatisation (408 [14%]).; Interpretation: This study provides a list of outcome domains important to patients, informal caregivers, and health-care professionals. Unfortunately, many of these domains are rarely measured in clinical trials. Results from this study should set the foundation for a core outcome set for depression.; Funding: Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale and NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.
Objective: Psychological interventions reduce the impact of psychosis, but widescale implementation is problematic. We tested the feasibility of group acceptance and commitment therapy for Psychosis (G‐ACTp), delivered by frontline staff, and co‐facilitated by service‐user experts‐by‐experience (SU‐EbyE), for service‐users and informal caregivers (ISRCTN: 68540929). We estimated recruitment/retention rates and outcome variability for future evaluation. Methods: Staff and SU‐EbyE facilitators completed 1‐day workshops, then delivered closely supervised G‐ACTp, comprising four sessions (weeks 1–4) and two boosters (10 and 12 weeks). Participants recruited from adult community psychosis services were randomized to receive G‐ACTp immediately or after 12 weeks, completing outcome assessments at 0, 4, and 12 weeks. Service‐use/month was calculated for 1‐year pre‐randomization, weeks 0–12, and 5‐year uncontrolled follow‐up. Results: Of 41 facilitators trained (29 staff, 12 SU‐EbyE), 29 (71%; 17 staff, 12 SU‐EbyE) delivered 18 G‐ACTp courses. Participant refusal rates were low (9% of service‐users [10/112]; 5% of caregivers [4/79]); 60% of those invited to participate attended ≥1 G‐ACTp session (64% of service‐users [39/61]; 56% of caregivers [35/63]). Randomization of facilitators and participants proved problematic and participant follow‐up was incomplete (78% [66/85]; 82% of service‐users [36/44]; 73% of caregivers [30/41]). Effect sizes ranged from very small to large mostly favouring treatment. Service‐use reductions require cautious interpretation, as very few participants incurred costs. Conclusions: Implementation appears feasible for service‐users; for caregivers, retention needs improving. Outcome variability indicated n = 100–300/arm followed up (α = 0.05, 90% power). Methodological limitations' mean replication is needed: identified sources of potential bias may be reduced in a cluster randomized design with sessional outcome completion. Practitioner points: Group acceptance and commitment therapy can be successfully adapted for people with psychosis and their caregivers.Implementation (training and delivery) is possible in routine community mental health care settings.Clinical and economic outcomes are promising, but replication is needed.Recommendations are made for future studies.
This qualitative study was carried out to determine the burden of care on Turkish caregivers of patients with substance use disorder. The sample included relatives of 42 patients hospitalized in the Akdeniz University Alcohol and Drug Addiction Research and Application Center. Individual in-depth, open semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. Moreover, demographic questions and an interview guide with questions were also used. According to the results of this study, the following themes were evaluated: difficulties experienced, coping, and needs. The findings showed that substance abuse has adverse consequences and negatively affects both the patients and their relatives in terms of economic, psychological, and social aspects. Furthermore, because of the social stigma of substance abuse, the families receive very limited social support from the environment. This weakens the well-being of the family members and increases intrafamily conflicts. We conclude that ensuring the well-being of the caregivers of patients with substance use disorder is useful in maintaining a successful treatment of addiction. Thus, policymakers should include the relatives of patients with substance use disorder in prevention and intervention programs to increase the effectiveness of the interventions.
Objectives: This study systematically reviewed existing qualitative evidence of family members' experiences prior to the initiation of mental health services for a loved one experiencing their first episode of psychosis (FEP). Methods: A meta-synthesis review of published peer-reviewed qualitative studies conducted between 2010 and 2019 were included. Keyword searches were performed in four electronic databases and the reference lists of primary manuscripts. Two independent reviewers used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) qualitative checklist to assess methodological quality of each study. Results: A total of 365 articles were initially identified and 9 were articles identified in a secondary review and literature search. A total of 21 met inclusion criteria. Of those included in this review 169, mothers were the primary family to recall experiences. The meta-synthesis identified four major themes related to family member experiences prior to the initiation of mental health services for FEP: the misinterpretation of signs, the emotional impact of FEP on family members, the effect of stigma on family members, and engaging with resources prior to mental health services for FEP. Conclusions: Additional research is needed to develop healthy communication strategies that effectively deliver educational information about psychosis. This meta-synthesis also identified the need to understand help-seeking behaviors among families of those with FEP in effort to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis and improve pathways to care often initiated by a family member.
The present study investigated how stressors experienced by caregivers of people with personality disorders relate to each other and psychological distress, using the Stress Process Model (Pearlin et al. in Gerontologist 30(5):583–594, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/30.5.583, 1990). A community sample of caregivers (N = 106) completed an online survey. Partial Least Squares Path Modelling revealed that caregivers who were male, younger, or residing with their loved one were more likely to experience stressors. Salient primary stressors included the caregivers' worry and care-receivers' levels of instrumental demands and interpersonal problems. Important secondary stressors included strains in the caregivers' schedules, family relationships, and health, as well as reduced mastery and caregiving esteem. The model provided preliminary support for a pathway from demographic and relationship characteristics, through primary and secondary stressors, to heightened psychological distress. The present study clarifies the way caregiving stressors give rise to psychological distress; directions for future research are discussed.
Clinicians have long identified the psychological impacts and objective burdens on family members and caregivers who support loved ones with psychiatric conditions. However, there is a lack of programming available to support families with relatives who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, and research in this area is scant. The current pilot study evaluated the impact of providing a peer-led education group for loved ones of individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). A mixed-methods study design was implemented: quantitative self-report scales were used to derive scores of mastery and burden and focus groups gathered qualitative narratives. Data were collected from participants (N = 15) before and after the group intervention, as well as 4 months later. Quantitative results indicated that while participants initially reported a sense of burden in their caregiving role, their self-report of this phenomenon reduced over time following engagement with the group. The focus groups revealed that participants found the group had a positive impact on their well-being as a result of the information, skills acquisition, and support/validation they received. They also noted clinical improvements for their relatives with BPD. This study provides preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of the peer-led education group in supporting families. The results suggest that particular variables such as peer leadership, skills-based learning, and focus on caregiver wellness—rather than on the person with a diagnosis – may explain improved outcomes of this family intervention.
Purpose France, once a pioneer in psychiatry, is now sinking as its population faces major mental health challenges. This includes the 12 Million French individuals with psychiatric conditions, the lack of appropriate structures and the shortage of skilled mental health professionals, but it also leaves families in critical situations. The purpose of this study is to explore the carers’ caregiving experiences and to suggest ways to organise educational programmes to support mental health carers in France. Design/methodology/approach The research was conducted from January 2018 to November 2019. It included French carers of patients with mental conditions. Recorded semi-structured interviews were used and findings were analysed through an inductive thematic analysis and regrouped into key themes. Findings Participants had overwhelming negative representations of “mental illness”. The fact that they were excluded from participating in the patient’s health management further added to their misconceptions around mental disability, it limited their communication with their family and amplified their burdens. Research limitations/implications There is an urgent need for carer empowerment; carers should be included in educational programmes, they should benefit from French Government subsidies and social-network assistance and receive quality assistance by trained mental health professionals. The critical situation of carers can only be addressed by combining these three steps and through the action of appropriate actors in the field of mental health, thus alleviating the current paradigm of psychiatric care in France. Originality/value Thousands of research papers regarding carers have been published in other countries. In addition yet, to the knowledge, only a few investigations on French mental health carers have been conducted to this day. The singularity of this research lies in the rare individual interviews, which provided us with first-hand testimonies of mental health carers in France. This data could be of vital aid for professionals and for policymakers when advocating for better support of carers in mental health.
Family caregivers of people with mental disorders face a number of burdens and stressors, such as associative stigma and burnout. These burdens are often a result of their caring role coupled with insufficient support or ineffective coping strategies, which can affect their quality of life and biopsychosocial integrity that, in turn, may affect the care they provide. This study aimed to explore the experiences of family caregivers of people with mental disorders, through examining the burdens that they face and the coping strategies that they use. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, 13 semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the Saudi public, recruited through popular social media platforms and analyzed using thematic analysis. Five main themes were constructed from the data: Type of care, Challenges, Coping and support, Perceptions of public awareness, and Messages to others. The findings emphasize the different types of burdens that caregivers experience, and their needs that require a range of responses such as educational training on effective coping strategies, and psychological support in the form of counseling or group therapy. This study highlights the voice of caregivers and their message to the public, in order to correct the misconceptions surrounding mental disorders and those associated with them.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) frequently have behavioral or mental health needs, but experience obstacles to treatment. Family caregivers are often responsible for coordinating the care of individuals with IDD. This study examined family caregiver experiences using intake data from a national tertiary crisis intervention model designed for people with IDD and mental health needs. Caregivers (n = 488) completed the Family Experiences Interview Schedule. Less than half of families reported satisfaction with the mental health services received. Notable gaps were in crisis, night and weekend services, choice of services and providers, communication and coordination between providers, and specialized training. Experiences were worse for caregiving fathers and individuals with IDD with co-occurring chronic medical conditions.
Introduction: Informal caregivers play a major role in the support and maintenance of community patients with severe psychiatric disorders. A pilot study showed that an individualised brief intervention such as the Ensemble programme leads to significant improvements in psychological health state and optimism.; Methods and Analysis: This randomised controlled trial aims to compare the efficacy of using Ensemble in improving informal caregivers' psychological health states and the ability to play an active role in their situations with that of support as usual. Improvements on the psychological health global index will be measured three times (T0-pre, T1-post and T3 2 months follow) with standardised questionnaires (the Global Severity Index of Brief Inventory Symptoms, the Life Orientation Test-Revised, the 36-item Medical Outcome Study Short-Form Health Survey and the French Zarit Burden Interview). Differences between groups in post-test and pretest values will be examined using an analysis of covariance for each outcome variable. The severity of illness measured by the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale will also be collected at T0 and T2 to compare eventual patient improvements. At the end of the programme, the experiences of the 20 patients participating in the Ensemble programme will be evaluated qualitatively.; Ethics and Dissemination: The research protocol received full authorisation from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Vaud state, Switzerland. The principal paper will concern the results of the experimental design used to test the Ensemble programme. The research team will prioritise open access publications.; Trial Registration Number: NCT04020497.
Background: Strengthening the coping resources as an instruction for anxiety-regulation may affect the emotion-regulation of families. Regarding the significant role of families in health of these patients, it seems that interference in strengthening coping resources affects their emotion-regulation. Aim: This study aimed to determine the effect of strengthening family coping resources on the emotion-regulation of schizophrenic patients' caregivers. Method: This quasi-experimental research was conducted on families with hospitalized schizophrenic patients in one of the most prominent psychiatric centers in the Northeast of Iran in 2018. The participants were assigned to intervention (n=29) and control (n=31) groups. A short revised form of Emotion-Regulation Questionnaire was utilized as data collection tool. The intervention based on strengthening family coping resources (SFCR) was administered in three modules and 15 group sessions (groups of 6-8 individuals) according to the instructions of the multi-family model of Kisser et al. On the other hand, the controls received routine cares in hospital wards. The data were analyzed in SPSS software version (16) using independent and paired t-tests. Results: The groups were homogenous in terms of demographic characteristics. The result of independent t-test demonstrated a significant difference in the mean score of revaluation (P=0.001) and suppression (p=0.001) in the intervention group, compared to the control group, after the intervention. Implications for Practice: This intervention can guide clinicians on how to implement a familycentered care program to reduce the burden of caring schizophrenic patients through gaining family support in the efficient care of these patients.
Background and Aim: Incorrect beliefs and negative thinking of society and in the family affect psychiatric patients over the process of treatment, care and recovery. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of group counseling on the attitude of family caregivers in patients with mental disorders. Materials and Methods: This quasi experimental study was conducted in psychiatric wards of Farshchian Hospital in Hamadan in Iran in 2018. 49 family caregivers were randomly selected to the study. Data were collected using a researcher-made mental attitude questionnaire. At first, family caregivers' attitudes were evaluated; then, they held 4 groups and for each group done 4 sessions of 60 minutes of group counseling. The questionnaire was completed again by the family caregivers immediately after the intervention. Data analysis was done using SPSS software version 16 using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: The mean of the attitude of the family caregivers before the group counseling was (12.59 ± 13.49). The mean of the attitude score of family caregivers after group counseling was (24.45 ± 8.32). Paired t-test showed that the attitude score of caregivers increased significantly after group counseling (p <0.001). Discussion and Conclusion: The results of the study indicate that group counseling improves the attitude of family caregivers towards mental illness. Therefore, it is recommended that psychiatric nurses use this method to educate families of mental patients.
Schizophrenia is the most severe chronic disabling psychiatric disorder that needs long term care in various aspects. Therefore, the family's emotional atmosphere caused by the disease affects the condition of the patients' caregivers. This study aimed to investigate the effect of emotional regulation training on stress, anxiety, and depression in caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. The study was a randomized controlled trial. Seventy caregivers of patients with schizophrenia randomly assigned to a group that received emotion regulation training and a control group. The intervention group was trained about emotion regulation during eight 90-min sessions. The participants completed the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales-21 questionnaire before and one month after the intervention. The results showed that stress, anxiety and depression scores significantly reduced in the intervention group compared to the control group. Emotional regulation training with cognitive methods has significantly reduced the anxiety, stress, and depression of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia.
Objective: This study aims to develop and validate the stigma assessment tool for family member caregivers of patients with mental illness (SAT-FAM). Methods: This study was conducted in three phases: (1) explicate the concept of stigma towards family caregivers of patients with mental illness, (2) develop and iteratively optimise a preliminary version of the SAT-FAM, and (3) test the psychometric properties of the final version of the SAT-FAM. In phase 1, 14 family caregivers of patients with mental illness were interviewed for qualitative data collection and analysis. Four themes emerged: people's reaction and attitude, compassion with fear, rejection and loneliness, and confusion about mental illness. In phase 2, the first draft of the SAT-FAM with 38 items was developed. Based on the content validity index, each item was evaluated by 15 experts using a 4-point scale (1 = not relevant; 4 = very relevant). 15 family member caregivers of patients with mental illness were randomly selected to complete the face validity form on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). In phase 3, 286 family caregivers of people with mental illness were recruited for exploratory factor analysis. Internal consistency (Cronbach's coefficient) and test-retest reliability were measured. Results: The final draft of the SAT-FAM comprised 30 items in four factors: shame and discrimination, social interaction, emotional reaction, and avoidance behaviours. The internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) was >0.89 for all factors. The test-retest reliability among 30 family caregivers was good (0.76). Conclusions: The SAT-FAM is a valid and reliable self-report instrument for assessing stigma towards family caregivers of patients with mental illness. It enables a practical way of evaluating interventions aimed at reducing stigma.
To investigate the cross-sectional associations between depression in people with dementia and both caregiver burden and quality of life in 8 European countries, and to test these associations compared with the presence of other neuropsychiatric symptoms. Cross-sectional study. In total, 1223 dyads comprised of informal caregivers and people with dementia living in a community-dwelling setting, recruited from the Right Time Place Care study, a cohort survey from 8 European countries. To test the associations between depression (according to the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia) and informal caregiver burden (defined by the Zarit scale and hours of supervision in terms of Resource Utilization in Dementia), distress (defined by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire distress score), and quality of life (according to the visual analogue scale and 12-item General Health Questionnaire). Linear regressions showed an association between depression and main outcomes (Zarit scale: β 3.7; P =.001; hours of supervision: β 1.7; P =.004; Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire distress score: β 1.2; P =.002). A similar association was found concerning psychological and overall well-being (12-item General Health Questionnaire: β 1.8; P <.001; Euroqol Visual Analogue Scale: β −4.1; P =.003). Both associations remained significant despite the presence of other NPS and after adjusting for confounders. Further studies are needed to assess whether providing tailored strategies for optimizing diagnosis and managing of depression in people with dementia might improve caregiver quality of life and reduce their burden in the community-dwelling setting.
Memory-related diseases often have a profound effect not only on the lives of individual people, but also on the lives of their families and others close to them. In this article, we introduce one national solution developed to help people who encounter such a situation. Regional ‘Muistiluotsi’ (memory pilot) centres provide expert assistance and support to people with memory-related diseases and their families. With its population of 5.5 million people, Finland has an estimated 193,000 people with a memory-related disease. Annually, approximately 14,500 people receive the diagnosis....
The aim of this systematic integrative review is to analyse the challenges and barriers found in mental healthcare systems and the impact they have on the family. Searches were made of the Web of Science, Scopus, Medline and Cochrane databases using terms relating to mental health, family care and healthcare systems. We included and critically evaluated studies published in English between 2015 and 2019 that directly or indirectly analysed public mental health policies and the consequences they have for the family. We analysed our findings following the inductive content analysis approach. A total of 32 articles that met quality indicators were identified. Very closely related structural, cultural, economic and healthcare barriers were found that contribute to the treatment gap in mental health. The family covers the care systems’ deficiencies and weaknesses, and this leads to overload and a diminishing quality of life for caregivers. It is acknowledged that people with mental illness and their families should be able to participate in the development of policies and thus contribute to strengthening mental healthcare systems worldwide.
Aim: The first episode of psychosis is a challenging time for both patients and those who care for them. Although literature on treatment is plentiful, literature on how to best support caregivers is more scarce. This review was undertaken to better understand the caregiver experience, determine which interventions most effectively alleviate their burden and examine which other factors may affect outcomes. Methods: Articles were retrieved from PubMed and OVID using the following search terms: first episode psychosis (FEP), schizophrenia, caregiver, intervention and burden in various combinations. Only peer‐reviewed articles germane to FEP caregiver experience and interventions written in English were included. Results: Caregivers can experience grief, guilt and anxiety during this time. While concerned for their loved one, their own lives take a back seat and their mental and physical health are adversely affected. Some are better prepared to cope and are typically warm, decisive, confident and optimistic. Their families are organized and flexible. Others are less prepared and are more likely to have poor self‐esteem, use avoidant coping strategies and be overly critical. Their families are controlling and have difficulty with communication and balance. These caregivers stand to benefit most from interventions. Conclusions: Effective interventions incorporate psychoeducation, problem solving strategies, peer support and clinician guidance. A higher level of interaction with facilitators and peers is associated with better results. Benefits include decreases in caregiver burden, depressive and anxious symptoms and feelings of shame and isolation. Although the literature has yet to isolate the key factors of a successful intervention, this review provides practical suggestions for clinicians and further illustrates the need for more research.
The aim of this study was to examine carer experiences with mental health services for individuals with dual disabilities in Australia. This qualitative study involved semi-structured interviews with nine parents with an adult offspring with an intellectual disability in 2016. Parents who had received a mental health service for their offspring within the past two years in Australia with adequate spoken English were included. Parents were asked four open ended questions relating to their experiences of mental health services for their offspring. Findings revealed parents reported more negative experiences with mental health services perceived to hold limited expertise in dual disabilities. They also reported difficulties in accessing appropriate services and highlighted the importance of collaboration and adjustments to suit individual needs of their child. The findings are discussed in terms of the implications for service provision and training for practitioners working with families with intellectual disabilities. Acknowledging the important role of carers as key informants and partners in treatment decision making is highlighted as necessary aligning services with best practice standards.
Family caregivers (FCs) of persons with mental illness (PMI) often experience caregiving burdens that contribute to poor mental health. As compared to European-American FCs, Asian-American FCs may experience greater caregiving burden due to an increased likelihood of cohabiting with PMIs. Yet, limited research exists on the caregiving experience of Asian-American FCs and on how self-care practice and social support mediate caregiver burden among FCs of PMIs. Using a cross-sectional mixed-method design this study explored the impact of caregiving burden on mental health outcomes among Chinese-American and European-American FCs. The quantitative data showed similar caregiving burden between the two groups and a partial mediation role for self-care practice on FCs' mental health. The qualitative data showed that FCs from the two groups utilized different types of social support. Findings suggest the need for mental health professionals to develop intervention programs to enhance self-care practices and social support for FCs when working with PMIs.
There are very little data on the burden among caregivers of older adults with severe mental diseases. We aimed to assess the perceived burden among caregivers of family members with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 52 older patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders and their family caregivers. Caregivers were assessed with the medical outcome survey short form (SF-36), the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and the Depression Anxiety and Stress scales (DASS-21). Caregivers' mental quality of life was impaired with an average mental score of 59.05. For a threshold value of 17, the level of perceived burden was considered as high for 42.3% of caregivers. After controlling for demographic variables (age and gender) and patients' health-related variables (level of dependency, comorbidities, age onset of illness, number of hospitalizations and duration of clinical remission), caregivers' levels of depression, stress, and SF-36 physical component significantly contributed to their perceived burden. Certain modifiable risk factors play an inescapable role in increasing the level of burden among caregivers of older patients with serious mental illnesses. Improving the quality of life and psychological well-being of family caregivers should be considered an integral part of treatment for serious mental illness in older adult patients.
Background: Most schizophrenia patients are supported by main informal caregivers at home in China. This study aims to investigate the further needs of social supports for main informal caregivers of schizophrenia patients and to analyze influencing factors on the awareness and utilization of social supports in Beijing. The results of this study could potentially act as reference for health professionals to implement appropriate and effective support programs. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used in this study. Awareness, utilization and influencing factors of social supports for main informal caregivers were investigated using questionnaires in 6 urban districts in Beijing. Meanwhile, individual in-depth interviews with 10 main informal caregivers from the urban districts of Beijing were conducted to identify the caregivers' perspective on social supports and their further needs. Results: Quantitative results showed that although the government provided multi-channel resources for schizophrenia patients and their families, awareness and utilization of the resources such as rehabilitation and relevant subsidies were less than 10.0 and 5.0% respectively. Most caregivers in in-depth interviews expressed that they had negative experiences with respect to obtaining social supports, and they emphasized that more support would be needed in terms of financial support, respect, and rehabilitation institutions. Conclusions: The awareness and utilization of social supports are low for main informal caregivers of schizophrenia patients. More services and improved public attitudes are needed for schizophrenia patients and their caregivers.
Background: Schizophrenia is a persistent and debilitating mental illness, and its prognosis depends largely on supportive care and systematic treatment. In developing countries like China, families constitute the major caregiving force for schizophrenia and are faced with many challenges, such as lack of knowledge, skills, and resources. The approach to support family caregiving in an accessible, affordable, feasible, and cost-effective way remains unclear. The wide-spread use of WeChat provides a promising and cost-effective medium for support.; Objective: We aim to present a protocol for assessing a WeChat-based integrative family intervention (WIFI) to support family caregiving for schizophrenia.; Methods: We will develop a WIFI program that includes the following three core components: (1) psychoeducation (WeChat official account), (2) peer support (WeChat chat group), and (3) professional support (WeChat video chat). A rigorous stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial will be used to evaluate the implementation, effectiveness, and cost of the WIFI program. The WIFI program will be implemented in 12 communities affiliated with Changsha Psychiatric Hospital through the free medicine delivery process in the 686 Program. The 12 communities will be randomized to one of four fixed sequences every 2 months during an 8-month intervention period in four clusters of three communities each. Outcomes will be assessed for both family caregivers and people with schizophrenia. Family caregivers will be assessed for their knowledge and skills about caregiving, social support, coping, perceived stigma, caregiver burden, family functioning, positive feelings, and psychological distress. People with schizophrenia will be assessed for their symptoms, functioning, quality of life, recovery, and rehospitalization. Cost data, such as intervention costs, health care utilization costs, and costs associated with lost productivity, will be collected. Moreover, we will collect process data, including fidelity and quality of program implementation, as well as user attitude data. Treatment effects will be estimated using generalized linear maximum likelihood mixed modeling with clusters as a random effect and time as a fixed effect. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed from the societal perspective using incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Qualitative analysis will use the grounded theory approach and immersion-crystallization process.; Results: The study was funded in August 2018 and approved by the institutional review board on January 15, 2019. Preliminary baseline data collection was conducted in May 2019 and completed in September 2019. The WIFI program is expected to start in September 2020.; Conclusions: This is the first study to assess a WeChat-based mHealth intervention to support family caregiving for schizophrenia in China. The innovative study will contribute to the development of a more cost-effective and evidence-based family management model in the community for people with schizophrenia, and the approach could potentially be integrated into national policy and adapted for use in other populations.; Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04393896; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04393896.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): PRR1-10.2196/18538. (©Yu Yu, Tongxin Li, Shijun Xi, Yilu Li, Xi Xiao, Min Yang, Xiaoping Ge, Shuiyuan Xiao, Jacob Tebes. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 25.08.2020.)
Purpose This study aimed to examine correlates of caregiver burden and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia in inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation facilities. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted with 157 Taiwanese primary family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia residing in inpatient psychiatric facilities. Measures included socio-demographic questionnaires and clinical information, Mutuality Scale, Family Crisis-Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales, Zarit Burden Interview, and World Health Organization Quality of Life-brief version. To describe the degree of caregiver burden and domains of HRQoL, descriptive statistics were computed. Independent sample t test, one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson's correlation analysis followed by multiple regression analyses were performed to determine correlations and relationships between characteristics of patients and primary family caregivers with caregiver burden and domains of HRQoL. Results Primary family caregivers experienced mild to moderate caregiver burden and poor HRQoL. Primary family caregivers who were older and unemployed, caring for patient's severe psychiatric symptoms, and had low monthly incomes, decreased mutuality, and fewer family coping strategies were associated with greater caregiver burden and poor HRQoL. Greater mutuality and family coping strategies of reframing and seeking spiritual support were the most significant factors in improving caregiver burden and all domains of HRQoL, respectively. Conclusion Family-focused interventions for caregivers of institutionalized persons with schizophrenia that include psychological support and peer support groups are recommended to enhance mutuality and family coping strategies, reduce caregiver burden, and improve HRQoL.
Purpose: The Family Burden Interview Schedule (FBIS-24) and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZBI-22) are among the most widely used measures for assessing caregiving burden, but their psychometric performances have not been compared in the same study of caregivers of people living with schizophrenia (PLS). This is important because the measures assess overlapping constructs-the FBIS-24 assesses objective burden (e.g., completion of manual tasks) and the ZBI-22 assesses subjective burden (e.g., perceived distress, stigma). This study seeks to fill this gap by comparing the reliability and validity of the FBIS-24 and the ZBI-22 in a Chinese community sample of caregivers of PLS. Methods: A Cross-sectional stud was conducted in a community-based mental health service program in Central South part of China. A total of 327 primary family caregivers of PLS completed face-to-face interviews of the FBIS-24, the ZBI-22, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), and the Family Adaptation, Partnership, Growth, Affection and Resolve Index scale (APGAR), and PLS were assessed using the Global Assessment of Function scale (GAF). Results: Our findings show that both the FBIS-24 and ZBI-22 have comparable psychometric performance in terms of the internal consistency, convergent validity and known group's validity. Conclusion: Both the FBIS-24 and the ZBI-22 are psychometrically sound measures of caregiving burden but the choice of which measure to use will depend on the research question.
Background Conflicting evidence exists on whether parent or spouse caregivers experience better outcomes when caring for family members with schizophrenia. The current study aims to examine relative caregiving experiences and impacts of spouse and parent caregivers for people living with schizophrenia (PLS) in China. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of 264 community-dwelling primary family caregivers of PLS. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect information on family caregiving activities; negative caregiving impacts including objective and subjective burden, and caregiver psychological distress such as depression and anxiety; positive caregiving impacts including caregiving rewarding feelings, and family functioning for spouse and parent caregivers. Results Both types of caregivers report engaging in similar caregiving activities and report comparable levels of objective burden. However, parent caregivers report significantly higher subjective burden than spouse caregivers (b=7.94, 95%CI:2.08, 13.80, P<0.01), which is also reflected in significantly higher depression (b=3.88, 95%CI:1.35, 6.41, P<0.01) and anxiety (b=2.53, 95%CI: 0.22, 4.84, P<0.05), and lower family functioning (b=-1.71, 95%CI: -2.73, -0.49, P<0.01). Despite these differences, both groups of caregivers report comparable rewarding feelings about caregiving. Conclusions Our findings have implications for family caregivers globally, but especially for countries that adhere to Confucian cultural values and provide guidance for future family intervention programs. Such programs may do well to incorporate cultural values and beliefs in understanding caregiving and kinship family dynamics so as to support family caregivers, and in particular, the specific vulnerabilities of parent caregivers.
Cognitive impairment (CI) is one of symptoms that adults with cancer frequently report. Although there are known factors that contribute to a patient's CI, these factors did not sufficiently explain its variability. Several studies conducted in patients with neurocognitive disorders have reported relationships between patients' cognitive function and caregiver characteristics, which are poorly understood in the context of cancer. This scoping review aims to map the literature on caregiver characteristics associated with CI in adults with cancer. We used the framework proposed by Arksey and O'Malley and PRISMA-Sc. Studies published in English by 2019 were searched through seven electronic databases. All retrieved citations were independently screened and eligibility for inclusion was determined by two independent authors. Ten studies met inclusion for this review with all of them showing significant associations between a patient's cognitive function and caregiver characteristics. Caregiver's mental health was the most commonly associated with a patient's cognitive function followed by family functioning, adaptation to illness, attitude toward disclosure of the illness, burden, coping and resilience, and demographic characteristics. These review findings suggest that enhanced information about CI in relation to caregiver characteristics will eventually provide the foundation for multifocal interventions for patients with impaired cognitive function. This scoping review identified caregiver characteristics that are associated with patients CI. These characteristics should be also assessed when health providers assess and treat CI of adults with cancer.
Background: The number of people with neurocognitive disorder is increasing, and the majority of them are cared for by informal caregivers in the community. Mental health problems are common among caregivers, however, professional support for them is often limited. Non-pharmacological self-help interventions, such as bibliotherapy, may improve mental well-being and has the potential for being integrated into clinical or social services. Objectives: To explore what types of bibliotherapy have been used for improving the mental well-being of informal caregivers of people with neurocognitive disorders, and the effect on mental well-being outcomes. Design: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Review methods: Six databases were searched for relevant articles on July 1, 2019. Clinical trial registries and the reference lists of included studies were also searched. Both randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies were included. The Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool for randomized controlled trials was used to assess the quality of studies. Review Manager 5.3 was used to analyze data, standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to estimate the pooled treatment effect. Random effects models were used for meta-analyses. Funnel plot was not performed due to the limited number of studies. This systematic review was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42019129152). Results: Nine randomized controlled trials with 1036 informal caregivers were included. Most of the included studies had some aspects of bias. Three types of bibliotherapy were used. Bibliotherapy had a significant pooled medium to large effect on reducing depression at Z = 1.99 (SMD = -0.74, 95%CI = -1.47 to -0.01, p = .05), however, the heterogeneity was high (I2 = 94%). For the subgroups, only the video-based bibliotherapy significantly reduced depression at Z = 2.78 (I2 = 83%, SMD = -2.11, 95%CI = -3.6 to -0.62, p = .005). Bibliotherapy had a significant small to medium effect on caregiver's self-efficacy for dealing with problem behaviours at Z = 2.44 (I2 = 0, SMD = 0.36, 95%CI = 0.05 to 0.67, p = .02), however, the effect on self-efficacy for obtaining respite was not significant (I2 = 0, SMD = 0.17, 95%CI = -0.16 to 0.49, p = .32). The effect on decreasing state anxiety was significant at Z = 2.30 (I2 = 22%, SMD = -0.22, 95% CI = -0.41 to -0.33, p = .02). Conclusions: Bibliotherapy showed positive effects on reducing depression, improving self-efficacy for dealing with problem behaviors and reducing anxiety among informal caregivers. The effects on reducing depression should be viewed with caution due to high heterogeneity. The effects on other mental well-being outcomes are inconclusive due to limited number of studies and this underscores the need for further research.
The increasing number of older adults with cognitive deficits, including dementia, poses a major challenge for public health in the United States. At the same time, the limited number of informal and professional caregivers available to support this rapidly growing population is of mounting concern. Not only does population aging limit the number of potential caregivers, but extant caregivers often lack skills to provide quality care. The integration of intelligent assistive technologies (IAT), including devices, robotics and sensors in many forms, into eldercare, may offer opportunities to reduce caregiver burden and enhance healthcare services while improving the quality of life among older adults with mild to severe cognitive deficits. However, many caregivers and their care recipients lack access to these technologies. The reasons for this reduced access are multifactorial, including the digital divide, sociocultural factors, and technological literacy. This mini review investigates the emerging use of IAT available to caregivers and older adults with cognitive deficits and explores the challenges in socioeconomic status and technological literacy as well as ethical and legal implications that should be considered in the design and development of IAT for older adults with cognitive deficits. Drawing from existing literature, it will suggest frameworks for design and adoption aimed at increased and equitable access for this vulnerable population.
It is clear from existent literature that families and carers of relatives and friends with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience high levels of burden. Whilst family interventions are considered vital to improving the outcomes of those with a range of mental health difficulties, there has been limited development of direct interventions for carers of people with BPD, despite a high level of need. This systematic review aimed to appraise and synthesize the existing research evidence for interventions for carers of people with BPD. Ten studies were included that were directly related to six interventions for families and carers of people with personality disorder. The findings of these studies, whilst limited, do provide some initial evidence that interventions for carers may lead to significant outcomes for the participants, particularly in improving carer well-being and reducing carer burden.
Background Carers are key providers of care and support to mental health patients and mental health policies consistently mandate carer involvement. Understanding carers' experiences of and views about assessment for involuntary admission and subsequent detention is crucial to efforts to improve policy and practice. Aims We aimed to synthesise qualitative evidence of carers' experiences of the assessment and detention of their family and friends under mental health legislation. Method We searched five bibliographic databases, reference lists and citations. Studies were included if they collected data using qualitative methods and the patients were aged 18 or older; reported on carer experiences of assessment or detention under mental health legislation anywhere in the world; and were published in peer-reviewed journals. We used meta-synthesis. Results The review included 23 papers. Themes were consistent across time and setting and related to the emotional impact of detention; the availability of support for carers; the extent to which carers felt involved in decision-making; relationships with patients and staff during detention; and the quality of care provided to patients. Carers often described conflicting feelings of relief coupled with distress and anxiety about how the patient might cope and respond. Carers also spoke about the need for timely and accessible information, supportive and trusting relationships with mental health professionals, and of involvement as partners in care. Conclusions Research is needed to explore whether and how health service and other interventions can improve the involvement and support of carers prior to, during and after the detention of family members and friends.
Supported decision-making has become popular among policymakers and mental health advocates as a means of reducing coercion in mental healthcare. Nevertheless, users of psychiatric services often seem equivocal about the value of supported decision-making initiatives. In this paper we explore why such initiatives might be rejected or ignored by the would-be beneficiaries, and we reflect on broader implications for care and coercion. We take a critical medical humanities approach, particularly through the lens of entanglement. We analyse the narratives of 29 people diagnosed with mental illness, and 29 self-identified carers speaking of their experiences of an Australian mental healthcare system and of their views of supported decision-making. As a scaffolding for our critique we consider two supported decision-making instruments in the 2014 Victorian Mental Health Act: the advance statement and the nominated person. These instruments presuppose that patients and carers endorse a particular set of relationships between the agentic self and illness, as well as between patient, carer and the healthcare system. Our participant narratives instead conveyed 'entangled' relations, which we explore in three sections. In the first we show how ideas about fault and illness often coexisted, which corresponded with shifting views on the need for more versus less agency for patients. In the second section, we illustrate how family carers struggled to embody the supported decision-making ideal of the independent yet altruistic nominated person, and in the final section we suggest that both care and coercion were narrated as existing across informal/formal care divisions. We conclude by reflecting on how these dynamic relations complicate supported decision-making projects, and prompt a rethink of how care and coercion unfold in contemporary mental healthcare.
Background Psychosis often causes significant distress and impacts not only in the individuals, but also those close to them. Many relatives and friends ('carers') provide long-term support and need resources to assist them. We have co-produced a digital mental health intervention called COPe-support (Carers fOr People with Psychosis e-support) to provide carers with flexible access to high quality psychoeducation and interactive support from experts and peers. This study evaluates the effectiveness of COPe-support to promote mental wellbeing and caregiving experiences in carers. Methods This study is a single-blind, parallel arm, individually randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing COPe-support, with attention control. Both groups continue to receive usual care. COPe-support provides interactive web-based psychoeducation on psychosis-related issues, wellbeing-promotion and network support through forums. The attention-control is a non-interactive online information resource pack. Carers living in England are eligible if they provide at least weekly support to a family member or close friend affected by psychosis, and use internet communication (including emails) daily. All trial procedures are run online, including collection of outcome measurements which participants will directly input into our secure platform. Following baseline assessment, a web-based randomization system will be used to allocate 360 carers to either arm. Participants have unlimited access to the allocated condition for 40 weeks. Data collection is at three time points (10, 20, and 40 weeks after randomization). Analyses will be conducted by trial statisticians blinded to allocation. The primary outcome is mental wellbeing measured by Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS), at 20 weeks. As well as an intention-to-treat analysis, a complier average causal effect (CACE) analysis will be conducted to estimate the intervention effect in participants who have accessed COPe-support content twice or more. The secondary objectives and analysis will examine other health and caregiving-related outcomes and explore mechanisms. In a process evaluation, we will interview 20% of the intervention arm participants regarding the acceptability of COPe-support. We will explore in detail participants' usage patterns. Discussion The results of this trial will provide valuable information about the effectiveness of COPe-support in promoting wellbeing and caregiving experiences in carers.
Purpose: This study was undertaken to develop a theoretical framework explaining family caregiving processes for older persons with cognitive impairment recovering from hip fracture surgery. Design and Methods: In this grounded theory study, data were collected in audio-recorded face-to-face interviews with 21 family caregivers. Among these caregivers, 14 cared for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment, and seven cared for those without cognitive impairment. Caregivers were interviewed five times after patients’ discharge: at 1 week and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Data were analyzed by constant comparative analysis. Findings: The core category explaining the family caregiving process for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment was “resuming normal life during drip-like recovery.” This category captures the slowness of the recovery process, as slow as dripping water. During the early postoperative period, caregivers attempted to gain control of the postoperative situation, using various maintenance and improvement strategies to deal with the chaos in individuals and the family and to protect hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment from further harm. The goal of recovery was to get back to their original life. Conclusions: Family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment needed to deal with more complex chaotic situations, exerted more efforts to administer safety measures, and required more time to achieve a stable life pattern. Clinical Relevance: Since postoperative recovery was perceived as extremely slow, family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment should be patient regarding recovery and be informed before hospital discharge of different strategies to resume normal life during postoperative recovery.
Purpose The aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Experience of Caregiving Inventory (ECI-S), which is designed to assess the caregiver's appraisal of the impact of caring for a relative with a serious mental illness. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 320 caregivers of a relative with an eating disorder to examine: (a) descriptive statistics; (b) internal consistency reliability; (c) the fit of the original ten-factor structure of the ECI through exploratory factor analysis, using a semi-confirmatory approach, for each subscale individually, and (d) concurrent validity. A total of 307 caregivers completed the scale. Results Reliability of the ECI subscales scores was acceptable (alpha = 0.63-0.89). Results replicated the original ten-factor structure of the instrument. The concurrent validity was supported by correlations of the ECI-negative subscale with psychological distress (GHQ-12, 0.43), and with depression and anxiety (HADS, 0.48 and 0.49, respectively). Conclusions The Spanish version of the ECI (ECI-S) demonstrated good psychometric properties in terms of validity and reliability that were similar to the original version. It is an acceptable and valid instrument for assessing the impact on family members of caring for a relative with an eating disorder and can be recommended for use in clinical settings in Spain.
Aims Studies on the frequency of caregiver involvement in representative inpatient samples are scarce. The aim of our study was to conduct a representative survey on caregiver involvement in routine inpatient care involving all three parties (patients, caregivers, psychiatrists). Therefore, we performed face-to-face interviews consisting of open-ended questions to gain a deeper understanding of when and how caregivers are involved in care treatment and to identify which topics are mainly discussed. Methods This cross-sectional survey included inpatients from 55 acute psychiatric wards across ten psychiatric hospitals, their treating psychiatrists and, when possible, their caregivers. In total, we performed semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 247 patients, their treating psychiatrists and 94 informal caregivers. Each psychiatrist named the next two to three patients to be discharged. After a patient had given informed consent, the interview was performed by a researcher. In addition, the psychiatrist and, when possible, the primary caregiver identified by the patient, were also interviewed. Results It was perceived by both patients and psychiatrists that contact between caregiver and psychiatrist had taken place in one-third of the patient cases. Predictors for psychiatrist-caregiver-contact were revealed in the patient's diagnosis (schizophrenia), a lower history of inpatient stays, and the respective hospital. According to psychiatrists the most frequent subjects of discussion with caregivers involved therapeutic issues and organisational and social-psychiatric topics (e.g. work, living and social support). Patients and caregivers stated that psychiatric treatment and the diagnostic classification of the mental illness were the most frequent topics of conversation. For all three groups, the most often cited reason for missed caregiver involvement was the subjective perception that a caregiver was not in fact needed. Conclusions Whether or not caregivers were contacted and involved during an inpatient stay strongly depended on the individual hospital. The frequency of involvement of caregivers can certainly be increased by changing processes and structures in hospitals. All three parties (patients, caregivers and psychiatrists) most often stated that the caregiver was not involved in the treatment because they thought it was unnecessary. Evidence demonstrates the positive effect of caregivers' involvement on the therapeutic process but also on the well-being of the caregiver, therefore it is necessary to increase awareness of this evidence among all three interest groups.
The purpose of the current descriptive qualitative study was to reveal experiences of family caregivers of individuals with chronic psychiatric illness. Family caregivers who provided care to 16 individuals with chronic mental illness were interviewed. Three themes emerged from the interviews: Illness Management, The Caregiver's World: Changes and Effects, and Coping From the Caregiver's Point of View. Understanding the experiences of family caregivers contributes to content development of family intervention programs.
Purpose This study was aimed at investigating the psychometric properties of the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scale (F‐COPES) for Turkish society, which assesses the coping skills of caregivers of individuals with chronic mental illnesses. Design and Methods The study was conducted with 153 family caregivers of patients with a chronic mental illness admitted to the inpatient and outpatient units of two university hospitals and İzmir Schizophrenia Solidarity Association. For the language validity, the translation‐back translation method was performed, for the content validity, expert opinions were obtained, for the construct validity, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed. For the reliability analysis, Cronbach α reliability coefficient was calculated and the test‐retest reliability analysis was performed. Findings The content validity index of the scale was 0.96. The Cronbach's α reliability coefficient for the overall scale was .80. Factor loadings of the subscales ranged between 0.56 and 0.69 for the Acquiring Social Support subscale, between 0.43 and 0.74 for the Reframing subscale, between 0.53 and 0.74 for the Seeking Spiritual Support subscale. The model fit indexes were as follows: χ2 = 176.369, df = 116, χ2/df = 1.52, RMSEA = 0.059, CFI = 0.90, IFI = 0.91, GFI = 0.88. Practice Implications The results of the present study show that the levels of psychometric properties of F‐COPES in Turkish society are acceptable. It is thought that it would be useful to use the F‐COPES in the assessment of coping behaviors of individuals who give care to patients with a chronic mental illness and that it can be used as measurement tool in studies to be conducted with caregivers of patients with a chronic mental illness to assess their coping skills.
Causal attributions of mental illness have received substantial attention given their influence on help-seeking patterns of individuals and the level of engagement with health services. Few studies, however, have examined caregivers’ perspectives of their relatives’ illness. The current study aimed to examine caregivers’ causal attributions of their relatives’ mental illness and its association with perceived stigma in a multi-ethnic Asian sample. Primary caregivers (N = 350) of psychiatric outpatients were recruited from a psychiatric hospital. The attribution and stigma sections of the Family Interview Schedule (FIS) were utilized to obtain caregivers’ causal report of their relatives’ illness and stigma perception. Logistic regressions were performed to examine the socio-demographic and diagnostic correlates of the four categories of causal attributions (psychosocial, biological, drug-/substance use-related, supernatural). The majority of caregivers identified psychosocial causes, followed by biological, supernatural, and lastly drug-/substance use-related causes for their relatives’ illness. Marital status, religion, employment status and the diagnosis of depressive disorders were significant correlates of biological attributions. Ethnicity and not knowing their relatives' diagnosis were significantly associated with psychosocial attributions. For drug-/substance use-related attributions, ethnicity was the only significant correlate. Supernatural attributions did not yield any significant associations. Caregivers who endorsed drug-/substance use-related reasons also reported significantly higher stigma than caregivers who did not endorse these attributions. A tendency to endorse biological and psychosocial causes for their relative’s illness was noted among caregivers. Further research on caregivers’ causal attributions is warranted to account for and replicate current study findings.
Researchers examined questions of caregivers for individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by means of a) a content analysis and b) a thematic analysis of posts on an online peer support forum. A total of 292 question posts were analyzed. Content analysis categories were based on previous research and included question motivation (cognitive, emotional, and social) and content (symptoms, prognosis, medication/treatment, coping, support, and seeking reassurance). Three newly identified themes (PTSD behavior identification and response, interpersonal interactions with trauma survivors, and healthcare system concerns) were generated through the thematic analysis. These overarching themes regarding information needs, and their subcategories, are discussed in detail. This study provides a preliminary examination of the information needs of PTSD caregivers, offers suggestions for future research, and discusses implications for the healthcare system.
Background of the Study: The present study aimed to determine the effectiveness of family education on depression, anxiety, and stress of family caregivers of the patients with schizophrenic disorders hospitalized in Zahedan Psychiatric Hospital. Methods: The present study was a randomized clinical trial; it evaluated the effect of a four-week psychological training program on 100 family caregivers of the patients with schizophrenic disorders hospitalized in Zahedan Psychiatric Hospital. Depression, anxiety, and stress of caregivers were determined using DASS, version 21, questionnaire. Results: Based on the analysis, the effect of education was only observed in the nurses' group, and the level of anxiety, stress, and depression decreased significantly. Having compared between the nurse and control group, the anxiety level in this group decreased significantly after the training program, and the two factors of stress and depression decreased considerably and tended to be significant. Results: In summary, the present study has shown that nursing education had a significant impact on anxiety, stress and depression factors in the patients' families; this can be employed as a new approach to improve schizophrenia patients and their families.
Family members of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face high levels of burden that are poorly addressed by existing mental health services. Widely distributed mobile interventions could play a role in addressing these unmet needs. The purpose of this study was to characterize caregiver burden in those seeking a mobile app for self-management of stress symptoms and to develop a model to guide mobile interventions for family members. Those living with a Veteran with PTSD (n = 212) and interested in using a mobile intervention agreed to participate. The majority reported moderate-to-severe levels of depression (60%) and/or caregiver burden (59%). Relationship quality, communication, and self-efficacy for caregiving were the strongest predictors of negative outcomes (p’s <.001), and qualitative results identified several additional unmet needs (e.g. relationship concerns, safety concerns). This study identifies potential mechanisms by which a mobile app could improve family functioning in the context of PTSD.
BACKGROUND: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that one in every two people experiences a mental illness in their lifetime, and developed policy guidelines to address the impact of mental health-related issues on employment and health. The results of this policy initiative have been reported in many member countries but no survey findings are available yet for Japan. Previous studies in Japan focused on the social costs of mental illness, but little empirical evidence exists on burdens created by mental illness in individual households. AIMS: This study investigated the effects of mental illness and mental distress on family members' employment and sleep time. Employed men and women family members and unemployed women family members who wanted to work were included in the study. METHODS: Japanese survey data from the 2013 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions were analyzed to identify the above-mentioned effects. A propensity score matching method was used to create a valid comparison group for family members of patients with mental illness and distress. RESULTS: For depression, family member average weekly work hours decreased by a range of 1.06 (p%lt;0.01) to 1.18 (p<0.01) for men, and 0.53 (p<0.1) to 1.06 (p<0.05) for women. For dementia (termed "major neurocognitive disorder" in the DSM-5), there were no statistically significant effects on work hours in men, but the work hours of employed women increased, ranging from 1.15 (p<0.05) to 1.25 (p<0.01). Mental illness in a family member also significantly influenced future employment prospects of unemployed women. In family members of patients with dementia, sleep time decreased by a range of 3.6 minutes (p<0.05) to 4.8 minutes (p<0.01) per night for men and 12 minutes (p<0.01) per night for women. DISCUSSION AND LIMITATIONS: These findings can add to the existing evidence on the effects of mental illness and distress on family members' work hours and sleep time in Japan, which are consistent with research from other countries such as Germany, the UK, and the US. This study has two limitations. First, the magnitude of the effect of mental illness is limited with respect to the illness category in our study, since the severity of the condition and the impact on actual daily life may vary across categories or differ even within the same category. Second, measurement error might exist in the self-reported mental illness measures. POLICY IMPLICATIONS: First, cooperation and mutual support between employers and the community are necessary to support working family caregivers by allowing them to adjust work schedules to accommodate caregiving responsibilities. Second, social institutional policies are needed that reduce the burden of informal caregiving for family members with mental illness and increase access to long-term care for those in need. Third, since mental illness and distress have been shown to affect family members' sleep schedules, health care programs must focus on promoting caregivers' general health. IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH: To further address the burden of mental illness and distress on family members, future research should examine illness severity as measured by Activities of Daily Living.
Background: Having a patient with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the family is a complicated and stressful experience. The caregivers’ experiences and the problems they have in care of patient with BPD have remained unknown. The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of the caregivers while living with BPD patients in Iran. Methods: This interpretive phenomenological research was performed on 10 caregivers of patients with BPD at Ibn-sina Hospital in Mashhad, Iran, in 2019. Purposeful sampling was used for sampling. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and saturated after 16 interviews. The analysis of data was concurrently carried out using the method proposed by Diekelman (1989). The MAXQDA software (Ver.10) was used for data organization. Results: The participants in this study were aged 25 to 55 years. After data analysis, three themes (“life in hell”, “chain to the feet”, and “black shadow of stigma”) and six sub-themes (“disrupted from the life”, “self-discrepancy”, “care bottlenecks”, “in the fence of restriction”, “society dagger” and “resort to secrecy”) emerged. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the caregivers of patients with BPD during the period of care were faced with a variety of problems. It is suggested that health policy-makers should pay more attention to the problems related to the mental health of caregivers.
Due to inadequate human and financial resource support, the development of mental health services in Cambodia has been undertaken by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Schizophrenia is the most common functional psychotic disorder, causing severe and chronic symptoms, and the programs provided by the NGOs should have enhanced the quality of life (QoL) of patients and their caregivers; however, epidemiological research, which is a driving force behind the recognition of mental health as a global public health concern, is lacking for schizophrenia in Cambodia. This study therefore aimed to create QoL evaluation questionnaires available in Khmer (the Cambodian language) for patients with schizophrenia and family caregivers, and to identify the social determinants and predictors of their QoL. This cross-sectional study recruited 59 patients and 59 caregivers attending three clinics operated by two NGOs: the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Cambodia and the Supporters for Mental Health (SUMH) Cambodia. We conducted linguistic validation of the Schizophrenia Quality of Life Questionnaire 18-item version (S-QoL 18) and the Schizophrenia Caregiver Questionnaire (SCQ), then analyzed correlations between the QoL dimensions and socio-demographic factors. The main findings of this study were as follows: 1) the newly created Khmer versions of S-QoL 18 and SCQ are relatively good psychometric tools that are suitable for research to identify patients' and caregivers' needs to improve their QoL; and 2) engaging in paid work or being of the post-Khmer Rouge generation results in higher QoL for patients, but having low household economic status or being affected by chronic disease leads to lower QoL for family caregivers. These findings are useful for enabling community mental health professionals and aid organizations to create programs to lessen the patient and caregiver burden in Cambodia. Further research is necessary to develop practical projects that will improve patients' and caregivers' QoL in various clinical settings in Cambodia.
(1) Background: First-hand accounts of lived experience of suicide remain rare in the research literature. Increasing interest in the lived experience of suicide is resulting in more opportunities for people to participate in research based on their personal experience. How individuals choose to participate in research, and their experience of doing so, are important considerations in the ethical conduct of research. (2) Methods: To understand the experience of providing care for someone who has previously attempted suicide, a cross-sectional online community survey was conducted. This survey concluded with questions regarding motivation to participate and the experience of doing so. Of the 758 individuals who participated in the survey, 545 provided open-ended text responses to questions regarding motivation and 523 did so for questions regarding the experience of participating. It is these responses that are the focus of this paper. Data were analysed thematically. (3) Results: Motivations to participate were expressed as primarily altruistic in nature, with a future focus on improving the experience of the person who had attempted suicide alongside carers to ease distress. The experience of participating was difficult yet manageable, for all but a few participants. (4) Conclusions: With the increasing interest in first-hand accounts of suicide, how individuals experience participation in research is an important focus that requires further attention.
Introduction Cognitive behavioural family intervention (CBFI) may be an effective brief psychosocial intervention for people diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) and their families. No systematic review has summarized the effectiveness of CBFI. Aim This review aimed to systematically examine the trial evidence of the effectiveness of CBFI versus treatment as usual (TAU) on improving the outcomes of people diagnosed with SMI and their families. Method Eligible randomized controlled trials were identified from nine databases. Three investigators independently took part in selection of articles, data extraction and risk assessment. Pooled treatment effects were computed using random-effects models. Results Four studies consisting of 524 participants were included. The risk of bias was low–unclear in most areas. The pooled CBFI effect on four service user outcomes including overall positive symptoms, delusions, overall negative symptoms and general psychopathology was significantly improved at post-treatment, compared with TAU, whereas effects on hallucinations and insight were equivocal. Discussion The findings reveal that CBFI is superior to TAU in treating positive and negative symptoms immediately following the intervention. Implications for Practice Mental health nurses may practise CBFI to enrich the psychiatric nursing service and promote nurse-led intervention. However, there is currently no substantial evidence that the intervention is effective over the longer term.
Introduction Internalized stigma is prevalent among patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Their family caregivers (FGs) also suffer from internalized stigma, but limited studies have addressed the issue. Aim The aim of this study was to determine the severity of internalized stigma and its correlates among FGs of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in Changsha, Hunan, China. Methods A consecutive sample of 299 FGs was recruited at the psychiatric outpatient department of a tertiary hospital in Changsha. This study explored the relationships between internalized stigma and potential factors. Results Nearly 50% of the FGs perceived mild internalized stigma, 24% of the FGs reported moderate level, and 6% had a severe level. Internalized stigma was associated with patients’ characteristics (severity of illness) and FGs’ characteristics (hope, social support, passive coping, age, education background, residence with the patient, caring for a male or a young patient and difficulty in supervising medication). Discussion and implications for practice Informative and psychosocial interventions based on education and contact for FGs such as enhancing mental health literacy programs, cognitive therapies and group psychoeducation can provide FGs with a better understanding of schizophrenia and to promote hope, active coping and social support.
Background: Mental illness is associated with misunderstanding and unfavorable attitude worldwide. The belief in its spiritual nature made traditional healers the main service consultants for mentally ill patients. The present study is a cross-sectional study conducted among 425 main family caregivers of mentally ill patients at Assiut University Hospital. The objective of the study was to assess the caregivers’ knowledge and attitude towards mental illness as well as their health-seeking behavior for their mentally ill relatives. Results: The studied caregivers had low scores of knowledge and attitude towards mental illness. Age of the caregivers, their education, and the type of first consulted care and aggressive behavior of the mentally ill relatives were the significant predictors of caregivers’ knowledge and attitude towards mental illness. The majority of caregivers (80.2%) sought advice for the first time from traditional healers. Traditional healers referred only 16.4% of caregivers’ mentally ill relatives to psychiatric care. Conclusion: The studied caregivers had poor knowledge and a negative attitude towards mental illness. Traditional healers were the main consulted care. So, increasing awareness of mental illness is highly recommended.
Background Family education programs (FEPs) target caregiving-related psychological distress for carers of relatives/friends diagnosed with serious mental health conditions. While FEPs are efficacious in reducing distress, the mechanisms are not fully known. Peer group support and greater mental health knowledge are proposed to reduce carers' psychological distress by reducing stigmatising attitudes and self-blame, and strengthening carers' relationship with their relative. Methods Adult carers (n = 1016) who participated in Wellways Australia's FEP from 2009 to 2016 completed self-report questionnaires at the core program's start and end, during the consolidation period, and at a 6-month follow-up. Those who enrolled early completed questionnaires prior to a wait-list period. We used linear mixed-effects modelling to assess the program's effectiveness using a naturalistic wait-list control longitudinal design, and multivariate latent growth modelling to test a theory-based process change model. Results While there was no significant change over the wait-list period, psychological distress, self-blame and stigmatising attitudes significantly decreased, and communication and relationship quality/feelings increased from the core program's start to its end. Changes were maintained throughout the consolidation period and follow-up. Peer group support significantly predicted the declining trajectory of distress. Peer group support and greater knowledge significantly predicted declining levels of self-blame and stigmatising attitudes, and increasing levels of communication. Conclusions This is the first study to quantitatively validate the mechanisms underlying the effect of FEPs on carers' psychological distress. Peer group support is key in modifying carers' appraisals of their friend/relatives' condition. Continued implementation of FEPs within mental health service systems is warranted.
Background: Informal caregivers of people suffering from depressive disorders go through a psychological recovery process. This process is dynamic, deep, catalyzed by hope and optimism and characterized by stages from which specific needs ensue. This study aimed to describe the stages of the psychological recovery process and the level of optimism among informal caregivers of psychiatric inpatients suffering from depressive disorders in order to provide adapted nursing support and psychoeducation and facilitate a patient's own recovery. Methods: A descriptive exploratory study was conducted using a convenience sample of 29 informal caregivers. Participants filled out a sociodemographic questionnaire, a specially adapted Stages of Recovery Instrument (STORI) and the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R). Results: A mean optimism score of 16.41 showed that informal caregivers are close to the level of the general European population. The sample included all the stages of the recovery process, with 34.5% of participants being in the growth stage. Informal caregivers' stages in the recovery process were negatively associated with the patient's length of illness (Rho = -.683, p = .000) and positively associated with the caregivers' level of optimism (Rho = .564, p = .001). Conclusion: During the inpatient treatment of a close relative suffering from a depressive disorder, informal caregivers go through an individual psychological recovery process involving several stages. In addition to caring for inpatients, nurses are encouraged to meet and support caregivers as soon as possible in their individual recovery process. Furthermore, the development of a suitably adapted clinical tool would facilitate the assessment of the informal caregiver's stage in the recovery process within care units. A multidisciplinary approach is needed in this domain.
Background: Chronic disease is a leading cause of death globally, where inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption and inadequate physical activity are consistently implicated as key contributing risk factors for such diseases. People with a mental health condition are reported to experience a higher prevalence of such risks and experience an increased morbidity and mortality from resultant chronic disease. Despite guidelines identifying a need for services accessed by people with a mental health condition to provide care to address such health risk behaviours, sub-optimal care is frequently reported suggesting a need for innovative strategies to increase the provision of physical health care. An exploratory study was conducted to examine: 1) family carers' expectations of care provision regarding fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity by health and community services for people with a mental health condition; 2) carer's own health risk behaviour status and perceptions of the influence of the health risk behaviours on mental health; and 3) possible associations of socio-demographic, clinical and attitudinal factors with carer expectations of care provision for fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Methods: Family carers (n = 144) of a person with a mental health condition completed a cross-sectional survey. Participants were members of a mental health carer support organisation operating in New South Wales, Australia. Results: A high proportion of participants considered care for fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity respectively should be provided by: Mental health hospitals (78.5, 82.7%); community mental health services (76.7, 85.9%); general practice (81.1, 79.2%); and non-government organisations (56.2, 65.4%). Most participants perceived adequate fruit and vegetable consumption (55.9%), and physical activity (71.3%) would have a very positive impact on mental health. Carers who perceived adequate fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity would have a positive impact on mental health were more likely to expect care for such behaviours from some services. Conclusions: The majority of participants expected care for fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity be provided by all services catering for people with a mental health condition, reinforcing the appropriateness for such services to provide physical health care for clients in a systematic manner.
Background Caregivers play a pivotal role in providing care for mentally ill patients. Increase in caregiver burden can make them vulnerable to mental illness themselves.Aims We assessed the severity of burden of care and its association with depression, anxiety and quality of life among caregivers of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia. Methods This was an observational, cross-sectional, single-centred study of 50 consecutive caregivers of patients with AUD and schizophrenia. Participants were recruited from the psychiatry outpatient department of a tertiary care hospital between January and June 2017. The caregivers were further assessed by demographic details, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale for assessment of depression and anxiety, Zarit Burden Interview for assessment of caregiver burden and WHO Quality Of Life-BREF for assessment of quality of life. Statistical data were analysed using GraphPad InStat V.3.06 (California). Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to identify the predictors of caregiver burden. Results Burden of care experienced by caregivers of patients with AUD is as high as that of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia (U=1142.5, p=0.46). Caregivers experiencing high burden of care are likely to have symptoms of anxiety (U=22, p<0.001), depression (U=32, p<0.001) and poor quality of life (U=84.5, p<0.001). Female caregivers are likely to experience higher burden of care (U=819.5, p=0.006). For caregivers of patients with schizophrenia, anxiety, environmental health, socioeconomic status and patients’ occupation can predict burden of care, while for caregivers of patients with AUD, depression and environmental health can predict burden of care. Conclusion Our study suggests that caregivers of patients with AUD experience burden of care as high as that of caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Caregivers with high burden of care are more likely to have depression, anxiety and poor quality of life. Trial registration number CTRI/2017/03/008224.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance suggests that carers of individuals with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder experience high levels of psychological distress, yet few services in the UK offer specific support to this group of carers. This article will describe the development of a psychoeducational carers' group based on schema theory (Young et al, 2003), including the development of the role of carer experts-by-experience as group co-facilitators. Initial outcome data from the pilot suggest that carers are highly satisfied with the group and that it improves their knowledge, understanding and personal well-being.
Background: Several studies show the effectiveness of face-to-face interventions with families in improving the prognosis of patients with severe psychiatric disorders and their relatives; however, the effectiveness of online interventions is poorly understood. The current study aims to provide an overview of evidence for the effectiveness of online treatments (web/app) for patients with severe psychiatric disorders and their families.; Method: We performed a systematic review of online treatments for informal family caregivers of patients with a severe psychiatric disorder. The study psychological interventions had to have been administered in an exclusively online format (app, internet) and aimed at families of patients with severe mental disorder (at least one of first episode psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar disorder, and psychotic disorder).; Results: Of a total of 1331 articles, we identified 9 viable studies; 4 randomized clinical trials, and 5 nonrandomized clinical studies. The present study is the first systematic review in this area. Online interventions were well accepted, with good adherence and satisfaction among the caregivers and patients and improved the symptoms of both caregivers and patients.; Limitations: Clinical and methodological diversity of the studies.; Conclusions: Burden improved, and perceived stress decreased in families. Moreover, the severity of positive symptoms decreased and fewer hospitalizations were recorded in patients than in the control group. Therefore, online interventions are a promising therapeutic approach for patients with severe mental disorder and their families. However, more studies-particularly randomized clinical trials-are needed in this area.
Aim: The provision and implementation of early intervention for psychosis services (early intervention services [EIS]) has received increasing attention over recent years. Maximizing engagement with EIS is of clinical and economic importance, and exploring the experiences of those who access EIS is vital. Although research has been conducted exploring the experiences of engaging with EIS from both a service user and carer/family member point of view, these data have not been systematically collated to generate new understanding. The primary aim of this study is to review, critically appraise and synthesize qualitative findings relating to the experiences of service users and/or carers and family members engaging with EIS.; Methods: Four databases were systematically searched. Studies were analysed using an inductive thematic analysis approach, within a critical realist epistemological framework. Studies were critically appraised using the critical appraisal skills programme tool.; Results: Fourteen papers were identified for inclusion. Three main themes were identified: the importance of a personal relationship with an EIS staff member, the impact of this relationship and consideration of life after EIS. The importance of a strong relationship with EIS staff was the most prominent theme throughout the papers reviewed.; Conclusions: The quality of the therapeutic relationship with at least one EIS staff member was the single most important factor in determining whether the experience of accessing EIS was a positive or negative one. The majority of the studies reviewed were conducted in the United Kingdom or Australia. Therefore, more research across countries is needed to understand transferability of findings.
Background: Family accommodation (FA) is a phenomenon whereby caregivers assist/facilitate rituals or behaviors related to obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). FA, however, has been explored primarily in the Western population, and it is unclear to what extent it might be present in diverse cultural settings. At present, little is known about the extent and predictors of FA among caregivers of adult OCD patients in India. Aims: The study aims to assess the extent, clinical correlates, and predictors of FA in the caregivers of adults with OCD. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study conducted in an outpatient setting in a tertiary-care hospital. Materials and Methods: Hundred and one adult patients of either gender with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 diagnosis of OCD and 101 caregivers were included. The patients were assessed using Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule Version 2.0 12-item version (WHO-DAS 2.0.12), Clinical Global Impressions Scale for Severity (CGI-S), and Clinical Global Impressions Scale for Improvement. The FA Scale-Self Rated Version (FAS-SR) was applied on caregivers after Hindi translation. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics, group comparisons, and Pearson's product moment correlations were carried out. Multiple linear regression modeling was performed with the total FAS-SR score as the dependent variable. Results: About 92% of caregivers displayed at least some form of FA. Higher scores on HAM-D, YBOCS, WHODAS, and CGI-S were associated with higher scores on FAS-SR scale, which reached statistical significance (P < 0.01). Conclusions: FA in OCD appears to be a frequent phenomenon. Higher FA is associated with higher symptom severity and disability, emphasizing its clinical and research relevance for future studies.
This study explores experiences of mothers in Sweden who care for their adult children suffering from severe mental illness. Using 15 interviews with mothers from 40 to 80 years old, the article examines how predominant professional knowledge and sanism constructs the mothers and their children as deviant and what counterstrategies the mothers develop as a response to these experiences of discrimination. The findings show that the mothers’ experiences are characterized by endless confrontations with negative attitudes and comments that have forced them to go through painful and prolonged processes of self-accusations for not having given enough love, care, support and help in different stages of their children's life. But the mothers’ experiences also reveal important aspects of changes over the life span. As the mothers are ageing, the relationship between them and their children becomes more reciprocal and the ill child may even take the role as family carer.
Introduction: Families provide frontline caregiving support for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, research primarily addresses correlates of family functioning from primary family caregivers' perspectives.; Aim: To examine perceived family functioning, particularly its concordance within patient-caregiver dyads, and associated factors in families of people living with schizophrenia.; Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive correlational design was used. A total of 133 dyads of patients and primary family caregivers from inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation services participated. Descriptive statistics, independent sample t test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson's correlation coefficients, Intraclass correlation coefficient, and stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were applied.; Results: Family functioning was perceived as impaired by patient-caregiver dyads, and there existed a concordance in this regard. Patients' and family caregivers' education levels, patients' suicidality, number of previous hospitalisations, and quality of family-centred care correlated with patients' and primary family caregivers' family functioning.; Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of patient- and family-reported family functioning with implications to address individual and collective concerns.; Implications For Practice: Evidence-based family interventions are crucial for assisting vulnerable families in promoting family functioning. Mental health nurses should facilitate collaboration and open dialogue concerning perspectives of patients and families to improve delivery of comprehensive mental health care.
Introduction: Caregivers play a critical role in detecting and managing psychotic symptoms before young people diagnosed with early psychosis present to care. Little is known about the specific needs of caregivers in navigating pathways to care for their loved one.; Aim: The purpose of this study is to understand the needs of family caregivers and their ways of coping on the pathway to care for early psychosis.; Method: Twenty family caregivers of individuals diagnosed with early psychosis participated in three focus groups that explored caregiving needs provision for early psychosis. Thematic analysis was conducted.; Results: We identified four major themes: education and skill training; raising wider awareness, such as police offers and teachers; adopting technologies for coping; effective coping strategies.; Implications For Practice: These findings provide important insights into caregiving needs and the ways for nurses to address those needs and better equip carers to recognize early symptoms, monitor behavior changes, and navigate care to support people with first episode psychosis. Nursing researchers can use the information to develop on-demand and tailored family-centered intervention in addressing caregivers' needs in education, increasing awareness of early psychosis, and fostering effective coping strategies.
Introduction: Around 60% of carers of relatives with mental health problems report feeling unrecognised by professional health care and many report a lack of engagement, shared decision making and information sharing. There is a paucity of research examining these issues for carers who are also mental health professionals.; Aim: This was an exploratory study to (i) explore the extent of this role among health service staff, (ii) gather an indication of the issues faced by carers when interacting with the health system, and (iii) test the feasibility of conducting research.; Method: Mental health professionals in mental health services completed an online survey that assessed the frequency, content and satisfaction of the experiences of carers.; Results: The sample comprised 453 mental health professionals (74% female), 52% being carers. Half of carers reported having therapist contact and 25% were satisfied with the contact. Negative experiences were related to Information, Decision making and Continuity of care.; Discussion: There was a high frequency of mental health professionals who were carers. The majority were dissatisfied and this was primarily in relation to communication with services.; Implications For Practice: Improving information sharing through training of staff and identification of the system barriers is likely to enhance experiences for service users and families.
Life review (LR) therapy has received considerable support as an effective treatment for depression among older adults. Researchers believe that providing LR does not require extensive training and can be done by family members who are not psychiatric professionals. If so, then training family caregivers to provide LR is a potential strategy for alleviating the shortage of resources for treating depression among the growing population of older adults experiencing depression. A pilot study that explored the feasibility of that strategy had mixed results. Seventeen (89%) of 19 caregiver–care recipient dyads completed the current study, and caregivers provided the LR with self-reported fidelity. However, there was lack of statistically significant improvement in this convenience sample. Implications are provided for future assessments of this strategy with a larger study of caregiver and care recipient dyads.
Objective: To explore the impact of resiliency factors on the longitudinal trajectory of depressive symptoms in patients admitted to the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU) and their family caregivers.; Materials and Methods: Patients (N = 102) and family caregivers (N = 103) completed self-report assessments of depressive symptoms (depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS-D) and resiliency factors (i.e., mindfulness and coping) during Neuro-ICU hospitalization. The HADS-D was administered again at 3 and 6 months after discharge. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used to assess patient-caregiver interdependence.; Results: Baseline rates of clinically significant depressive symptoms were high among patients (23%) and caregivers (19%), and remained elevated through 6-months. Higher depressive symptoms predicted higher levels of symptoms at the subsequent timepoint (ps < 0.05). Higher baseline mindfulness and coping were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms at all timepoints (ps < 0.001). APIM analysis showed that one's own higher baseline mindfulness was associated with concurrent levels of depressive symptoms in a partner (p < 0.05).; Conclusions: Depressive symptoms in Neuro-ICU patient-caregiver dyads are high through 6 months. Mindfulness is protective against depressive symptoms and interdependent between patients and caregivers. Early, dyadic, mindfulness-based interventions may prevent the development of chronic depression in both patients and caregivers.
Evidence suggests that young carers are less likely to complete or do well in secondary school compared with young people without caring responsibilities. Positive engagement at school is an important correlate of school outcomes, yet quantitative evidence on the factors contributing to young carers’ school engagement is lacking. Drawing on the results of a national school-based survey of Australian children aged 8–14 years (N = 5220) in which about 9% of the sample identified as carers (N = 465), this paper compares the school engagement of non-carers, young carers of a family member with disability, and young carers of a family member with a mental illness or using alcohol/drugs. The analysis shows that school engagement of young carers of people with disability is not significantly different from that of non-carers, but school engagement among young carers of people with a mental illness or using alcohol/drugs is significantly lower. Among this latter group, young carers who are themselves with disability report particularly low levels of engagement. The study concludes that improved support focused on young carers of people with a mental illness or using alcohol/drugs is needed to improve their school engagement.
Objectives: Prior literature has documented the global burden of serious mental illnesses. The present study aimed to compare the sleep quality in caregivers of older patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders with control participants who did not serve as caregivers. Methods: We performed a case-controlled, cross-sectional study among family caregivers of older patients with psychotic disorders in Razi Hospital, Tunisia. Subjective sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Scale (PSQI). Results: Fifty caregivers of older patients (≥ 60 years) with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders, and 50 matched controls were enrolled. The three sub-dimensions of the PSQI, namely subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency, as well as overall PSQI scores, were worse for caregiver participants. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses predicting PSQI scores revealed that caregivers' age and marital status were the only significant predictors in the final model. Conclusions: Older adults with severe mental disorders constitute a vulnerable population which generates a significant burden of care, and impacts their caregivers' subjective sleep quality. Clinical Implications: Family interventions, including sleep interventions, should be considered as an integral component of treatment for serious mental illnesses. When promoting sleep quality, older and single caregivers should be targeted.
Introduction: Family members are important supports for veterans with Posttrauamtic Stress Disroder (PTSD), but they often struggle with their own distress and challenges. The Veterans Affairs-Community Reinforcement and Family Training (VA-CRAFT) website was designed to teach family members of veterans with PTSD effective ways to interact with their veterans to encourage initiation of mental health services as well as to care for themselves and improve their relationships. This article presents a pilot investigation of VA-CRAFT.; Materials and Method: Spouse/partners of veterans who had screened positive for PTSD but were not in mental health treatment were randomized to either use the VA-CRAFT website (n = 22) or to a waitlist control condition (n = 19) for 3 months. Veteran mental health service initiation was assessed posttreatment. Spouse/partner distress, caregiver burden, quality of life, and relationship quality were assessed pre and posttreatment. The study was approved by the Minneapolis VA Health Care System Institutional Review Board (IRB).; Results: Differences between groups on veteran treatment initiation were small (Phi = 0.17) and not statistically significant. VA-CRAFT participants reported large and statistically significantly greater decreases in overall caregiver burden (η2 = 0.10) and objective caregiver burden (η2 = 0.14) than control participants. Effects were larger for those with greater initial distress. Effects sizes for other partner outcomes were negligible (η2 = 0.01) to medium (η2 = 0.09) and not statistically significant. Postintervention interviews suggested that only 33% of the VA-CRAFT participants talked with their veterans about starting treatment for PTSD during the trial.; Conclusion: Results from this pilot trial suggest that VA-CRAFT holds initial promise in reducing caregiver burden and as such it could be a useful resource for family members of veterans with PTSD. However, VA-CRAFT does not enhance veteran treatment initiation. It may benefit from enhancements to increase effectiveness and caregiver engagement.
Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine the perceptions of both individuals with severe mental illness and their family caregivers regarding the physical health status of patients. Design and methods: A descriptive qualitative design was implemented, and 11 individuals with severe mental illness and 12 caregivers were analysed. Findings: Two main themes emerged as a result of the content analysis: a "physical health‐related barriers" theme and a "need for better physical health" theme. Practice implications: Patients and their family caregivers experience a number of barriers and difficulties related to maintaining and improving physical health. Psychiatric nurses should recognize these barriers and assist in empowering both patients and their family caregivers to overcome them.
An exploratory study of caregiver burden associated with family caregivers enrolled in the VA Caregiver Support Program who assist veterans with serious invisible injuries sustained post September 11, 2001. A mixed methods analysis was completed with a retroactive chart review of already collected data (172 participants) in addition to a phenomenological query of 16 participants. Results: T-tests resulted in a significantly higher caregiver burden score with caregivers who had children in the home (M = 6.84; SD = 3.21) versus those who did not (M = 5.57; SD = 2.75), t (160) = −2.36, p =.02. An ANOVA across caregiver role (parent, spouse, significant other and other) and the Zarit Burden Inventory (ZBI) resulted in a significant difference (F [3, 159] = 1.59, p <.01, with spousal caregivers having a significantly higher ZBI score (M = 6.83; SD = 3.10) than parental caregivers (M = 4.46; SD = 2.70). The phenomenological research resulted in 22 major themes (family adjustment, subjective demands, coping techniques, social support, VA/DOD, self-care, intimacy, role strain, financial resources, life course, obligation, rewards, isolation/loss of self, reciprocity, stigma, community resources, spiritual support, tools, hope, uncertainty, guilt, leash syndrome) which supported quantitative findings. Conclusions: Caregivers and their families had a difficult time adjusting post injury. Caregivers relied heavily on their own coping mechanisms to adapt to their new role and did not find social support to be helpful with caregiving. Spousal caregivers and caregivers with children in the home had more difficulty adjusting when compared with parental caregivers.
We focused on carers of subjects suffering from eating disorders (ED), and studied the characteristics that mostly expose them to high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and expressed emotion, favoring the accommodation of the family system to the cared person. We administered the accommodation and enabling scale for eating disorders (AESED) questionnaire, the family questionnaire (FQ) and the depression, anxiety and stress scale (DASS-21) questionnaire to 97 carers of 62 ED patients, and investigated the carer's characteristics associated with the scores in the three questionnaires. A personal history of ED, being the primary carer, and caring for a person with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa are the characteristics that contribute most to aggravate the carers' burden in terms of stress, anxiety, depression, accommodation and enabling. Our findings may help doctors to provide effective support to caregivers and eventually improve the treatment of subjects with ED.
Objective: To assess for the validity of a future trial, the current feasibility study aimed to compare the feasibility and efficacy of a web‐ and workshop‐based education intervention for caregivers of adults with eating disorders. Methods: Psychoeducation was provided to caregivers, who were randomly assigned to a web or workshop condition. Independent samples t tests were conducted to analyse the between‐group effect sizes for intervention condition with regard to change over time. A random selection of participants from each intervention provided qualitative feedback about their experiences. Results: Overall, participants reported positive experiences in both education interventions. From baseline to the end of intervention, small between‐group effect sizes were observed for changes in caregiver accommodation, problem‐solving abilities, the quality of psychological health, and the quality of social relationships, favouring the web‐based intervention, and changes in expressed emotion in the family context, caregiver burden, perceived stress, and the quality of the environment, supporting the workshop intervention. Conclusions: There was a difference in initial feasibility of the web intervention. A future large‐scale trial of these interventions is supported by the results of this feasibility study.
Purpose: This study aimed to examine the quality of family‐centered care perceived by primary family caregivers and its influencing factors in mental healthcare practice. Design: A cross‐sectional, correlational study. Methods: A convenience sample of 121 mental health nurses and 164 primary family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia was recruited from acute psychiatric wards and chronic psychiatric rehabilitation wards in three psychiatric hospitals in Taiwan. Structured questionnaires for mental health nurses were designed to examine nurses' attitudes toward schizophrenia and the importance of families in nursing care. Primary family caregivers were assessed to determine their perceptions of quality of family‐centered care. At least one primary family caregiver of patients was matched to a nurse who took major responsibility for the patient during the hospitalization. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Pearson's product‐moment correlations, independent t‐test, one‐way analysis of variance, and stepwise regression analyses. Results: Quality of family‐centered care perceived by primary family caregivers regarding the provision of general and specific information, as compared to enabling and partnership, coordinated and comprehensive care, and respectful and supportive care, was relatively inadequate. Younger and more educated primary family caregivers, having relatives with schizophrenia in acute wards, less supportive nurses' attitudes toward schizophrenia, and the importance of family in nursing care were correlated with poor primary family caregivers' perceptions of quality of family‐centered care. Nurses' supportive attitudes toward schizophrenia and chronic psychiatric rehabilitation wards where patients received care were key factors in determining better quality of family‐centered care. Conclusions: Findings provide a platform for the development of effective continuing education and training programs to equip mental health nurses with supportive attitudes toward mental illness and an integration of the family in nursing care, which will ultimately improve mental health care for families experiencing mental health problems. Clinical Relevance: Efforts in professional training to address stigma and encourage a family‐centered approach into recovery‐oriented practice for practicing mental healthcare providers, including mental health nurses, are recommended.
Aims and Method: To review the literature on the emotional and mental health needs of young carers of parents with mental illness and the extent to which such needs are recognised and supported by professionals. Three databases were systematically searched from 2008 to 2018, and five studies met the inclusion criteria.; Results: The key findings were that young caregivers had a significantly higher dose-response mortality risk than their peers; were at increased risk of mental health difficulties, especially where the ill family member was a parent and had mental illness or misused substances; were overlooked by professionals owing to a lack of awareness; but could derive benefits from their caring role when appropriately supported.; Clinical Implications: Young carers are at increased risk regarding emotional and mental health needs; this risk could be mitigated by professionals recognising the young carer's role and including them in their parent's treatment plan.
Objective: To examine the factors associated with caregivers' burden in individuals providing care to family members suffering from serious mental illness. Methods: This Cross Sectional Study was carried out at Armed Forces Institute of Mental Health, Rawalpindi, from May 2015 to December 2015. A purposive sample of 120 family caregivers (60 males and 60 females, age range= 18-65) who were taking care of patients with serious mental illness (i.e. Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia) for at least one year were recruited from the hospital and assessed through Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and Brief COPE inventory. The decline in functional status, and diminished physical capacity compromising the independent living of the care recipient was assessed through Katz Index of Independence in Activities of daily living (ADL) and Lawton Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Results: The results suggest that the longer the duration of illness (F=25.71, p < 0.01), with increased impairments of care-recipients, (decline in functional status, F=21.33, p < 0.001; diminished physical capacity F =32.41, p < 0.001) the more the burden experienced by the caregivers. Moreover, caregivers who were married (t=-2.98, p < 0.01), less educated (t =5.48, p < 0.01), lived in rural area (t = -7.99, p < 0.01), had lower monthly income (t = -4.95, p < 0.01) provide longer hours of caregiving (F=19.12, p < 0.001) and used avoidant coping behavior (F= 56.37, p < 0.001) reported significantly higher caregiver burden than caregivers who were unmarried, more educated, lived in urban area and had better income. Conclusion: The results of study demonstrate that caring for family members with serious mental illness impacts the caregivers' wellbeing. It, therefore, highlights the need for support and counseling services for the caregivers to reduce the burden of caring.
There are currently very few studies exploring the area of mental health in the Philippines. The topic on mental illness remains widely stigmatized that even the concerns of the caregivers of the mentally ill stay unexplored on the background. This qualitative study aims to help families, mental health professionals, and the general community, understand the different coping and support needs of caregivers of the mentally ill. The researchers employed a phenomenological method of identifying the coping and support needs of these caregivers whose mentally ill family members were admitted in a Mental Health Facility in Leyte, Philippines. Data collection was made through in-depth interviews with carers/caregivers/relatives of five (5) mentally ill persons. Library and internet desk research in its related literature were also employed. Results of the study revealed two major themes, namely 1) coping strategies of caregivers of the mentally ill, and, 2) support to caregivers of the mentally ill. In the theme of coping strategies of caregivers of the mentally ill, three sub-themes emerged, namely 1.1) religious practice, 1.2) being productive, preoccupied and proactive, and 1.3) acceptance and resolve. Several support programs and services such as provision of mental health education and counseling regarding facts about the illness, its treatment and management, and leniency on watcher requirements during hospital admission are among the recommended support needs identified by the caregivers of the mentally ill.
Objective: to evaluate the relation between sociodemographics factors, stress and burden of care of family caregivers of patients at a psychiatric hospital admission.; Method: quantitative study, with a cross-sectional correlation design. A total of 112 family caregivers participated, older than 18, in a Brazilian psychiatric hospital. A sociodemographic questionnaire was used to collect data, the Zarit Burden Interview and LIPP Adult Stress Symptom Inventory.; Results: burden of care in family caregivers at a psychiatric hospital admission was significantly associated with stress (p=0.000). The psychological symptoms of stress predicted severe burden. Most caregivers presented a moderate or severe burden, with 52.7% in the resistance phase of stress; 66.1% presented psychological symptoms.; Conclusion: results show the alarming situation of caregivers of patients from a psychiatric hospital, evidencing their own vulnerability to illness. Indeed, the during admission in a psychiatric hospital, not only patients need care, but also their caregivers.
The aim of this article is to investigate the importance of family care in mental health and identify the shortcomings of the Spanish model of health care for the mentally ill. The empirical process comprised three qualitative procedures involving 37 experts from different regions of Spain. In order to guarantee the rigor of the data, a social worker discussion group was set up to create an interview script. Interviews were then carried out with 22 professionals who take care of people with mental illness in various public facilities throughout the country. A second focal group met three times to validate the categorizations analyzed in the interviews. The results of the empirical process indicate a need to remodel the mental health care system, which can be described with reference to five critical characteristics: 1) a lack of financial and human resources for mental health, 2) a lack of effective coordination among all the institutions and authorities involved, 3) a lack of quality resources aimed at rehabilitation and social reintegration as alternatives to institutionalization, 4) a lack of integrated care, and 5) a lack of a common healthcare framework for all professional workers in all the regions. A remodeling of the system is necessary to enable the rehabilitation, recovery, empowerment and development of people with SMD and thus ease the burden and improve the quality of life of family caregivers.
Background: Since the deinstitutionalization policy, in psychiatric hospitals, the care of patients with schizophrenia was left to their families which has been imposing a heavy burden on them. Family caregiver burden could have consequences for caregivers, patients, and the society. There is very little consensus on the definition and dimensions of the caregiver burden, which leads to a lack of consistency in the results of research. Thus, the present study was aimed to redefine the family caregiver burden of patients with schizophrenia. Methods: The databases PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, MEDLINE (Via Ovid), ProQuest, SCI, Magiran, SID, and IranDoc will be searched from 1940 to 2018 using subject headings and appropriate terms in both Farsi and English languages. Also, gray literature and the reference list of included articles will be used to offer an appropriate definition of the family caregiver burden in patients with schizophrenia. Two independent reviewers will participate in study selection, data collection, and quality assessment steps. The result will be presented in tabular form, and meta-synthesis will be performed. Discussion: The result of this systematic review will help present the comprehensive definition of the family caregiver burden in patients with schizophrenia according to its evolutionary trend. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42018099372.
Background Little is known about the relationship between changes of family structure for people with severe mental illness (SMI) and treatment status of SMI during a period of sustained rapid socioeconomic development. This study aimed to explore the relationship between changes of family structure and treatment status of people with SMI in a 21-year longitudinal study in a rural area of China. Methods Epidemiological surveys of mental disorders were conducted in May, 1994, and October, 2015, in the same six townships (total population 170 174 in 2015) in Xinjin county, Chengdu, which is a representative middle-income rural county in southwest China. The six townships were randomly selected from all 12 townships of Xinjin county in 1994. The surveys consisted of two steps: (1) screening procedures for psychosis (face-to-face interviews with the head of each household together with key informant interviews), household by household; and (2) psychiatric interviews of people aged 15 years and older, to identify those with SMI (including schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and major depressive disorder) according to the International Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders-10 (ICD-10) criteria. The two surveys were approved by the university human research ethics committees. Findings The number of people aged 15 years and older who were identified to have SMI was 711 and 1042 in 1994 and 2015, respectively. The mean number of family members was significantly lower in 2015 (3·0 [SD 1·5]) than in 1994 (3·4 [1·5], p<0·0001). Compared with people with SMI in 1994, those with SMI in 2015 had a significantly higher rate of living alone (13·7% vs 9·9%, p<0·013) and without caregivers (15·6% vs 8·4%, p<0·0001). There was a significantly lower rate of parents as caregivers in 2015 than in 1994 (13·5% vs 17·9%, p<0·011). The rate of low family economic status (less than the population mean) for people with SMI was significantly higher in 2015 than in 1994 (p<0·0001). Fewer family members (included in the same family hukou) was significantly associated with low family economic status (p=0·023), and low family economic status was significantly associated with poor treatment status (p=0·015). Interpretation The family structure and status of people with SMI has changed markedly during the rapid socioeconomic development from 1994 to 2015 in rural China. Fewer family members, fewer family caregivers and relative poverty have gradually become major challenges for families who care for people with SMI. How to improve care for people with SMI should be important if targets for Healthy China 2030 are to be met. Community mental health care, the precise poverty alleviation strategy, and the culture-specific family intervention programme should be crucial for comprehensive community mental health care and for improvement of the treatment and recovery of people with SMI in the community. Funding The survey in 1994 was supported in part by the China Medical Board of New York (92-557). The survey in 2015 was supported in part by the Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research (2014–2016), Seed Funding Programme for Applied Research (2014–2016), Contemporary China Strategic Research Theme (2014–2016), Small Project Funding (2014–2016), and Mental Health Research in Chengdu, China (department matching fund, 2015–2017).
Background: The purpose of the present study was to determine a statistically valid cutoff score for the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) in order to identify family caregivers at risk for depression and anxiety to guide for further assessment and future intervention. Methods: The ZBI, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD) were administered to a representative community sample of 327 family caregivers of schizophrenia individuals. A ZBI cutoff score was determined using three different statistical methods: tree-based modeling, K-means clustering technique and linear regression, followed by contingency analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve to compare between depression and anxiety scale scores with the ZBI cutoff. Results: Findings suggest that a cutoff score of 48 in ZBI has significant predictive validity for identifying caregivers at risk for both depression and anxiety. A ZBI cutoff of 48 showed sensitivity of 73% for PHQ and 70% for GAD, specificity of 80% for PHQ and 79% for GAD, PPV (positive predictive value) of 75% for PHQ and 73% for GAD, NPV (negative predictive value) of 78% for PHQ and 76% for GAD. Conclusions: This cutoff score would enable health care providers to assess family caregivers at risk and provide necessary interventions to improve their quality of life in this important role.
In Portugal, a mental health reform process is in place aiming to redefine the model of service provision. In 2008, a National Mental Health Plan (NMHP) was approved to provide policy guidance over the transition period. The NMHP intended, among others, to develop community‐based services, with a specific focus on rehabilitation and deinstitutionalization. This study aims to explore the perspectives of service managers of psychosocial rehabilitation services regarding the main challenges to support the community living of persons with severe mental illnesses (PWSMI) in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA). The paper also contextualises the provision of psychosocial services within the country's mental health reform process and characterises the profile of service users in socio‐occupational units (SOUs) of the LMA. Semi‐structured interviews were performed with all SOUs’ managers of the LMA (n = 13). Information regarding service user characteristics was collected based on service records (n = 344). Interviews were analysed according to the framework methodology. The results of the interviews were triangulated using document analysis. Fieldwork took place between June and July 2016. The findings suggest that the development of the mental health reform ensured significant changes to service delivery. Community‐based mental health organisations are an important actor for service provision. However, important asymmetries were identified in the provision of psychosocial care within the LMA. At the same time, family carers are perceived as responsible for ensuring a large part of the social needs of the PWSMI but there is an increasing concern with their own ageing processes. As a conclusion, it is highlighted the current inequality between services and the need to contemplate a life‐course perspective that comprehends the ageing process of caregivers poses an emerging challenge for psychosocial rehabilitation. These findings are also important for other low‐ and middle‐income countries passing through similar reforms.
Background: Existing research suggests that eHealth interventions targeting family carers of individuals with long-term illness offer a promising approach to care delivery. In particular, digital psychoeducational interventions with interactive psychosocial support are well-received with high rates of satisfaction and acceptability. However, development of such interventions for psychosis carers is lacking. We developed a multi-component eHealth intervention specifically for carers of individuals affected by psychosis, called COPe-support (Carers fOr People with Psychosis e-support). Objective: Using mixed methods to evaluate usability, system heuristics and perceived acceptability, we conducted a usability study to establish the suitability of the intervention prototype for the target user group. Methods: Twenty-three carers were recruited to the study and participated in a think-aloud test or a remote online trial of the intervention. Qualitative feedback, post-use System Usability Scale (SUS) scores, and real-world usage data collected from the tests were analysed. These were also supplemented with heuristic evaluation data provided by an independent eLearning technology expert. Results: Participants evaluated the intervention content as useful and helpful, and indicated that the system had satisfactory usability with a mean SUS score of 73%, above the usability quality benchmark threshold. Study results identified some minor usability issues, which were corroborated with the eLearning expert’s heuristic evaluation findings. We used these results to refine the COPe-support intervention. Conclusions: The usability study with end-users and service providers identified real-life usage and usability issues. The study results helped us refine COPe-support and its delivery strategy before its launch as part of a large-scale clinical trial.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of the planned pre-electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) family teaching on depression, anxiety and stress of caregivers of patients with mental disorders receiving ECT. Design/methodology/approach In this quasi-experimental study, 130 participants were randomized allocated into intervention or control groups. The planned family teaching program consisted of four 90 min sessions held during four weeks. Assessments occurred at pre-intervention (one week before the first session), and post-intervention (one months after the four session). Data were collected using demographic questionnaire and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Mean comparisons were performed using Student’s t-test while effect sizes were estimated by Cohen’s d coefficient. The significance level was considered less than 0.05. Findings The mean scores of the depression, anxiety and stress levels in the intervention group were significantly reduced compared to the control group (p=0.001). Originality/value The family pre-ECT teaching intervention and counseling decreased the depression, anxiety and stress level of family caregivers of patients with mental disorders receiving ECT and the maintenance of other favorable conditions at baseline. These results suggest that even a short-term educational intervention for family members of patients received ECT can improve emotional outcomes of treatment in the family.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the evolution of family support movement for schizophrenia in India and to report perspectives of family caregivers who are running family support groups across the country in the backdrop of recent legislations in India. RECENT FINDINGS: Family support movement started in the 1990s, mostly by family caregivers independently in multiple cities across the country. Apart from periodic support meetings, they have successfully influenced recent legislations to address the felt needs of families. Mental health professionals need to gain skills to work collaboratively with assertive family caregivers to develop services to support those diagnosed with mental illness. Though there is a need for such movement, funding is poor and very few caregivers of persons with schizophrenia are forthcoming to participate. The formation of national federation with government and non-government partnership could help give the required impetus to the family support movement for persons with schizophrenia in India.
Caregiving experiences matter for caregivers’ own wellbeing, but few studies link caregivers’ burden and benefit perceptions with recipient outcomes. Following the stress process model, I prospectively explore how caregivers’ experiences shape recipients’ mental health. I match US National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregivers, employing logistic regression on 781 older adult-informal caregiver dyads. I examine how caregivers’ appraisals shape recipients’ subsequent depression and anxiety, with caregiver mental health and recipient unmet care need as key covariates. Recipients receiving care from caregivers reporting predominantly benefits are less likely to become depressed than counterparts receiving care from persons reporting predominantly burden. Recipients receiving care from persons reporting benefits even alongside low or moderate burden are also less likely to become anxious. Recipient unmet care need, but not caregiver mental health, is associated with recipient mental health. Improving caregiver conditions may have benefits for both dyad members.
Background: Improving patients’ perception of social support is significant not only for their re-adaptation to life but also for alleviating caregivers’ burden. Aim: This study aims to examine an integrated model regarding social support, psychotic symptoms and caregiver burden. Methods: Persons with schizophrenia (N1 = 300) and their family caregivers (N2 = 300) in Xinjin County, Chengdu, China, completed the survey to report their demographics, patients’ perception of social support (Duke Social Support Index), psychotic symptoms (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) and caregiver burden (Burden Scale for Family Caregivers, Short Version). Structural equation modelling was utilised to test the proposed model. Results: The degree of caregiver burden differed significantly within subgroups of patients’ gender and education, as well as caregivers’ gender, education and employment. Caregiver burden was negatively related to patients’ age and household income. Social interaction partially mediated the relationship between instrumental and subjective social support (total effect = 0.451, p <.01). Subjective social support fully mediated the impact of social interaction on psychotic symptoms (total effect = −0.099, p <.05). In the final model, instrumental social support was positively associated with social interaction (p <.001) and increased subjective social support (p <.05). Increased subjective social support showed correlation with a lower degree of psychotic symptoms (p <.01), which was related to a lower level of caregiver burden (p <.001). Conclusion: This study shows the associations of patients’ social support with psychotic symptoms and caregiver burden. Culture-specific psychosocial interventions should be provided for both patients and caregivers to enrich external support and reduce psychotic symptoms and caregivers’ burden within the health care environment.
Background: Little is known about the impacts of schizophrenia on different types of caregiving burden. Aim: This study aims to examine how the severity of schizophrenia, social functioning and aggressive behavior are associated with caregiving burden across different kinship types. Method: The analytic sample included 300 dyads of persons with schizophrenia and their family caregivers in Xinjin, Chengdu, China. The 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) was utilized to identify the patients, whose symptom severity, social functioning and aggressive behavior were measured. Caregiving burden was estimated using the Burden Scale for Family Caregivers–short (BSFC-s). Results: A higher level of burden was significantly associated with female caregivers, larger family size, lower income, worse symptoms, poorer functional status and more aggressive behaviors. Parent caregivers showed greater burden if the patients had better functioning of social interest and concern or more aggression toward property. Mother caregivers showed greater burden than fathers. Spouses tended to perceive greater burden if the patients had better marital functioning, poorer occupational functioning or more aggressive behaviors toward property. Patients attacking others or a father with schizophrenia was related to a higher burden of child caregivers. A heavier burden of other relatives was correlated with patients’ more verbal aggression and self-harm. Conclusion: This study shows the distinct impacts of disease-related factors on the caregiving burden across different kinship types. Our findings have implications for health-care professionals and practitioners in terms of developing more targeted family-based or individualized intervention to ameliorate burden according to kinship types and deal with behavioral and functional problems in schizophrenia.
(1) Background: The aim of this research was to analyze factors associated with quality of life (QoL) and marital satisfaction in married family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in all community mental health services in Goiania municipality, Brazil, in 2016–2017. Married family caregivers of patients with severe and persistent mental disorders were recruited and their QoL and marital satisfaction was assessed by using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument Abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF) and Marital Satisfaction Scale. Multiple linear regressions were performed to identify factors associated with QoL and marital satisfaction. (3) Results: For 163 family caregivers, the psychological and environmental QoL domains presented the best and the worst scores, respectively. Factors independently associated with better QoL for caregivers were male caregiver, the younger age of a caregiver, >8 years of schooling, ≥5 years as a caregiver who performed physical activities, caregiver without chronic disease, and no patient’s crisis in the last 30 days. Factors independently associated with marital satisfaction of the caregiver were male caregiver, caregiver with >8 years of schooling, caregiver who received support by relatives to care for the patient, caregiver who performed physical activities, no patient’s crisis in the last 30 days, and patient hospitalization in the last six months; (4) Conclusions: The main predictor for marital satisfaction was support by relatives, and for QoL it was no patient’s crisis in the last 30 days.
Background: Understanding the explanatory models of family caregivers is particularly important in interdependent contexts like India, where they often play a significant role in the help-seeking behaviours, treatment decision-making and long-term care of those diagnosed with mental illness. Aims: This study was planned to explore the diversity of explanatory models among family caregivers at a centre for recovery-oriented rehabilitation services in South India. Methods: The sample for this study included 60 family caregivers of patients referred to Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services within a tertiary-care hospital for mental health and neurosciences. Bart’s Explanatory Model Inventory, including a semi-structured interview and a checklist, assessed the family caregivers’ explanatory model of distress on five domains: identity, cause, timeline, consequences and control/cure/treatment. Results: The results indicated the coexistence of multiple causal explanatory models including psychosocial, supernatural, situational and behavioural contributors. While 36.7% of the caregivers displayed two explanatory models, 33.3% of the caregivers held three explanatory models and 16.6% of the caregivers endorsed four explanatory models. Caregivers shared their concerns about varied consequences of mental illness but less than half of them were aware of the name of the psychiatric disorder. While they accessed various forms of treatments and adjunctive supports such as prayer, medication was the most frequently used treatment method. Conclusions: The findings have implications for collaborative goal setting in recovery-oriented services for persons with mental illness and their families.
Background: Changes in the demographics and respective growth of life expectancy and social needs make informal caregiving crucial component of comprehensive health and social care network, which substantially contributes to the health and well-being of the elderly. The purpose of this paper is to understand the system of care of elderly patients with mental disorders from the perspective of informal caregivers in Lithuania. Methods: We conducted five semi-structured focus group discussions with 31 informal caregivers attending to elderly patients with mental disorders. The data were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was subsequently performed. Results: Five thematic categories were established: (1) the current state of care-receivers: Representation of the complexity of patients' physical and mental condition. (2) The current state of caregivers: Lack of formal caregivers' integration as a team; inadequate formal involvement of informal caregivers. (3) Basic care needs: The reflection of the group needs relating directly to the patient, care organisation and the caretaker. (4) The (non-) Readiness of the existing system to respond to the needs for care: Long-term care reliance on institutional services, lack of distinction between acute/immediate care and nursing, lack of integration between the medical sector and the social care sector. (5) Potential trends for further improvement of long-term care for the elderly with mental disorders. Conclusions: Strengthening of the care network for elderly patients with mental disorders should cover more than a personalised and comprehensive assessment of the needs of patients and their caregivers. Comprehensive approaches, such as formalization of informal caregivers' role in the patient care management and planning, a more extensive range of available services and programs supported by diverse sources of funding, systemic developments and better integration of health and social care systems are essential for making the system of care more balanced.
Purpose of review To better understand the overall burden of schizophrenia, we aimed to explore informal caregivers' experiences by evaluating the current evidence on caregiver and patient characteristics, the type of care provided by caregivers, and the impacts of caregiving on caregivers' lives. Recent findings Caregivers provide direct care, assistance with activities of daily living, and emotional, social, and financial support to individuals with schizophrenia. Increased duration of illness and of care, severe or persistent schizophrenia symptoms, criticism of the care recipient, financial burden, and patient disability intensify caregiver burden. Caregivers of individuals with persistent symptoms often feel overwhelmed, stressed, drained, burdened, frustrated, or angry. Financial impacts of caregiving include treatment costs for care recipients, providing financial support, and lost productivity and income. Depression and anxiety are common health impacts for caregivers, who also have increased physical healthcare resource use relative to healthy controls. Caregiver burden is reduced by formal support programs to improve caregivers' stress management and coping skills and informal sources of social support. Summary Targeted efforts to improve access to care and provide additional support for caregivers are needed to alleviate caregiver burden and improve outcomes for individuals with schizophrenia.
Background: Involving carers is a key priority in mental health services. Carers report the sharing of service users’ safety information by mental health nurses is problematic and seldom takes place. Aims: The impact of an intervention on consensus between nurses and carers on perceptions of risk was investigated. Methods: Carer–nurse risk consensus scores were measured pre- and post-introduction of a structured dialogue (paired t-test/ANOVA). Carer experience with involvement was surveyed pre-test (n = 60) and compared with the post-test intervention group (n = 32) (chi-square tests of linear-by-linear association). Results: Consensus and perceptions regarding type and severity of risk did not change significantly for carers or nurses after engaging in a structured dialogue. Statistically significant differences were found with carers reporting higher levels of satisfaction with services in four out of six areas surveyed. Conclusions: Findings provide support for increasing carer contribution to discussions regarding risk. Further work to embed carer involvement in clinical practice is warranted.
Patient involvement (shared decision making ) and caregiver involvement (family involvement, etc.) are mostly seen as different aspects of care, and efforts to integrate them are limited. This Open Forum posits that both approaches are critical and that caregiver involvement should always be considered during shared decision making, potentially as an integral component. The authors argue that the two approaches can overlap and work synergistically rather than antagonistically. When caregiver involvement is integrated into shared decision making, caregivers may assume any of a variety of roles and need to develop certain competencies to better engage in decision making.
AimTo co‐produce consensus on the key issues important in educating mental health‐care professionals to optimize mental health medication adherence in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. Objectives To identify perceptions of factors enabling or disabling medication adherence. To achieve consensus on content and delivery of an educational intervention for mental health‐care professionals. Methods Data were collected from 2016 to 2018. Using individual interviews and a consensus workshop with carers and service users (SUs treated under the 1983 Mental Health Act 1983/revised 2007 for England and Wales), the experience of taking prescribed mental health medication and perspectives on adherence were explored. Data were analysed using 2‐stage qualitative coding via the software tool NVivo version 11 to analyse transcribed data and to produce the main explanatory categories. Results SU and carer participants' perspectives substantially altered the original research design. The need to educate students rather than trained professionals was emphasized, and they suggested that educational content should be packaged in a contemporary manner (a virtual reality experience). Findings indicated that education should focus upon understanding the impact of taking prescribed antipsychotic medication on both SUs and carers. Discussion The importance of effective communication between health professionals, SUs and carers and a willingness to learn about and appreciate how BAME culture influences perception of mental illness and mental well‐being were highlighted. Conclusion In working co‐productively, researchers need to be flexible and adaptable to change.
People, who assist patients with chronic health problems for work, voluntary or for family reasons, may be affected by burnout. This is defined as an excessive reaction to stress caused by one's environment that may be characterized by feelings of emotional and physical exhaustion, coupled with a sense of frustration and failure. A person who assists a suffering person, beyond the professional role, is indicated generally by the term "caregiver". The definition of Burnout in families is fairly recent, because the psychology of trauma has ignored a large segment of traumatized and disabled subjects (family and other assistants of "suffering people") unwittingly, for a long time. The burnout of secondary stress is due to one's empathic ability, actions trough disengagement, and a sense of satisfaction from helping to relieve suffering. Figley (1995) claims that being a member of a family or other type of intimate or bonded interpersonal relationship, one feels the others' pain. Closely associated with the suffering of the family caregiver is the concept of compassion fatigue, defined as a state of exhaustion and disfunction-biologically, psychologically, and socially - as a result of prolonged exposure to compassion stress and all that it evokes. In families, this can be the cause of serious conflicts and problems, quarrels, verbal and physical aggression, and broken relationships. The intervention on families requires practice and effectiveness approaches performed by experienced professionals. Some approaches focus more specifically, such as those that adopt a cognitive/behavioural technique with direct exposure, implosion methods, various drug treatments and family group psychotherapy. One of the most common models of intervention is based on the principle that the observation unit for the understanding of the disorder is not the single individual but the relationship between individuals.
Background: Family carers provide significant support to people with a mental illness; yet may experience poor mental and physical health themselves. Among limited research addressing the physical health of carers, studies of carers of people with dementia and young people with psychosis suggest increased risk of chronic diseases in conjunction with higher levels of potentially modifiable lifestyle risk behaviours. This exploratory study, conducted with carers of people with various mental illnesses, aimed to determine: carer prevalence of health risk behaviours (inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, inadequate physical activity, harmful alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking); interest in changing 'at risk' behaviours; and potential associations of socio-demographic characteristics with risk status and interest in change. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among family carers of people with a mental illness (N = 144) residing in New South Wales, Australia. Analyses explored risk behaviour prevalence and interest in change, and associations with socio-demographic variables. Results: Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption was most prevalent (74.8%), followed by engaging in inadequate amounts of physical activity (57.6%); harmful alcohol consumption (36.3%) and smoking (11.8%). The majority of carers were interested in improving 'at risk' behaviours (56.3-89.2%), with the exception of alcohol consumption (41.5%). Previously or never married participants were more likely to consume inadequate amounts of fruits and/or vegetables compared to those married or cohabiting (Odds Ratio [OR]: 4.1, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.3-12.9, p =.02). Carers in the workforce were more likely to be engaging in inadequate physical activity (OR: 2.6, 95% CI: 1.2-5.7, p =.02); and male participants were more likely to engage in harmful alcohol consumption (OR: 2.9, 95% CI: 1.1-7.9, p =.03). Working carers were approximately five times more likely to report interest in improving their alcohol consumption (OR: 5.1, 95% CI: 1.3-20.5, p =.02) compared to those not currently in the workforce. Conclusions: Results suggest high engagement in health risk behaviours among carers of people with a mental illness, particularly with regards to harmful alcohol consumption. Findings suggest a need to develop and implement chronic disease prevention strategies. Further research with larger representative samples is needed to confirm findings.
Families are considered as primary sources of care for individuals suffering from mental disorders. However, one of the major stresses in families is the infliction of a family member with mental illnesses causing dysfunction in health dimensions or generally their quality of life. Currently, most experts believe that religion can affect physical health and other aspects of human life. So, the aim of this study was to investigate “the relationship between care burden and religious beliefs among family caregivers of mentally ill patients.” This cross-sectional study was carried out in Iran on 152 families with mentally ill patients who were hospitalized in psychiatric wards. The sampling method was nonprobability and consecutive sampling method. The data collection instruments included a demographic characteristic questionnaire, Religious Beliefs, and Zarit Care Burden Questionnaires. The mean score for care burden was 30.99 (SD = 16.45). 5.9% of the participants reported a low level, and 39.5% experienced a moderate level of care burden. Moreover, the mean score for religious beliefs was 115.5 (SD = 13.49), and majority of the participants (70.4%) were endowed with strong religious beliefs. There were no significant associations between care burden and intensity of religious beliefs among the study samples (P = 0.483). Considering the results of this study indicating experience of moderate-to-high levels of care burden in families with mentally ill patients, it is recommended to consider such families and their religious beliefs as contributing factors in coping with challenges of mental disorders.
Depression is one of the most common psychological consequences of caregiving. Caring for patients with severe mental illness (SMI) adds significant challenges to family caregivers' mental health. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of depression among caregivers of SMI patients in rural areas of Sichuan province of China, to examine the influence of social support and care burden on depression, and to explore the intermediary effect of care burden between social support and depression among caregivers of SMI patients. Data were collected from 256 primary caregivers of SMI patients in rural Sichuan Province in China. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the hypothesized relationship among the variables. We found that a total of 53.5% of caregivers had depression. Both care burden (β = 0.599, 95%CI: 0.392-0.776) and social support (β = -0.307, 95%CI: (-0.494)-(-0.115)) were directly related to depression, while social support had a direct association with care burden (β = -0.506, 95%CI: (-0.672)-(-0.341)). Care burden mediated the relationship between social support and depression. For the socio-demographic variables, gender, education level and per capita annual income of household had significant correlations with depression (p < 0.05). The results strongly demonstrated that social support and care burden were predictors of depression, especially social support. Policymakers should fully recognize the role of primary family caregivers in caring for SMI patients and promote interventions to decrease care burden and reduce caregivers' depression by improving social support and network. More attention should be given to female caregivers and caregivers with lower education and lower household income levels.
Purpose: The present study examined the degree to which loneliness mediated the influence of negative (social constraints) and positive (emotional support) relationship qualities on the global mental health of advanced gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients and their family caregivers. Methods: Fifty patient-caregiver dyads completed measures assessing social constraints (e.g., avoidance, criticism) from the other dyad members, emotional support from others, loneliness, and global mental health. Structural equation modeling was used to examine individual models, and Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Modeling was used to examine dyadic associations. Results: Individual path analyses for patients and caregivers demonstrated that emotional support had a significant indirect effect on mental health through loneliness (Bs = 0.32 and 0.30, respectively), but no associations were found between social constraints and mental health. In dyadic analyses, participants' loneliness and mental health were not significantly related to their partner's emotional support, loneliness, or mental health (Bs = - 0.18 to 0.18). Conclusions: Findings suggest that for advanced GI cancer patients and caregivers, emotional support from others alleviates feelings of loneliness, which may lead to better mental health. However, the benefits of emotional support appear to be primarily intrapersonal rather than interpersonal in nature. Additionally, participants endorsed low levels of social constraints, which might explain their lack of relation to loneliness and mental health. Continued examination of interdependence in social processes between cancer patients and caregivers will inform intervention development.
Background Providing unpaid support to family and friends with disabling health conditions can limit a carer’s capacity to participate in employment. The emotional support needs and unpredictability of caring for people with mental illness may be particularly demanding. While previous research suggests variable employment rates across carers for different conditions, there are limited data on mental health carers specifically. Methods This study analysed employment patterns for working-age, co-resident carers of adults with mental illness in an Australian cross-sectional household survey, the 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. Results Significantly more mental health carers were not employed (42.3%, 95% CI: 36.6–48.1) compared to non-carers (24.0%, 95% CI: 23.5–24.6). Employed mental health carers were more likely to work fewer than 16 h per week (carers: 17.2%, 95% CI: 12.8–22.8, vs. non-carers: 11.7%, 95% CI: 11.3–12.1) and in lower skilled occupations (carers: 22.6, 95% CI: 17.5–28.7, vs. non-carers: 15.7, 95% CI: 15.1–16.2). Among the sub-group of primary mental health carers, 25.8% (95% CI: 15.6–39.5) had reduced their working hours to care and a further 26.4% (95% CI: 17.2–38.2) stopped working altogether. In corresponding comparisons between mental health carers and carers for people with other cognitive/behavioural conditions, and physical conditions with or without secondary mental illness, there were no differences except that mental health carers were more likely to be working in a lower skilled occupation than other cognitive/behavioural condition carers (14.8% of the latter, 95% CI 10.1–21.2). Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that female mental health carers were less likely to be employed if they were aged 35–54, had no post-secondary education, had a disability, or cared for someone with severe activity limitations. For male mental health carers, having a disability or caring for someone with severe limitations or who did not receive paid assistance were significantly associated with not being employed. Conclusions These results highlight the employment disadvantage experienced by mental health carers compared to non-carers, and similarities in employment patterns across carers for different conditions. Improving the availability of paid support services for people with mental illness may be an important target to assist carers to maintain their own employment.
Australia is a multicultural country and it is common for families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to care for their relatives with mental illness. However, there are limited Australian studies examining the experiences of informal carers of people with mental illness from CALD communities. A scoping review was conducted to search for peer-reviewed articles reporting the perception of carers regarding their caregiving experiences, wellbeing, and needs. Using cultural responsiveness as a conceptual framework, this study analysed the findings of the identified studies to generate themes. Findings show that carers experience severe caregiving challenges and face considerably poor culturally oriented services in mental health. Social work implications concerning the need to provide culturally responsive practice in mental health services are discussed. Carers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities experience considerably poorer culturally oriented practices in mental health services. Cultural responsiveness is a relevant framework for social work practice with carers and their relatives with mental illness who are from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Despite widespread recognition of the usefulness of a biopsychosocial approach in social work, there are limited studies exploring how social workers can use this approach to support the health and wellbeing of carers of young people with first episode psychosis (FEP). Validated questionnaires and anthropometric measures were used to assess the physical health and wellbeing of 42 carers of young people with FEP. Carers had moderate levels of negative caregiving consequences, quality of life, and health status. More than half (52.4%) of carers were experiencing social isolation. Many carers were overweight (78.6%), had a high risk for type 2 diabetes (39.0%), and had hypertension (33.3%). Practical implications of a biopsychosocial approach to social work that supports both clients and their carers are discussed. Social workers can better utilise the biopsychosocial approach in working with young people with first episode psychosis and their carers. Holistic care using a biopsychosocial approach should support individuals and their families in both physical and mental health. Social workers can further support the health and wellbeing of carers by collaborating with medical and other allied health colleagues within multidisciplinary teams, and by referring carers with physical health problems to general practitioners.
Objectives: To explore Australian mental health carers' prioritisation of key elements of caregiving and establish the extent to which particular issues contribute to carer burden.; Design: Cross-sectional survey.; Setting: All Australian States and Territories.; Participants: Responses were received from 231 Australian mental health caregivers.; Main Outcome Measures: The Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire was used to assess caregiver burden.; Results: Smallest space analysis identified three distinct regions, which we conceptualise as: 1) promoting the safety and health of mental health consumers; 2) impact of caring on caregivers' personal lives and 3) enabling daily living functional recovery of mental health consumers. The analysis demonstrates that carers are most concerned with enabling daily living functional recovery, for which the mean value was considerably higher than the personal impact and promoting safety and health regions. In terms of the individual questionnaire items, the issues of most importance are assisting with self-care, worrying about consumers' future, finances and general health, encouraging consumer involvement in activities and concerns over the treatment consumers are receiving.; Conclusion: Caregiving often came at significant personal cost. The burden that results from caring for mental health consumers could perhaps be alleviated through the expansion of psychiatric disability services, increasing government financial support and providing tailored psychosocial interventions that meet the needs of families.
Objective: To determine if family caregiver involvement in interventions with patients with delirium improves patient outcomes.; Methods: A search of three databases (Medline-Ovid, CINAHL and Embase) was conducted. Eligibility criteria included adult patients and involvement of family caregivers in any delirium intervention. Data were extracted from each study (determined by PEDro scale) using a customised form. A meta-analysis was undertaken which compared the length of hospital stay and duration of delirium. PROSPERO registration number is CRD42017077650.; Results: Five studies involving 505 participants published over a 5-year period were suitable for inclusion. Low-level evidence demonstrated family caregiver involvement may reduce caregiver's anxiety and hospital staff viewed administration of education to family caregivers as efficient. Meta-analysis suggested family interventions reduce length of hospital stay for patients with delirium. It remains unclear if it affects the duration of delirium.; Conclusion: Family caregivers providing interventions to patients with delirium can improve patient outcomes.
Aim: Brief psychoeducation for families of psychotic patients has been shown to significantly increase family members' knowledge of the disorder. This increase is associated with reductions in relapse and rehospitalization. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of brief psychoeducation about schizophrenia to caregivers of patients in early phases of psychotic disorders in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.; Methods: This study was a prospective, randomized trial with 2 parallel groups. Subjects were patients in the early phase of psychotic disorders and their respective caregivers. Inclusion criteria included a diagnosis of acute and transient psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or delusional disorder. Participants were randomly assigned to either control or intervention groups by means of paired simple randomization. A brief psychoeducation was conducted for both the patients and caregivers. The interventions were conducted in 4 interactive sessions, once per week. Effectiveness was measured using standardized instruments before the intervention, and at 1 and 6 months post-intervention. Assessment instruments included the Knowledge of Psychosis (KOP), the Compliance and Relapse Assessment, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia scale.; Results: Interventions improved KOP scores significantly in the intervention group. The intervention group had increased regularity of follow-up with health providers and improved compliance. No statistically significant difference in relapses/rehospitalization was observed.; Conclusions: This study demonstrated that brief psychoeducation with caregivers of patients with early phase psychosis was feasible in our setting, significantly improved caregivers' knowledge, and resulted in improved regularity of contact with health providers and compliance with pharmacotherapy.
Purpose: To explore the experience of caregivers of family members with schizophrenia.; Design and Methods: A qualitative approach was adopted to examine the experience of caregivers of people with schizophrenia. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 participants recruited through purposive sampling.; Findings: The change findings encompassed five major themes: (a) loss of personal life, (b) mixed emotions, (c) changes in family relationships, (d) the need for professional support and help, and (e) coping strategies.; Practice Implications: Clinicians, including nurses, must be aware of the cultural importance of mental illness, particularly the widespread cultural beliefs and patterns of help-seeking behaviors, to provide culturally sensitive health care and develop empirical strategies for helping both these caregivers and their dependents.
Family caregivers of people with substance abuse are exposed to psychological problems that diminish their life quality and satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to diagnose the efficacy of quality-of-life intervention on stress and life satisfaction of family caregivers of individuals with substance use problem. This is a randomized controlled trial conducted on 80 family caregivers of individuals with substance use problem in the process of withdrawal who were referred to a psychiatric center in southeastern Iran (2018). The intervention group received seven sessions of quality-of-life group counseling every other day based on predetermined content. Twelve weeks post-intervention, data were collected from the control and intervention groups using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The results were analyzed through statistical tests. After group counseling based on quality of life, the mean stress score in the family caregivers of the intervention group (11.50 ± 4.36) was significantly lower than in those of the control group (14.67 ± 4.93) (p = 0.003). Also, in the posttest, the mean score of life satisfaction in the intervention group (24.75 ± 4.28) was significantly higher than that of the control group (19.57 ± 7.33) (p = 0.001). Group counseling based on quality of life exerted a significantly positive impact on reducing the severity of stress and improving life satisfaction among family caregivers of individuals with substance use problem. Therefore, it is highly recommended that healthcare service providers incorporate this counseling approach in substance use withdrawal programs so as to increase the well-being and mental health of family caregivers.
Background and objectives: Severe mental disorders require informal care, usually provided by family members of the affected. The aim of the study is to examine the burden of informal caregiving for individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders prior to hospital admission in Bulgaria. Methods: The study has an observational, cross-sectional, retrospective design. Individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders and their caregivers are evaluated upon the patients’ admission for inpatient treatment. The objective and subjective consequences of providing informal care are evaluated with the Burden Assessment Scale (BAS) as a primary outcome measure. Its factor structure and determinants of high burden of care are examined. Results: 117 individuals with mental disorder and 117 caregivers are evaluated, dichotomized in two groups according to the patient's diagnosis. The time spent in informal care is 5.7 hours per day (SD = 2.9) for schizophrenia and 3.9 hours per day (SD = 3.0) for affective disorders, p =.002. The mean score on the BAS is 44.7 (SD = 11.0) and 42.0 (SD = 12.8) respectively, p =.221. A common pattern of the burden with a 5-factor solution explaining 66% of the variance is presented, including the factors Limitations, Conflicts, Guilt, Trap, and Stigma. Contributors for the increase in the BAS are stigma (p <.001), history of threats (p =.014), supervision for disturbing behaviour (p <.048), younger age of the caregivers (p =.043), spouses/partners to the patients (p <.001), less social contacts (p =.017) and provision of informal care on a daily basis (p =.027). Conclusions: The caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders experience considerable objective and subjective burden.
Aims and Objectives: This study aimed to analyse the prevalence and factors associated with suicidal ideation among family caregivers of people with mental disorders.; Background: Studies conducted with family caregivers of people with dementia and cancer point out a high prevalence of suicidal ideation among these subjects; however, this aspect has not yet been investigated among family caregivers of people with mental disorders.; Design: This is a cross-sectional study, conducted with 537 family caregivers of patients from 16 Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS) of the 21st Health Region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.; Methods: Question 17 of the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) was used for suicidal ideation screening. The prevalence of suicidal ideation was calculated according to sociodemographic and care variables, with confidence interval estimate (95% CI). Crude and adjusted odds ratios were calculated by logistic regression. The Guidelines to Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE Statement) was adhered in this study (See File S1).; Results: The prevalence of suicidal ideation found in this study for the 30 days preceding the interview was 12.5% (95% CI: 10-15). The factors associated with the outcome were lower age, lower schooling, feeling of burden, self-report of stress problem and dissatisfaction with family relationships.; Conclusion: The prevalence of suicidal ideation among the studied family caregivers was high and strongly associated with issues regarding care, showing the need for interventions that provide support.; Relevance For Clinical Practice: Nurses are a large part of the workforce of the community mental health services. The careful characterisation of the subjects who show suicidal ideation, as performed in this study, may reveal specificities capable of refining the diagnostic potential for establishment of action plans in a timely manner, avoiding possible attempts or even the consummation of suicide.
Introduction. Informal Primary Caregivers (IPC) of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience a significant burden, making it important to determine their specific needs. Objectives. Cross-sectional study aimed at adapting and establishing the reliability of the Questionnaire on the Needs of Family Members of People with Severe Mental Disorders to identify felt and unfelt needs that may or may not have been met in IPCs of patients with BPD and suggest intervention strategies to effectively address them. Method. The adapted version of the instrument was completed by 80 IPCs of patients with confirmed BPD diagnosis. Results. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for different groups of needs evaluated through the instrument were: Knowledge/information = .77, Instrumental support = . 78, Participation = .63, and Personal support = .74; and for the total score = .86. The most important unmet felt needs were: 1. having information on interventions for patients and caregivers, legal and administrative aspects, and available support services; 2. having coping skills to deal with crises and manage patients’ risk behaviors; 3. receiving professional care to reduce stress; and 4. being listened by health professionals, express their personal opinions, and need for rest. Conclusions. The adapted instrument showed satisfactory internal consistency in IPCs of patients with BPD. The results highlight the urgent need for interventions for this population, focusing on psychoeducation, assertiveness training, stress management, and problem solving.
Approximately 5% of the UK population live with serious mental health problems. Data show that informal caregivers of people with mental illness provide care for the highest number of hours compared to other illness and the economic cost of this care is highest in the UK when compared internationally. People living with serious mental health problems make transitions between different intensities of service as their needs fluctuate, including referral, admission, transfer or discharge. Although caregiving is associated with both stress and positive reward, service transitions are particularly associated with increased stress. This review aimed to investigate what is known about the experiences of informal caregivers during mental health service transitions. An integrative qualitative synthesis was conducted following searches in six bibliographic databases and of the grey literature. Studies published in English between 2001 and 2017 were included if the study focus was on serious mental health problems, the experiences of caregivers and service transitions. Eleven studies were included, appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and synthesised, resulting in four themes: (a) Caregiver information, (b) Caregiver involvement in decisions about care and treatment, (c) Accessing services, (d) Being a caregiver. Caregivers' experiences were similar during transitions to their usual caregiving role but they faced more challenges and their experiences were amplified. Concerns about confidentiality created barriers to information sharing. Continuity of professionals across transitions was helpful. Caregivers struggled to deal with their own conflicting emotions and with the behaviours of the person yet rarely received help. The review findings point to a need for continuity of professionals across service transitions, co-designed and delivered training for professionals and caregivers about information sharing, greater understanding of barriers to implementation of family interventions and interventions that address emotional needs of caregivers.
Background: The aim of the present study is to analyse the variables associated with the family care of people diagnosed with serious mental illness.; Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out involving caregivers of people with serious mental illness (SMI) who were known to the mental health services in Valencia (España) and associations for those with SMI. The sample comprised 417 caregivers who completed a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Zarit Burden Interview. Bivariate analyses (t-test, analysis of variance and Pearson correlation) were performed, as was a multiple linear regression model. Values of p < .05 were considered significant. The study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the ethics committees of the participating institutions.; Results: The statistical analyses showed significant associations between the sociodemographic and clinical variables of the caregivers and patients and the burden felt by caregivers of people with SMI. The importance of both formal and informal social support stands out as a protective factor against the consequences of the illness's impact on the main caregiver.; Conclusions: The role of spaces of mutual support is crucial. The results suggest that family psychoeducational programmes should be created, applied and evaluated in all mental healthcare services so as to reinforce training in mental health matters and provide support and assessment to caregivers in order to ease their burden.
This paper presents findings from an interdisciplinary project undertaken in Victoria, Australia, investigating the barriers and facilitators to supported decision-making (SDM) for people living with diagnoses including schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, and severe depression; family members supporting them; and mental health practitioners, including psychiatrists. We considered how SDM can be used to align Australian laws and practice with international human rights obligations. The project examined the experiences, views, and preferences of consumers of mental health services, including people with experiences of being on Community Treatment Orders (CTOs), in relation to enabling SDM in mental health service delivery. It also examined the perspectives of informal family members or carers and mental health practitioners. Victoria currently has high rates of use of CTOs, and the emphasis on SDM in the Mental Health Act, 2014, is proposed as one method for reducing coercion within the mental health system and working towards more recovery-oriented practice. Our findings cautiously suggest that SDM may contribute to reducing the use of CTOs, encouraging less use of coercive practices, and improving the experience of people who are subject to these orders, through greater respect for their views and preferences. Nonetheless, the participants in our study expressed an often ambivalent stance towards CTOs. In particular, the emphasis on medication as the primary treatment option and the limited communication about distressing side effects, alongside lack of choice of medication, was a primary source of concern. Fears, particularly among staff, about the risk of harm to self and others, and stigma attached to complex mental health conditions experienced by consumers and their families, represent important overarching concerns in the implementation of CTOs. Supporting the decision-making of people on CTOs, respecting their views and preferences about treatment, and moving towards reducing the use of CTOs require system-wide transformation and a significant shift in values and practice across mental health service delivery.
Background: Burden of caregivers of people with mental illness (PWMI) is considered to be a negative impact of the care provided by the family to the patient. However, little is known about the extent of the burden among caregivers of PWMI in Ethiopia. The aim of this study, therefore, is to assess the magnitude and associated factors of burden among caregivers of PWMI at Jimma University Medical Center, 2017.; Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study design was employed among 406 conveniently selected caregivers of PWMI and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Family burden interview schedule (FBIS) was used to assess burden of caregivers. Bivariate and multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to determine the predictors of burden among caregivers.; Results: Nearly two-thirds [264 (65.0%)] of the participants were male with a mean age of 38.45 ± 12.03 years. The mean score for burden among caregivers on family burden interview schedule was 23.00 ± 10.71. Age of the caregivers (β = 0.18, p < 0.001), being female caregiver (β = 2.68, p < 0.01), duration of contact hours with the patient per day (β = 0.74, p < 0.001), perceived stigma by the caregiver (β = 0.47, p < 0.001), and providing care for patients who had history of substance use in life (β = 1.52, p < 0.05) were positive predictors of higher burden among caregivers. Whereas, caregivers' income (β = 7.25, p < 0.001), caregivers who had no formal education (β = 4.65, p < 0.01), and caregivers' social support (β = 0.78, p < 0.001) were negatively associated with higher burden among caregiver.; Conclusion: Caregivers of people with mental illness experience enormous burden during providing care for their relatives with mental illness. Therefore, creating community awareness and targeted interventions in the area of treatment access, stigma, financial, and other social support for people with mental illness and their caregivers would help out to reduce these burdens.
Health and care services for patients may improve or harm the wellbeing of their family carers. Formal consideration of these effects (also known as spillovers) in decision-making is advocated, but, to date, little is known about how they occur. This paper presents the first empirical study to determine the mechanisms by which health and care services affect family carers' wellbeing. The study focused on three major health conditions: dementia, stroke, and mental health. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 49 purposefully sampled care professionals and family carers in the UK between December 2016 and September 2017. Transcripts were coded and analysed thematically, using descriptive accounts and an explanatory account. The analysis generated six over-arching mechanisms by which health and care services affect family carers' wellbeing, through:
Each mechanism was associated with sub-themes relating to both positive and negative spillovers on the family carers. The six mechanisms can be summarised with the mnemonic ‘IMPACT’. The IMPACT mechanisms may be useful in designing and evaluating services to optimise the wellbeing of carers as well as patients. •First qualitative study to identify mechanisms behind family carer spillovers.•Mechanisms were ‘information’, ‘management’, ‘patient’, ‘alienation’, ‘compliance’, ‘timing’.•Summarised by mnemonic IMPACT and relevant across conditions.•Each mechanism generated positive and negative spillover.
Background: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic mental disorder, and family members play a key role in taking care of the affected individuals. The recovery movement has gradually transformed mental health services, for example, through the introduction of peer support services (sharing of expert-by-experience knowledge), and it has challenged the prevailing view that people with mental illness cannot recover.; Aims: Through this study, the researchers explored how family caregivers in a Chinese context conceptualise recovery, how caregivers interact with peer support workers (PSWs) and how they perceive peer support services.; Methods: Fourteen family caregivers from community settings participated in individual semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed through thematic analysis.; Results: Family caregivers had multifaceted definitions of recovery and had various degrees of contact with PSWs. The views and experiences shared by PSWs were hope-instilling for caregivers and changed their perception of BD and their loved ones. Some limitations of PSWs were also identified.; Conclusion: Social connectedness and functional outcomes were important indicators of recovery among Chinese family caregivers. Caregivers began to understand the benefits of PSWs after experiencing their services. Peer-led services could be a helpful support for both service users and family caregivers.;
Aim: The present study examined the association between depression of persons with dementia and family caregiver burden, as well as whether the association depended on the level of caregivers' ability to find positives in caregiving.; Methods: Based on the medical records of a local mental health hospital and the statistics of an epidemiological survey, this cross-sectional study included 157 major family caregivers of non-institutionalized dementia patients in the rural sector of Western China's Sichuan Province. They responded to the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, a short version of the Zarit Burden Interview, a subscale of a caregiver meaning scale and demographic questions.; Results: Controlling for the demographic variables of the caregivers, the present study found that dementia patients' depression level was significantly associated with caregiver burden (P < 0.001), and the caregivers' levels of finding positives in caregiving significantly moderated the association (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the positive correlation between dementia patients' depression and caregiver burden was weaker among the family caregivers with a high level of finding positives in caregiving, compared with those with a low level of finding positives in caregiving.; Conclusions: This research suggests the importance of facilitating family caregivers of dementia patients to find positives in caregiving. It provides initial data for the development of dementia caregiver burden interventions that are based on the understanding of the deep meaning of dementia caregiving.
Background/aim: Families, especially in Chinese society, play a crucial role in care provision for relatives with schizophrenia, but the burden of caregiving has shown to cause significant distress among caregivers. The aim of the study is to assess the degree of stress and burden among caregivers of relatives with schizophrenia and early psychosis in Hong Kong.; Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 454 caregivers recruited from two mental health non-governmental organisations and the outpatient clinic of a psychiatric hospital. Data were collected through a questionnaire administered via face-to-face or telephone interview.; Results: Caregivers attributed most of their conflicts with the ill relative or other family members to their own lack of knowledge of patient symptoms (56.4%), other family members' lack of knowledge of patient symptoms (46.9%) or the ill relative's refusal to take medications (43.0%). Most of the caregivers had corresponding stress scores of 5 (scale: 1-5; mean = 3.88, 3.85 and 4.19, respectively). Nearly, a third (30.2%) of the caregivers surveyed reported an overall stress score of 5 (mean = 3.56). Regarding psychosocial problems, 78.0%, 49.8% and 45.8% of caregivers experienced anxiety, reduced socialising and insomnia, respectively.; Conclusions: Caregivers of relatives with schizophrenia and early psychosis experience significant stress and psychosocial burden. To help them cope with distress, community support services should be strengthened. Moreover, long-acting injectable antipsychotics are worth considering to alleviate caregiver burden due to ill relatives' medication compliance issues.
Family members often provide significant support and care to their relative who has a mental illness. Nonetheless, how family members might be part of an individual's mental health recovery journey is rarely considered. The aim of this study was to investigate how those with a mental illness define 'family' and the role of family (if any) in their recovery journey. A qualitative approach was used. Purposive sampling and snowballing were used to recruit and conduct semi‐structured interviews with 12 people who have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness. Participants defined family in various ways with some being very inclusive and others more selective. There was acknowledgement that family contributed to the individual's recovery in a myriad of ways, although the need for boundaries was stressed. While no participants suggested that their family might become active treatment facilitators, they did want clinicians to support them in talking to their family about their mental illness. A multifaceted approach is needed to promote family‐focused recovery practice. The needs of different family members and the needs of the family as a group should be considered concurrently alongside the individual's needs in their recovery plan. Individual and relational components of recovery should be embedded in policy and clinical practice.
Background: The shift towards providing mental healthcare in the community has resulted in caregivers becoming more involved in the delivery of these services. Supporting mental health consumers can be burdensome which, in conjunction with the anguish that may result from observing their relative develop a mental illness, can lead to carers experiencing significant levels of distress.; Aims: This study aimed to quantify the extent to which specific aspects of caregiving contribute to mental health burden in Australia.; Methods: Participants were included if they were Australian mental health caregivers. An online questionnaire was distributed via email. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify predictors of burden in mental health caregivers.; Results: Completed questionnaires were collected from 231 respondents. The logistic regression analysis yielded five factors that contributed significantly to mental health caregiver burden. Of these factors, a strained atmosphere and regularly carrying out tasks for consumers were the two strongest predictors of burden.; Conclusion: Community health professionals could focus on interpersonal relationships between family members, access to disability and financial support services, and carers' views about the quality of healthcare provided to consumers. Addressing these issues may decrease carer burden and improve the quality of life for all family members.
Purpose: Schizophrenia places a heavy burden on the individual with the disorder, as well as on his or her family; this burden continues over the long course of the disease. This study aimed to provide an overview of the positive and negative impacts of schizophrenia on family caregivers.; Methods: From April to June 2017, two investigators conducted a systematic review and meta-summary of studies obtained from five electronic databases and the footnotes and citations of eligible studies. Qualitative studies that explored the experiences of family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia were included. Study findings published between 1993 and 2017 were extracted and synthesised using narrative and summative approaches.; Results: After the removal of duplicates, independent reviewers screened 864 records. Subsequently, 46 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility and 23 papers were included in the synthesis. Negative impacts identified were traumatic experiences, loss of expectation of life and health, lack of personal and social resources, uncertainty and unpredictability, family disruption, conflict in interpersonal relationships, difficulty in understanding, and stigma and heredity. Meanwhile, the positive impacts identified were family solidarity, admiration, affirmation, affection, compassion, learning knowledge and skills, self-confidence, personal growth, and appreciation.; Conclusions: Analysis of the studies suggested that family members of individuals with schizophrenia face a series of traumatic situations during the course of the illness. Their subsequent experiences can be conceptualised as a continuous circle of caregiving, in which the positive impacts can be centrally positioned within the negative impacts.
Introduction: Many studies have investigated the correlates of affiliate stigma among family caregivers of people with mental illness (PWMI). Thus far, no systematic review or meta‐analysis has been conducted to synthesize these results. Aims/Question: This review aims to identify the correlates of affiliate stigma among family caregivers of PWMI. Method: We searched four databases including PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Web of Science for studies that investigated the association of affiliate sigma with socio‐demographic, psychosocial and disease‐related factors. Results: Twenty‐two studies including 3,381 participants met the inclusion criteria. Eighteen variables were included for the meta‐analysis. For disease‐related characteristics, only "disease attribution" and "care time/day" were associated with affiliate stigma. For psychosocial characteristics, "support from others," "burden," "depression," "stress," "distress" and "face concern" were related to affiliate stigma. Discussion: This review is the first to assess the association of affiliate stigma with other characteristics of interest. However, the findings are limited due to a very small number of studies. Researchers should conduct in‐depth study in this area and improve the quality of the literature. Implications for practice: Health‐focused interventions for family caregivers such as respite care, self‐help groups, online support program and psychosocial education can mediate the impact of affiliated stigma.
Background: A substance-dependent person affects almost all aspects of family life, for example, interpersonal and social relationships, leisure time activities, and finances. Substance dependence invariably increases conflicts, negatively affects family members, and burdens the families. Aims and Objectives: To assess family burden perceived by primary caretakers (PCTs) of individuals with substance dependence and relevant clinico socio demographic profile of individuals as well as PCTs. Materials and Methods: Individuals and primary caretakers (n = 150) attending psychiatry OPD and emergency were included in the study. Individuals were selected by convenient sampling. The individuals and PCTs were administered psychiatric thesis/interview pro forma and drug abuse schedule. PCTs were administered "family burden interview schedule." Results: Majority of caretakers had moderate objective burden (65.3%) and severe subjective burden (74%). Objective burden was more in areas of "financial burden" and "disruption of routine activities." Objective burden had correlation (P < 0.05) with monthly family income, monthly expenses on substance, number and type of substances, treatment history, sex and type of caretaker. Subjective burden was dependent on sex and type of caretaker and treatment history of the patient. Conclusion: Our study concluded that substance dependence is associated with substantial burden for family members, more for subjective and objective burden in families with low income and with patients who are dependent on more number of substances and had taken treatment in the past. Higher proportion of severe burden was reported by female caretakers. These findings suggest directions for future research in this area.
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a negative reaction to the illness would be reduced through the "Collaborative Care Skills Workshops" programme among Spanish caregivers of relatives with an eating disorder. Caregivers were randomly allocated to either the skill‐based workshops (n = 32) or psycho‐educational workshops (n = 31), and assessments were carried out over time (T0 vs. T1 vs. T2). There were no significant differences between interventions on primary or secondary caregiver outcomes or among the patients themselves. However, caregivers in both interventions showed greater improvement at T2 on accommodating and enabling behaviours and an improvement at T1 in terms of psychological distress and appraisals towards the caregiving experience. Eating pathology, psychological distress, and some indices of psychosocial adjustment were significantly lower among the patients following both interventions (T1). Overall, both interventions may be able to help caregivers and patients to decrease their psychological distress. Highlights: Involvement of family members in the treatment could be the best resource for aiding in their relative's recovery.This is the first controlled study to test the effectiveness of the Collaborative Care Skills Workshops in Spanish caregivers.Both interventions could be implemented as both help Spanish caregivers and patients.
Purpose: To examine the illness perceptions of informal carers of persons with depression, using the theoretical framework of Leventhal's Common-Sense Model (CSM) and to determine whether these illness perceptions are predictors of anxiety and depression, as measures of psychological well-being. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 94 Maltese individuals caring for a person with depression within a community setting. The informal carers completed the modified Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQS-Relatives version) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Spearman's rank order correlations and ANCOVA regression models, to identify predictors of anxiety and depression respectively in the informal carers. Results: The informal carers perceived depression as a cyclical condition, having negative consequences on both the patient and on themselves. Participants perceived the causes of depression to be mainly psychosocial in nature and generally viewed the treatment as effective. Caring for a person with depression was perceived as having a considerable negative emotional impact on them. Years of caring was identified as a predictor of anxiety accounting for 20.4% of the variance, and timeline chronicity beliefs, consequences (relative) and illness coherence were identified as predictors of depression, accounting for 56.8% of the variance. Conclusion: Illness cognitions are significant predictors of depression, thereby suggesting that cognition-based interventions may be effective in targeting depression in these informal carers. Thus, health professionals should explore the carers' personal understanding of the disease, their timeline beliefs and the perceived consequences of providing care, as they relate to their psychological well-being.
Purpose: To know the health perceived by the family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease, according to the relationship of kinship and the duration of the care in mild‐to‐moderate stage of dementia. Design and Methods: Cross‐sectional descriptive study in 255 caregivers. The instruments used were an ad hoc questionnaire and the Goldberg General Health Questionnaire (GHQ‐28). Findings: The presence of acute and chronic mental pathology has been observed. Specifically in the spouses and children, severe depression and social dysfunction, and in periods of care between 2 and 5 years, mainly anxiety and insomnia have been observed. Practice Implications: The relationship of kinship and the duration of care must be taken into account in the planning of specific interventions in these caregivers.
The longitudinal association of changes in clinical status among adults with schizophrenia and changes in family caregiver burden has not been demonstrated. Using data from the NIMH-funded CATIE schizophrenia trial (n = 446 family caregivers), we examined the association of changes in patient symptoms and quality of life with changes in measures of family caregiver burden. Clinical changes in patient symptoms and quality of life were not significantly associated with changes in family caregiver burden. The weak association likely reflects that small clinical changes in chronically ill adults are insufficient to affect long established experiences of burden.
Mental health continues to fight for acceptance in health care all over the world. The need for a separate act for mental illnesses proves this fact even more. The very nature of the mental illness has necessitated legislation to aid the service providers and service users. The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 has taken great initiatives in terms of protection of human rights for people with mental illness such as the inclusion of mental illness in health insurance, stress on informed consent, decriminalization of suicide, and introduction of advance directives (ADs) and punishment to those who violate the law. However, in a country like India where the family as a unit has more significance than personal autonomy, the new act emphasizes the patient's rights and, in doing so, may make the doctors more defensive and fearful in making clinical decisions, thus shifting the burden to the shoulders of the family members. There is a need for suitable amendments to include the family's concerns as well; otherwise, the present act would stand as an alien Western law enforced on Indian cohesive family dynamics. Qualitative studies are required from the family's perspective to illustrate the hindrances that the patients' families are facing. In the context of Indian family structure and dynamics and working in the Indian community, we feel that without suitable amendments to include the family's concerns, the present act would stand as an alien Western law enforced on Indian cohesive family dynamics.
Families play a crucial role in determining the mental health of the autistic individual(s) they are caring for. However, the stigma associated with autism can impair caregiver health. To investigate this, empirical evidence pertaining to stigma's impact on informal caregivers' mental health was systematically reviewed. All twelve included studies (n = 1442 informal caregivers) consistently reported the impact of autism related stigma upon caregiver mental health to be significant, meaningful and complex. A new theoretical framework describing the relationship between stigma and caregiver mental health is constructed. Moderating variables include those both changeable through intervention (e.g. hopelessness, self-esteem, self-compassion) and not changeable (gender, culture, financial burden and time since diagnosis). Implications and recommendations for professionals, interventions and future research are proposed.
Aims First-episode psychosis (FEP) is a major life event and can have an adverse impact on the diagnosed individual and their families. The importance of intervening early and providing optimal treatments is widely acknowledged. In comparison to patient groups, literature is scarce on identifying treatment predictors and moderators of caregiver outcomes. This study aimed to identify pre-treatment characteristics predicting and/or moderating carer outcomes, based on data from a multi-element psychosocial intervention to FEP patients and carers (GET-UP PIANO trial).; Methods: Carer demography, type of family relationship, patient contact hours, pre-treatment carer burden, patient perceptions of parental caregiving and expressed emotion (EE) were selected, a priori, as potential predictors/moderators of carer burden and emotional distress at 9 months post treatment. Outcomes were analysed separately in mixed-effects random regression models.; Results: Analyses were performed on 260 carers. Only patient perceptions of early maternal criticism predicted reports of lower carer burden at follow-up. However, multiple imputation analysis failed to confirm this result. For treatment moderators: higher levels of carer burden at baseline yielded greater reductions in carer emotional distress at follow-up in the experimental group compared with treatment as usual (TAU). Higher levels of perceived EE moderated greater reductions in carer reports of tension in experimental group, compared with TAU, at follow-up. In younger caregivers (<51 years old), there were greater reductions in levels of worry during the baseline to follow-up period, within the experimental group compared with TAU.; Conclusion: The study failed to identify significant treatment predictors of FEP carer outcomes. However, our preliminary findings suggest that optimal treatment outcomes for carers at first episode might be moderated by younger carer age, and carers reporting higher baseline levels of burden, and where patients perceive higher levels of negative effect from caregivers.
A cross-sectional descriptive correlation study was performed to investigate the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 300 family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and examine the relationship between perceived social support and risk of PTSD. The Arabic version of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (APCL-5) was used to investigate risk of PTSD; the Arabic version of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support was used to measure perceived social support. Mean score of the APCL-5 was 46.1, indicating risk of PTSD among family caregivers. A negative moderate correlation was found between risk of PTSD and perceived social support. The caring process is demanding and highly stressful, putting family caregivers at risk for PTSD. Social support is crucial in decreasing this risk. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, xx(x), xx-xx.].; Copyright 2019, SLACK Incorporated.
Background and Aim: The European Association of Palliative Care recommends that family carers need education on the progression of dementia. This systematic review aimed to explore whether interventions incorporating education regarding the progressive nature of dementia increased carers' understanding of dementia and improved mental health and burden.; Method: MEDLINE, PsycINFO and CINAHL were searched to April 2018. Randomised controlled trials with samples of family carers of someone with dementia were eligible. Included interventions involved a component aimed to increase the carer's understanding of the progression of dementia. Outcomes of interest included: knowledge of dementia, depression, burden and pre-death grief.; Results: Searches identified 3221 unique citations of which 11 studies were eligible for review. Interventions ranged from 4 to 16 sessions of which 1 to 3 sessions focused on the progression of dementia. Knowledge: Two studies evaluated carers' knowledge of dementia. One found no difference between the trial arms immediately after the intervention or three months later. The second found a significant intervention effect at the end of the intervention but not at three-month follow-up. Depression: Seven studies evaluated intervention effects on depression. Meta-analysis of three trials showed significant differences in mean follow-up scores favouring intervention over control. The remaining four studies did not show differences in depression between intervention and control groups. Burden: Nine studies evaluated burden and were examined in two meta-analyses (mean scores at follow-up and mean change scores from baseline to follow-up), neither of which found a benefit for intervention over control. Using the grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation system, we judged the quality of evidence to be very low for depression and low for burden, knowledge and pre-death grief, reducing our confidence in any of the effect estimates.; Conclusion: The evidence was not sufficient to support or refute the effectiveness of education on progression of dementia on carers' knowledge and mental health.
This article presents the findings of exploratory research on the mental health and community services experiences of informal/family carers of people from LGBTQ communities living with mental illness, or experiencing a mental health crisis. The aim of the research is to explore the experiences of carers in relation to provisions for carers and people from LGBTIQ communities in the mental health legislation, policy and practice standards in the state of Victoria in Australia. Data were collected from online surveys and in-depth interviews and analysed according to the alignment of the stated intent of these documents and the actual experiences of carers.
This exploratory study examines the experiences of informal/family carers of people from LGBTQ communities living with mental illness, or experiencing a mental health crisis, in relation to conflict and safety in their interactions with mental health service providers. Carers were surveyed to gain an understanding of their experiences of services. The data were analysed according to the six main originating domains in the Safewards model where conflict may arise as well as the nature of the activity in the domain with the addition of new categories of 'carer characteristics' and 'carer modifiers'. The study findings identified the main domains where conflict occurred, as well as modifications to activities undertaken by staff, consumers, and carers that reduced tensions and misunderstandings. Carer responses revealed the interplay between the Safewards domains and activities and the location of much of what was considered conflict with staff reflecting the regulatory environment services were provided in. This study highlights distinctive carer characteristics and the important conflict modifying role of carers. The findings suggest that the expansion of the Safewards model to include carers may be beneficial.
Informal carers are increasingly involved in supporting people with severe and enduring mental health problems, and carers' perceptions impact the wellbeing of both parties. However, there is little research on how carers actually make sense of what their loved one is experiencing. Ten carers were interviewed about how they understood a loved one's psychosis. Data were analysed using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach. Three themes described the carers' effortful quest to understand their loved one's experiences while maintaining their relational bonds. Carers described psychosis as incomprehensible, seeing their loved one as incompatible with the shared world. To overcome this, carers developed hermeneutic 'mooring points', making sense of their loved one's unusual experiences through novel accounts that drew on material or spiritual explanations. The findings suggest that informal carers resist biomedical narratives and develop idiosyncratic understandings of psychosis, in an attempt to maintain relational closeness. We suggest that this process is effortful - it is hermeneutic labour - done in the service of maintaining the caring relationship. Findings imply that services should better acknowledge the bond between carers and care-receivers, and that more relationally oriented approaches should be used to support carers of people experiencing severe mental health problems.
Purpose: To evaluate the quality of life (QoL) and social support among family caregivers of a family member with a mental illness and to identify factors associated with the QoL.; Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, where participants were recruited and independently interviewed using a questionnaire, consisting of demographic characteristics, the Medical Outcome Survey SF-36 form, and social support rating scales. Multiple stepwise regression analysis was used to analyse the factors related to QoL.; Results: 181 family caregivers were recruited in Shandong province, China. On a composite QoL score, family caregivers perceived that their QoL was poor (68.3), especially in the aspects of role-physical (61.3), role-emotional (57.6) and mental health (63.0). We also found family caregivers received low social support, especially in objective support and utilization of social support. Patient's illness state, care time, financial burden and objective support were significantly correlated to caregivers' QoL in the physical component score (PCS). Patient's illness state, patient's marital status, family monthly income, caregiver's knowledge about the illness, caregivers coordinating caring, life and work, subjective support received and utility of support were significantly associated with caregivers' QoL in the mental component score (MCS).; Conclusions: Social support had a significant correlation with caregivers' QoL. Caregivers should be encouraged to request assistance from other family members and friends in providing care, especially when caregivers are unemployed or long-time carers. Mental health education campaigns and helping families to maintain and enhance a supportive social network may provide useful means to improve caregivers' QoL.
PURPOSE: We examined associations between caregiving intensity and mental health among cancer caregivers at the population level and potential moderation by an actionable intervention target, support service needs. METHODS: Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey data (2015) from caregivers of adult patients with cancer was analyzed. Caregiving intensity included hours per week caregiving (high, > 20; low, ≤ 20) and caregiving duration (long, > 2 years; short, ≤ 2 years). Mental health was reported as number of mentally unhealthy days (MUDs) in the past 30. Support service needs comprised caregiving classes, service access, support groups, counseling, and respite care. Multivariable linear regression models were performed adjusting for sociodemographics and sampling weights. RESULTS: A total of 1,831 caregivers were included in the study, representing approximately 1.1 million cancer caregivers in the 18 US states, distributed with the following intensity: 122 (8.3%) caregivers reported care at high hours/long duration, 213 (13.1%) high hours/short duration, 329 (18.4%) low hours/long duration, and 910 (60.2%) low hours/short duration. Mean MUDs was 6 (SE, 0.5). The highest reported unmet service need was help with service access (48.4%). Higher caregiving intensity and support service need were associated with more MUDs (P <.05), with a significant interaction (P =.02) between caregiving intensity and unmet support service needs. High hour/long duration caregivers reporting any unmet needs had a mean of 15 versus 8 MUDs for those with no unmet needs. CONCLUSION: High-intensity cancer caregiving was associated with poor mental health, especially for those reporting support service needs. Developing strategies to optimize support service provision for high-intensity cancer caregivers is warranted.
Informal carers play a vital role in supporting Australians living with a mental illness, including during the acute phases of illness; however, little is known about their impact on length of hospital stay. We aimed to investigate the impact of having a carer and of carer burden on length of hospital stay for mental health. Two Australian datasets were used. Data from the 2010 National Survey of High Impact Psychosis (n = 1825) were used to investigate the impact of having versus not having a carer on length of hospital stay for mental health. Data from the UQ Carer Survey 2016 (n = 105), a convenience sample of mental health carers, were used to investigate the impact of weekly hours of care (a measure of objective carer burden) on length of stay. Multiple logistic regression and correlation analyses were performed to investigate the association between carer status/burden and length of stay. Having a carer was associated with a significantly longer length of hospital stay; however, this relationship was no longer significant after adjusting for diagnosis, global functioning, depressive symptoms, deliberate self-harm, mental health outpatient contacts and type of admission. Weekly hours of care did not significantly impact on length of stay. Patients with carers had poorer functioning which may be related to longer stays. Our analysis was not able to look at subgroups of carers with different needs. Future work is required to determine other components of the admission and discharge process where having a carer is influential.
Aims: This literature review examines the effectiveness of the family interventions (FIs) targeted at the primary caregivers of people diagnosed with schizophrenia on improving the knowledge level of schizophrenia and health‐related outcomes. Methods: A total of nine studies were reviewed from December 1999 to May 2017. The methods described by the Center for Reviews and Dissemination were used to guide this review. Results: The FIs showed consistent improvement in the knowledge level of schizophrenia among participants for various follow‐up intervals. In addition, FIs were found to be superior to treatment as usual in influencing health‐related outcomes. Conclusions: Implications of the findings for mental healthcare practice to include primary caregivers with the patient in the treatment process.
Family caregivers (FCs) of people with mental illness (PMI) experience caregiving-related distress. These challenges tend to be greater for Asian American families due to acculturative stress and structural barriers to services. However, little is known about caregiving-related experiences among FCs of PMI within a cultural context. By using an exploratory approach, we examined the experience of caregiver distress and the influence of cultural values on caregiving in European American and Chinese American FCs. In collaboration with community-based agencies, a combination of convenience and snowball sampling methods were used to recruit Chinese American and European American caregivers who co-reside with PMIs. Two focus groups with each ethnic group with 57 participants (30 Chinese and 27 European American) were conducted. Thematic analysis indicates that FCs experience intense emotions, health/mental health problems, and a negative impact on their personal/social lives. Whereas Chinese American FCs reported shame, lack of knowledge, and over-protectiveness of PMIs, European American FCs reported the need for advocacy on behalf of the PMI. Findings indicate a need for: 1) greater awareness of the caregiving experience on wellbeing of FCs; 2) an understanding of how cultural values may influence caregiver experience; and 3) developing culturally relevant prevention and intervention services that can support FCs from diverse cultural contexts.
Carers of persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience high burden. Treatment guidelines advocate involving carers in comprehensive therapy approaches. This study is a randomized controlled trial of group psychoeducation, compared to waitlist. Group psychoeducation involved 6–8 carers per group and focused on improving relationship patterns between carers and relatives with BPD, psychoeducation about the disorder, peer support and self-care, and skills to reduce burden. Carers were randomized into intervention (N = 33) or waitlist (N = 35). After 10 weeks, those in the intervention reported improvements in dyadic adjustment with their relative, greater family empowerment, and reduced expressed emotion, sustained after 12 months. There were also improvements in carers' perceptions of being able to play a more active role, such as interacting with service providers. This study demonstrates that providing structured group programs for carers can be an effective way of extending interventions to a group experiencing high burden.
Background: Coercion and restraint practices in psychiatric care are common phenomena and often controversial and debatable ethical issue. Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients have received relatively less research attention till date. Aims: Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients. Methodology: This is a hospital-based, a descriptive, cross-sectional study. A total of 200 (n = 200) consecutive patient and their caregivers were chosen between June 2013 and September 2014 through computer-generated random numbers sampling technique. We used a semi-structured interview questionnaire to capture caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices. Sociodemographic and coercion variable were analyzed using descriptive statistics. McNemar test was used to assess discrete variables. Results: The mean age was 43.8 (±14.9) years. About 67.5% of the caregivers were family members, 60.5% of them were male and 69.5% were from low-socioeconomic status. Caregivers used multiple methods were used to bring patients into the hospital. Threat (52.5%) was the most common method of coercion followed by persuasion (48.5%). Caregivers felt necessary and acceptable to use chemical restraint (82.5%), followed by physical restraint (71%) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (56.5%) during acute and emergency psychiatric care to control imminent risk behavior of patients. Conclusion: Threat, persuasion and physical restraint were the common methods to bring patients to bring acutely disturbed patients to mental health care. Most patients caregivers felt the use of chemical restraint, physical restraint and ECT as necessary for acute and emergency care in patients with mental illness.
This study explored the experiences of individuals who self‐identify as providing support to a friend, family member, or significant other with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We analyzed and coded a total of 345 posts from an online support forum, with reference to 13 categories (finances, life interference, venting/emotional expression, maltreatment, sexual behavior, distress, prevented expression, physical health, communication, no personal space, isolation, and compassion fatigue). Categories for coding were established a priori and based on previous literature about caregiving and supporting. Results suggested that informal PTSD caregivers experience concerns involving interpersonal relations, emotional turmoil, and barriers to care for themselves and the individual they are caring for. This study provides a preliminary examination of the experiences and concerns of PTSD caregivers. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Background: Depression is a major psychiatric disorder worldwide. It is a leading cause of individual disability and family burden worldwide. The aim of the study: the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of family intervention on caregivers' burden, depression, anxiety and stress among relatives of depressed patients. Subjects and method: A quasi-experimental design was conducted at the inpatient and outpatient Psychiatric Department Mansoura University Hospital, Egypt. Ninety five families participated in this study (n = 95). Pre-tests and post-tests (n = 95), and test 3 months after intervention were conducted on eighty six (n = 86). The caregivers were divided into ten groups, which ranged from 8 to 10 caregivers in each group; each group attended 12 sessions. A structured interview questionnaire for personal data for patients and their caregiver, Caregiver Burden scale, quality of life scale (QOL) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 items (DASS-21) were used to collect data. Results: The findings of the study indicate that caregivers' burden, depression, anxiety and Stress level significantly reduced, and quality of life significantly improved after implementation of family intervention. There is a negative correlation between QOL and Caregivers' burden, and their feeling of depression, anxiety and stress, while there was a positive correlation between caregivers' burden and their feeling of depression, anxiety and stress. Conclusions: Based on the current results, it can be concluded that caregivers' burden, |depression, anxiety and stress are highly prevalent among caregivers of patients with depression and significantly improved after implementation of family intervention one month after, moreover it slightly decreased three months after intervention. This conclusion leads to accept the hypothesis of the study that family interventions improve the caregivers' burden, QOL, and feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. Further research is needed to follow the intervention 6 and 12 months after family intervention.
Purpose: A multiphase model for experiences of family members of persons with mental illness that considers both positive and negative aspects is proposed. Design and Methods: Mixed methods (semistructured interviews, life history timelines, focus group discussions, and the Experience of Caregiving Inventory) were used with caregivers accessing outpatient services of a nongovernmental organization in urban and rural locations around Chennai, India. Findings: Based on our results, we constructed a multiphase model, which we named The Banyan model of caregiver experiences. The phases are (1) manifestation of symptoms, (2) seeking help, (3) helplessness and attribution, (4) relative control and insight, (5) loss and worries, and (6) finding new meaning. Practical Implications: Our multiphase model allows us to identify in more detail the needs of caregivers at various stages.
Objective: To determine the frequency of high burden of care on family members of patients with Schizophrenia. Study Design: Descriptive, Cross-sectional study. Place and Duration: Department of Psychiatry, Civil Hospital Karachi for Six months from 15th September, 2014 till 15th March, 2015. Methodology: Caregivers fulfilling the selection criteria were enrolled. "Zarit Burden Interview" (ZBI) was used for assessment of high burden over caregivers of schizophrenic patients. Different demographic factors like gender, age, education and employment status were also assessed. Results: Out of 150 caregivers, majority 83.3% were married followed by 9% being single and 9% being widow. In this study 58% caregivers had high burden as measured on ZBI. Out of those having high burden 52.8% were males while 47.2% were females. While gender distribution in caregivers having no burden 65% was males and 35% were females. Conclusion: This study reveals a high burden among caregivers living with patients of Schizophrenia.
Background: Family caregivers play crucial roles in taking care of people experiencing schizophrenia in the community. The burdens on and needs of caregivers of these patients should be emphasized. This study aimed to explore the perspective of family caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia in the communities of Beijing in terms of the burdens of care and the acquisition and further need for support in order to provide guidance to health care providers regarding how to target therapeutic interventions for families of individuals experiencing schizophrenia and to provide recommendations for policy makers to tailor countermeasures and services.; Methods: A total of 20 family caregivers of schizophrenia patients were enrolled in our study. A face-to-face and semi-structured in-depth qualitative interview study was conducted to explore the caregivers' perspective on the burden on caregivers, support and further needs. This study was conducted in the community health service centres where the family caregivers regularly visit. The study was carried out according to good ethical practices, data analysis and reporting guidelines.; Results: Most participants reported that they were suffering from heavy life burdens and had negative experiences with respect to obtaining social support, and they emphasized that they would require more support. Economic and daily housework burdens, limited social communication, and psychological stresses were the principal burdens. Support including financial, medical and information and educational support did not satisfy the needs of the caregivers and their patients. More financial support, respect, and rehabilitation institutions were reported to be needs of the caregivers.; Conclusions: Family caregivers of people experiencing schizophrenia suffer from heavy physical and psychological burdens; however, the current support provided is insufficient. More services and better public attitudes should be considered for people experiencing schizophrenia and their caregivers.
People with mental illness and their family caregivers often perceive public stigma, which may lead to stigma-related stress (or stigma stress). However, no instruments have been developed to measure this stress for family caregivers of people with mental illness. We modified an instrument that measures the stigma stress of people with mental illness (i.e., the cognitive appraisal of stigma as a stressor) and examined the psychometric properties of the scores of the newly developed instrument: the Family Stigma Stress Scale (FSSS). Primary family caregivers of people with mental illness in Southern Taiwan ( n = 300; mean age = 53.08 ± 13.80; 136 males) completed the FSSS. An exploratory factor analysis showed that the FSSS score had two factors; both factor scores had excellent internal consistency (α = .913 and .814) and adequate test-retest reliability ( r = .627 and .533; n = 197). Significant correlations between FSSS factor scores and other instruments supported its concurrent validity and the ability of the FSSS to differentiate between clinical characteristics, for example, having been previously hospitalized or not. The FSSS is a brief and effective measure of the stigma stress of family caregivers of people with mental illness.
Review Question: What are the spiritual aspects of family caregivers' experiences when caring for a community-dwelling adult with severe mental illness?;
Aims: When experiencing mental health difficulties, university students turn to their friends for support. This study assessed the consequences of caregiving among a university sample, identifying predictors of caregiving burden among students. Methods: A total of 79 students with experience of supporting a friend with mental health difficulties were recruited through a UK student mental health charity to complete an online survey. Alongside qualitative data, the online survey used the Experience of Caregiving Inventory and the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire as measures of the consequences of caregiving. Results: Students supporting friends, housemates or partners were found to experience significant consequences of caregiving. Frequency of face‐to‐face contact and duration of illness predicted more negative consequences of caregiving, but these relationships were not straightforward. The presence and intensity of professional support did not influence the experience of caregiving. Conclusions: The study suggests that the impact of supporting friends with mental health difficulties is not insubstantial for students. Broadening the network of informal social support may help improve the experience for students supporting a friend, but currently, contact with professional services appears to have a limited effect.
To a large extent caregivers perceive stigma through their social and community interactions by virtue of their association with persons with mental health problems. Meanwhile, evidence on their strategies for coping with potentially undesirable experiences linked with stigma is limited. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, the present study explored affiliate stigma among mental health professionals and family caregivers of persons with mental illness. Data, collected through one-on-one interviews with 10 mental health professionals and 10 family caregivers, were examined with content analysis. Findings revealed that, although stigma attached to mental illness was largely directed at sufferers and family caregivers, professionals sometimes had their fair share. To manage the negative impact of stigma, caregivers adopted various strategies including the use of realisation, tactical or planned ignoring, self-motivation, acceptance and religion. Implications of the findings necessitate the intensification of mental health education among the general populace, which must be targeted at demystifying mental illness.
Background: Caregivers play a crucial role in the clinical evolution of patients with schizophrenia. In order to optimize their support, it is necessary to adjust it according to the phase and severity of the patient's illness. However, little interest has been given in the experience of family caregivers as a function on disease progression. Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia at different stages of the disease. Materials and methods: Twelve family caregivers of schizophrenia patients at different stages of the disease e.g. First Psychotic Episode (n = 4), Relapse (n = 4), and Remission (n = 4) participated in the study. Each caregiver was interviewed for about an hour by a psychologist (the same for all) using an interview guide. This interview guide included key themes highlighted in the literature: family burden, stigma, potential gains in caregiving, and ways to cope with the disease. After retranscription, the research interviews were analyzed with the Alceste method in order to help reading and systematizing the data. Results: The qualitative analysis allowed to emerge representations, emotions and practices characteristic of each group. Thus, the interviews with the caregivers of the group First Psychotic Episode were marked by the confrontation with the psychiatric institution. This world was frightening for them: firstly because it was foreign, but also because the representations they associated with schizophrenia were often marked by stigmatization. Hence the shock of the diagnostic announcement, the pain related to the awareness of the disorder of their close relative and the worry about a future that has just darkened. In the Relapse group, caregivers expressed despair and disappointment about the new hospitalization of their relative. Some also expressed anger, often directed against the mental health care system, especially when the subjects didn't feel heard in their request. Finally, the speech of the caregivers of the Remission group showed a reconstruction process: the family go back to its daily life, not “despite” but “with” the patient's disease and its consequences. A new balance had been established, including better relations with their close relative with schizophrenia. The caregivers’ speech in the latter group also included some key components of the recovery process, such as accepting the mental illness, seeing it positively, perceiving gains related to illness and caregiving, and hope for the future. The clinical implications of these results are discussed. In particular, ideas for improving the caregivers’ support in psychiatric emergency units are proposed. Conclusions: The data collected in this study provide valuable insights into the experiences of those who “live with” a close relative with schizophrenia. Moreover, these data indicate that families would also experience a subjective recovery process comparable to that described in the literature on schizophrenia. In addition to its exploratory aspect, the results of this study suggest supportive strategies adapted to the concerns of families at different stages of the evolution of the patient's illness.
Background: Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar or other psychoses in England receive the majority of their healthcare from primary care. Primary care practitioners may not be well equipped to meet their needs and there is often poor communication with secondary care. Collaborative care is a promising alternative model but has not been trialled specifically with this service user group in England. Collaborative care for other mental health conditions has not been widely implemented despite evidence of its effectiveness. We carried out a formative evaluation of the PARTNERS model of collaborative care, with the aim of establishing barriers and facilitators to delivery, identifying implementation support requirements and testing the initial programme theory. Methods: The PARTNERS intervention was delivered on a small scale in three sites. Qualitative data was collected from primary and secondary care practitioners, service users and family carers, using semi-structured interviews, session recordings and tape-assisted recall. Deductive and inductive thematic analysis was carried out; themes were compared to the programme theory and used to inform an implementation support strategy. Results: Key components of the intervention that were not consistently delivered as intended were: interaction with primary care teams, the use of coaching, and supervision. Barriers and facilitators identified were related to service commitment, care partner skills, supervisor understanding and service user motivation. An implementation support strategy was developed, with researcher facilitation of communication and supervision and additional training for practitioners. Some components of the intervention were not experienced as intended; this appeared to reflect difficulties with operationalising the intervention. Analysis of data relating to the intended outcomes of the intervention indicated that the mechanisms proposed in the programme theory had operated as expected. Conclusions: Additional implementation support is likely to be required for the PARTNERS model to be delivered; the effectiveness of such support may be affected by practitioner and service user readiness to change. There is also a need to test the programme theory more fully. These issues will be addressed in the process evaluation of our full trial. Trial registration: ISRCTN95702682, 26 October 2017.
Background: Caring for a person with borderline personality disorder remains largely stigmatised and misunderstood. When a crisis arises, carers often seek help with the person they care for in emergency care settings such as the emergency department. The aim of this review was to explore, locate and compile the literature regarding the perspectives of family carers for a person with borderline personality disorder in an emergency care setting with a focus on nursing practices. This review advances understandings of carer perspectives in emergency care settings. Methods: The Joanna Briggs Institute (2015) , methodology for scoping reviews guided this review. A search of Emcare, Medline and Ovid Nursing was performed during April 2018, to identify literature where carer views and perspectives on engaging with emergency care services were reported. A grey literature search was also conducted. A total of ten articles and reports were included in this review. Consultation with a carer support group precipitated this review, which assisted in the formulation of the research questions. Results: Papers found via the study focused on health professional responses, rather than on nursing practice. Findings indicate that carers often perceive emergency departments as the only option for emergency care in a crisis. Carers require information about how to effectively manage a crisis with their loved one more effectively. Conclusion: This scoping review identified that carers are often not consulted or engaged with by health professionals. Carers often perceive that nurses and health professionals have a lack understanding about the consumer's conceptualisation of distress and the nature of BPD, which becomes a barrier to effective crisis support and management. The literature often reported that a trusting and collaborative relationship between carers, nurses and health professionals demonstrated improved outcomes for the carer and consumer.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a common mental illness impacting around 1 to 4% of the Australian population (National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2012). Perspectives of family carers for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder: A scoping review on the emergency care responses of nurses and other health professionals, Australasian Emergency Care. Managing people with mental health presentations in emergency departments: A service exploration of the issues surrounding responsiveness from a mental health care consumer and carer perspective,
With the recent movement toward a personal-recovery paradigm to treat schizophrenia, the locus of mental health care delivery has shifted toward community-based care. Family caregivers comprise a substantial component of that community, and are often providing care for longer periods, but often have no formal training or support. Caregiver-directed psychosocial interventions (CDPI) have been developed to train and assist caregivers in their efforts to maximize the odds of treatment success for those in their care. This meta-analysis compared CDPI versus treatment as usual (TAU) on outcomes such as hospitalization, relapse, non-compliance, and “other outcomes” (emergency services utilization, suicide attempt, and death). A systematic literature search (2005–2015) was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials of outpatient administered CDPI versus TAU to treat adult patients recovering from schizophrenia. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals derived via random effects meta-analysis were calculated to compare CDPI versus TAU on the aforementioned outcomes. Eighteen of the 693 citations were retained for analysis. Overall RR for CDPI versus TAU suggested improved outcomes associated with CDPI: hospitalization [0.62 (0.46, 0.84) p < 0.00001], relapse [0.58 (0.47, 0.73) p < 0.00001] and other outcomes [0.70 (0.19, 2.57) p = 0.59]. CDPI was associated with significantly better compliance with medication and clinical activities combined [0.38 (0.19, 0.74) p = 0.005]. Medication compliance alone favored CDPI but was non-significant. Compliance with clinical activities alone favored CDPI significantly [0.22 (0.11, 0.47) p < 0.00001]. CDPI is associated with reductions in hospitalization, relapse, and treatment non-compliance.
Objective: Although various short forms of Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) have been developed, there is a lack of standard psychometric testing and comparison among them. The study aims to examine the psychometric properties of ten short versions of the most frequently used ZBI among a sample of schizophrenia caregivers and to find the one with the best performance. Methods: Cross-sectional door-to-door survey of ZBI-22 and a series of validated instrument data from 327 family caregivers of schizophrenia patients in a Chinese rural community were conducted from October 2015 to January 2016. Reliability was assessed using McDonald's omega coefficient (ω). Validity including concurrent validity, known group's validity, and criterion validity were assessed by Spearman correlations and Mann-Whitney U tests. Overall discrimination ability was evaluated using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results: Reliability was generally good for all short forms (ω = 0.69-0.84), except for the Gort ZBI-4 (ω = 0.58), which is acceptable considering its small item numbers. Concurrent validity was good across all various ZBI forms with significant negative correlations with patient's function (r = -0.34 to -0.48, p < 0.01), as well as significant positive correlations with caregiver's depression (r = 0.49-0.65, p < 0.01), and anxiety symptoms (r = 0.45-0.58, p < 0.01). Known groups' validity (carers with disease vs. without disease; carers being parents vs. spouse vs. others) showed inconsistent results among various short forms. Criterion validity was generally good for all short forms with significant positive correlations with Family Burden Interview Schedule (r = 0.67-0.75, p < 0.01), except for the Higginson ZBI-1(r = 0.57, p < 0.01). Discriminative ability was also good for all short forms (AUC range: 0.85-0.99), with various cutpoints proposed. Among all ten short forms, the Ballesteros ZBI-12 and the Gort ZBI-7 outperformed others with almost equally good performance in comprehensive psychometric testing. Conclusions: This study provides support for the reliability, validity, and discriminative ability of the ten various short forms of ZBI for use among schizophrenia family caregivers, with the Ballesteros ZBI-12 and the Gort ZBI-7 endorsed as the best ones.
Background: The degree of informal caregiver involvement influences the self-management of individuals living with bipolar disorder (BD).; Objective: This article aims to provide a description of informal caregivers' learning experiences in self-management support of BD in order to guide professionals in tailoring future psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions.; Design: In-depth open interviews with 10 informal caregivers of patients with BD who followed treatment in the context of specialized outpatient bipolar care were conducted.; Results: Four learning phases emerged from the phenomenological analysis describing the informal caregivers learning process: (1) understanding BD, (2) overcoming the dilemmas in self-management support for individuals living with BD, (3) dividing tasks and responsibilities, and (4) acquiring a personal definition of self-management support for individuals living with BD.; Conclusion: By grasping the concept of BD, informal caregivers gradually learn how to overcome dilemmas resulting from living with someone with BD, and how to control the expression of emotions. They learn to reflect on the nature of conflicts and how to share the responsibilities of illness management with individuals living with BD and professionals. Mastering these skills eventually allows them to define and delimit their supporting informal caregiver role in the self-management of BD.; Practice Implications: Our findings provide information regarding the educational needs of informal caregivers to tailor counseling, and psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions in specialized outpatient care for individuals living with BD.
Patient-initiated violence may pose a significant risk to the strength and longevity of informal caregiving relationships in psychosis. We aimed to assess caregiver reports of patient-initiated violence in early psychosis and to examine the relationship between violent incidents and appraisals of caregiving, perceived mental wellbeing in caregivers and Expressed Emotion (EE) in the caregiving relationship. Eighty psychosis caregivers were recruited via Early Intervention (EI) psychosis services in London, United Kingdom. Caregivers were questioned about their experiences of patient-initiated violence during the semi-structured Camberwell Family Interview, and completed the Experience of Caregiving Inventory and the RAND SF-36 health survey in a cross-sectional experimental design. One third of the sample reported at least one incident of patient-initiated violence. Reports of violence were associated with poorer mental wellbeing scores amongst caregivers and more negative appraisals of caregiving. Patient-initiated violence also correlated with greater criticism and hostility expressed towards patients, and a rating of high EE in caregiver reports. The results underscore the need to ask explicitly and routinely about the physical safety of caregivers looking after someone with psychosis. Families should be directed towards appropriate interventions to help manage any risk of violence and the likely negative impact on the caregiving relationship.
Involving and supporting the family members and caregivers of people with mental illness is essential to high-quality mental health services. However, literature suggests that there is a lack of engagement between family members and mental health nurses (MHNs). Lack of knowledge among MHNs is often cited as one of the main reasons for this lack of engagement. The aim of this review was to explore the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required by MHNs to enable to them to work more effectively with families affected by mental illness. A literature based critical review was used to access and review 35 papers in order to extract concepts that could inform the design of eLearning materials to assist MHNs advance their knowledge in this area. Two overarching themes were identified; 'Mental health problems and the family' and 'Working with the family'. From these themes, the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to work more effectively with families are described. The findings from this review provide a descriptive account of the knowledge skills and attitudes that are required for effective family work. In addition, the review provides an empirical foundation for education programmes in the area. Highlights • Mental health nurses often lack the knowledge and skills to support families. • Well-designed education programmes increase knowledge, reduce stress and burden. • Education programmes need to prepare mental health nurses more effectively with families.
Background: The variety of caregiver's needs of bipolar patients signifies the importance of performing dedicated interventions to help this group of caregivers based on the cultural conditions of the country in which they live; the present study therefore seeks to address this issue through a different method. Methods: The families of 28 patients with bipolar disorder type 1 who were treated for at least two months by a single psychiatrist gradually entered the study over a six-month period. They received the phone number of the psychiatrist in attendance as soon as the patient was in remission according to the same psychiatrist's interview. A total of 1908 texts were sent and received and each family sent an average of 68.14 text messages during the three years, with the minimum being 40 and the maximum 83. All the text messages were transcribed verbatim and were evaluated by three faculty members through the qualitative content analysis method. Results: In this study we found three themes and there were some codes in each theme. 1. The first theme was "Training" which the caregivers requested advice about symptoms and tests, the course of the disease, assurance, medication side-effects and their management, how to stop smoking, how to control high-risk behaviors and double checking appointments with the physician, making for a total of 1079 text messages received. 2. The second theme was "Reporting" which contained a description of emergency symptoms and requesting advice, reporting response or no response to the medications, reporting medication adherence and dosage taken. 3. The third theme: "The expression of feelings" including the expression of gratitude, saying congratulations on national and other celebrations and expressing anger and hatred. Conclusion: Overall, the caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder have many needs; meeting these needs affects the patients' outcome and the caregivers, but requires a greater attention by the healthcare team and it is necessary for these needs to be evaluated in the context of each distinct country.
Objective The aims of this study were to quantify Australian federal and state government expenditure on mental health carer services for 2014-15, map the types of services being provided and explore how funded service types compare with the evidence base for the outcomes of these carer services. Methods Web searches were conducted to identify in-scope mental health carer services in Australia funded by federal and state and territory governments. Funding estimates were confirmed where possible with available government and carer organisation contacts. A literature search was conducted for reviews of studies investigating mental health carer service outcomes. Results In 2014-15, the estimated Australian national, state and territory government expenditure on mental health carer services was approximately A$90.6 million. This comprised A$65.6 million in federal expenditure and A$25.0 million in state and territory expenditure. Most funding streams provided respite and psychoeducation. The literature showed positive carer outcomes for psychoeducation and intensive family interventions. Evidence was lacking for the effectiveness of respite services. Conclusions These findings suggest a mismatch between what is known about the extent to which different service types deliver positive carer outcomes and the current allocation of funds across Australia's mental health system. This study also highlights the fragmentation of the mental health carer services system, supporting the need to streamline access.
A modest association can be found between people with a schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis (psychosis) and perpetrating acts of violence. When a person with psychosis does engage in violence, it is their informal carers, when compared to those from the general population, who are more likely to be the targets, and violence will often occur within the family home. Despite the importance of carer support for improving patient outcomes, our understanding of how carers are impacted by patient initiated violence in psychosis remains limited. This paper reviews literature documenting the effects of patient-initiated violence in psychosis on carer functioning. The review comprised searches of Medline, PsychInfo, Embase, and Web of Science databases and the hand searches of reference lists from relevant published papers. The review was limited to English language publications from inception to 11th September 2017, and where carer experiences following reports of violence from patients with psychosis were specifically recorded. Data from 20 papers using mixed methodologies were reviewed. Patient violence in psychosis was linked to poorer carer outcomes, including carer reports of burden, trauma, fear, and helplessness. There is, however, a significant need for further studies to systematically quantify the impact and correlates of patient initiated violence on psychosis caregivers, and improve prevention.
Aims: At first-episode psychosis (FEP), many patients will be routed within familial networks and supported by informal carers who are predominately close family members such as parents. Carer burden, distress and poorer coping styles are associated with different illness beliefs. The current study sought to examine the impact and acceptability of a 3 session, cognitively informed, group intervention targeting illness beliefs previously linked to distress and poorer caregiving experiences in FEP carers.; Methods: Carers attending a routine FEP service were invited to attend the group intervention and completed a measure of illness beliefs at baseline and post intervention.; Results: Data on 68 carers with complete datasets are presented. Carers were predominately females (64.2%). Group attendance was linked to positive improvements in carer baseline beliefs about the negative consequences of the illness for the patient and themselves, attributions of blame about the illness to the patient and themselves and their overall understanding about the illness. Significant improvements in their understanding of the illness timeline and course, and confidence in dealing with difficulties were also identified.; Conclusions: A cognitively informed group approach to targeting the less adaptive illness beliefs reported by FEP carers may offer an effective and acceptable pathway to facilitate their understanding of the illness and adjustment. Further studies using controlled designs are required.
Background: Psychotic disorders are severe mental health conditions that adversely affect the quality of life and life expectancy. Schizophrenia, the most common and severe form of psychosis affects 21 million people globally. Informal caregivers (families) are known to play an important role in facilitating patient recovery outcomes, although their own health and well-being could be adversely affected by the illness. The application of novel digital interventions in mental health care for patient groups is rapidly expanding; interestingly, however, far less is known about their role with family caregivers.; Objective: This study aimed to systematically identify the application of digital interventions that focus on informal caregivers of people with psychosis and describe their outcomes.; Methods: We completed a search for relevant papers in four electronic databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Web of Science). The search also included the Cochrane database and manual search of reference lists of relevant papers. The search was undertaken in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses reporting guidelines.; Results: The search identified 9 studies derived from 8 unique datasets. Most studies were assessments of feasibility and were undertaken in the United States. Interventions were predominately Web-based, with a focus on improving the caregivers' knowledge and understanding about psychosis.; Conclusions: This study offers preliminary support for the feasibility and acceptability of digital interventions for psychosis in informal caregiver populations. However, the findings underpin a clear need for greater development in the range of caregiver-focused digital approaches on offer and robust evaluation of their outcomes. The use of digital approaches with caregiver populations seemingly lags someway behind the significant developments observed in patient groups.
Family members play an important role in caregiving with more emphasis on early intervention for people suffering from mental illness. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, this study examines the effects of a community mental health intervention project (CoMHIP) on burdens of caregivers who have family members with suspected mental illness. Results showed that family caregivers’ burden and psychological stress level had been reduced (p < .001). The caregivers subjectively experienced a significant reduction in stress regarding the caregiving subscales, supervision, tension, worrying and urging after seeking CoMHIP service. Findings for the study have implications on social work interventions regarding family caregiving of people with suspected mental health problems.
During later life, older adults may be caregiving for people with late-onset mental health issues. The situation can alter family relationships and cause role transitions. This article offers three late-life mental health scenarios that require spouses or partners, adult children, and-or others to deal with an older adult family member's mood and behavior changes. Through case examples, the author explores geriatric depression, complicated grief, and provision of extended care for persons with severe mental illness, and highlights support for older care providers.
Introduction: In the past, patients with mental disorders were often isolated, but these patients now-a-days enter the society, as therapeutic interventions have advanced. Family members play an important role in the life of many adults with mental disorders and are under considerable amounts of stress that may affect caregiver's physical health, quality of life and resilience. Aim: The present study aimed to determine the relationship between the resilience and quality of life in family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional, correlational, descriptive study was conducted on 238 family caregivers of patients with mental disorders. The Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) was used to measure the quality of life and the Connor and Davidson Resilience Scale was used to measure resilience in the participants. The SF-36 consists of two general dimensions and eight domains of health and the resilience scale consists of 25 items. The data obtained through the questionnaires were analysed in SPSS version 16.0 using Pearson's correlation test. Results: The majority of the family caregivers were the patients' mothers. The results showed a significant direct relationship between resilience and quality of life (p<0.001, r=0.40). Conclusion: Resilience is a personal resource that affects quality of life directly. Resilience can enhance quality of life. The design and implementation of programs to enhance resilience and improve quality of life in family caregivers in line with the emerging needs of this group are therefore necessary.
Background and Objective: Psycho-education is an intervention integrating psychotherapeutic and educational strategies. Whilst carer psycho-education is known to aid in psychiatric disorders, at present there is no known tool to assess the degree to which this is routinely provided by mental health professionals. Our objective was to develop and validate a tool, in English, which assesses psycho-education of carers of psychiatric patients in Pakistan. Methods: A questionnaire was generated in English. It was pretested on twenty male and female carers and was refined to attain a more reliable version. Sixty bilingual male and female primary carers, who were fluent in English, and had been in a care-giving role for more than three months were requested to complete the developed Questionnaire for the Assessment of Psycho-Education of Carers (APEC) at Fatima Memorial Hospital Psychiatry Out-patient department within a period of four months from December, 2017 to April, 2018. Carers were identified via patients presenting to a psychiatric OPD. Responses were analyzed for reliability and test retest consistency using Cronbach's alpha analysis, Intraclass correlation coefficients, factor analysis and Paired t-test. Results: APEC was found to be easily understandable and capable of adequately assessing aspects of psycho-education. A high degree of internal consistency was demonstrated on cronbach's alpha analysis. Cronbach's α coefficient for various domains was sufficiently high ranging from 0.76 to 0.960. Similarly, domains of (APEC) were highly correlated. Test-retest reliability was assessed by computing the correlation between Visits 1 and 2 scores. Conclusion: The developed questionnaire can adequately assess psycho-education of primary carers in mental health settings.
In many parts of the world family members are the primary caretakers of persons with mental illness. The chronic stress associated with being a caregiver for an individual with schizophrenia can result in a variety of emotional responses, influenced by religion, spirituality and different styles of coping. The aim of this study was to assess patterns of coping, and spiritual and religious beliefs among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Consecutive patients with schizophrenia and their caregivers attending an outpatient clinic were recruited. Patients were rated on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale. The Royal Free Interview for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs, Modified Jalowiec Coping Scale and General Health Questionnaire-12 were administered to caregivers. Socio-demographic details of carers and clinical details of patients were recorded. Caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were found to cope in a variety of ways; the most useful and frequently used was the optimistic style of coping. While religious beliefs had an influence, factors significantly associated with coping included caregiver education and employment and patient psychopathology. Providing support to carers of patients with schizophrenia and enhancing their coping is an essential part of quality clinical care. Spirituality and religion can serve as a positive coping strategy.
Objectives: To compare depression and psychological well-being between caregivers of schizophrenic patients and non-caregivers and to study the burden of caregiving as a relative risk for depression and psychological well-being.; Methods: This cross sectional comparative study was conducted at International Islamic university Islamabad from January to September 2017. Fifty informal caregivers of schizophrenic patients from 19 to 55 years of age were included in the study. The control group consisted of age and socio-economic status matched healthy volunteers who did not have any psychological or medical patient at home needing care and assistance. For measurement of study variables i.e., burden of caregiving, depression and psychological well-being, instruments used were Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) respectively.; Results: Results were analyzed using MANOVA followed by One-Way ANOVA. Findings indicated that informal caregivers of schizophrenia have greater depression and poor psychological well-being in comparison to the non-caregiver controls. Association of caregiving burden with psychological well-being and depression was calculated using Chi Square test and relative risk.; Conclusion: Caregiving adversely affects informal caregivers' mental health and wellbeing. Informal caregiving is a burden for the caregivers; health status of family members involved in caregiving should be routinely assessed to enhance their health-related quality of life.
Objective: To evaluate the satisfaction of family caregivers with a mental health inpatient service in Brazil.; Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach. A sample of 80 caretaking family members answered the abbreviated version of the Brazilian Mental Health Services' Family Satisfaction scale (SATIS-BR) and a sociodemographic questionnaire. Categorical variables were expressed as frequencies and percentages and quantitative variables as means and standard deviations. Interactions among variables and indexes of the scale were analyzed using the Student's t test, Pearson correlation coefficient and analysis of variance.; Results: The results showed a high mean overall satisfaction score when considering the categorization of the items of the scale, with higher satisfaction indexes in the 'Treatment results' subscale and lower ones in the 'Reception and competence of staff' and 'Privacy and confidentiality' subscales. In the comparison of the samples studied, greater scores were observed in general satisfaction and in factors in the medical residency care model than in the attending psychiatrist model. There were no significant differences in terms of family member satisfaction in relation to sociodemographic variables.; Conclusion: Family member satisfaction was high. The need for improvement in aspects related to the infrastructure of services was evident. This paper underlines the importance of continuous and regular evaluations of the services provided, focusing on the satisfaction of users and family members in order to better understand the factors that contribute towards the quality of care provided.
While involvement of family caregivers can play an important role in the recovery process of persons with serious mental illness (SMI), family caregivers often endure poor health and mental health issues due to caregiving-related distress. These challenges may be exacerbated for Vietnamese American families due to cultural values (e.g., familism and stigma). This qualitative exploratory study examined how Vietnamese American family caregivers of persons with SMI describe their caregiving experience. Using convenience and snowball sampling, the study recruited 21 participants who took part in two Vietnamese-language focus groups. Key findings of the study addressed three themes: (1) the influence of cultural and religious values on caregiving and mental health; (2) the negative impact of caregiving on caregivers’ wellbeing; and (3) the stigma attached to mental illness. The study offers useful insights to assist mental health practitioners in tailoring culturally appropriate and effective services for Vietnamese caregivers.
Objective: Informal care, the provision of unpaid care to dependent friends or family members, is often associated with physical and mental health effects. As some individuals are more likely to provide caregiving tasks than others, estimating the causal impact of caregiving is difficult. This systematic literature review provides an overview of all studies aimed at estimating the causal effect of informal caregiving on the health of various subgroups of caregivers.; Methodology: A structured literature search, following PRISMA guidelines, was conducted in 4 databases. Three independent researchers assessed studies for eligibility based on predefined criteria. Results from the studies included in the review were summarized in a predefined extraction form and synthesized narratively.; Results: The systematic search yielded a total of 1,331 articles of which 15 are included for synthesis. The studies under review show that there is evidence of a negative impact of caregiving on the mental and physical health of the informal caregiver. The presence and intensity of these health effects strongly differ per subgroup of caregivers. Especially female, and married caregivers, and those providing intensive care appear to incur negative health effects from caregiving.; Conclusion: The findings emphasize the need for targeted interventions aimed at reducing the negative impact of caregiving among different subgroups. As the strength and presence of the caregiving effect differ between subgroups of caregivers, policymakers should specifically target those caregivers that experience the largest health effect of informal caregiving.;
Responsive support systems, designed and promoted by policy makers, are critical in supporting family caregivers. The purpose of this study was to explore viewpoints of service providers in supporting family caregivers of mental health patients in Iran. In this qualitative study, a purposive sample of 29 service providers and policy makers consented to participate in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed through qualitative content analysis and three main categories and seven sub-categories were identified. The main categories were: interpersonal collaboration, intra-organization collaboration and inter-sectorial collaboration. A common theme in this study was that service providers play a key role in coordinating responsive support services for Iranian family caregivers of mental health patients across all levels. The increasing complexity of the health care system and resource limitations have created complex problems, which require the use of participatory approaches by the various specialties, disciplines and departments to provide complementary services and mutual support. This approach is the best way of ensuring that service users receive the most relevant services from the right service providers in the right place as and when needed.
This paper explored the support needs of family caregivers of people living with a mental illness in Iran. This descriptive study focused on the experiences of 20 family caregivers as well as the views of 29 professional support workers through individual face-to-face interviews. From these interviews three key themes emerged in regards to the care needs of family caregivers: (i) social support; (ii) emotional support; and (iii) safety and security. These themes highlighted the complex role of caring for a family member with a mental illness and the emotional, social and economic challenges that these caregivers experienced as a result. Iranian caregivers garnered support not only from other family members but also from neighbors and religious leaders but lacked the much needed respite care found in western countries. This research study highlighted the importance of ensuring that the caregivers themselves receive appropriate and adequate support to fulfill their caregiving role.
Background: Family caregivers of patients with mental disorders play the most important role in the care of psychiatric patients (PPs) and preventing their readmission. These caregivers face different challenges in different cultures. We conducted this study to determine the challenges of caregivers of patients with mental disorders in Iran. Materials and Methods: This study is a narrative review with a matrix approach conducted by searching electronic databases, SID, IRANMEDEX, MAGIRAN, PUBMED, SCOPUS, Web of Sciences, from February 2000 to 2017. Searched keywords include challenges, family caregivers of psychiatric patient, family caregivers and psychiatric patient, mental illness, families of psychiatric patient, and Iran. One thousand two hundred articles were found in English and Farsi, and considering inclusion and exclusion criteria, 39 articles were examined. Results: The results of the studies show that not meeting the needs of caregivers, burnout and high burden of care, high social stigma, low social support for caregivers, and low quality of life of caregivers were among the most important challenges faced by caregivers. Conclusions: Despite the efforts of authorities in Iran, family caregivers of patients with mental disorders still face challenges. Therefore, the need for all-inclusive support for family caregivers of patients with mental health problems is necessary.
Background: The consequences and high costs of psychiatric disorders impact family caregivers greatly. Health services should identify and provide accessible support programs to facilitate effective caregiver coping.; Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a theory-of-planned-behavior-based problem-solving training program on the coping styles of family caregivers of psychiatric inpatients.; Methods: In this two-group, randomized control trial, 72 family caregivers were randomly assigned to either a control group receiving standard care or an intervention group receiving a training program (eight sessions over 4 weeks). Demographic information was recorded at baseline, and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations was administered to both groups at baseline, immediately postintervention, and 1-month follow-up.; Results: Immediately after the intervention, the intervention group earned significantly higher task-oriented coping style scores (mean difference = 5.03, p = .015) than the control group, but no significant difference was detected between the two groups for either emotion- or avoidance-oriented coping style scores. At 1-month follow-up, the intervention group earned significantly higher scores than the control group for task-oriented (mean difference = 8.56, p < .001) and emotion-oriented (mean difference = 7.14, p = .002) coping styles. No improvement in avoidance-oriented coping style at the postintervention or follow-up time points was detected.; Conclusions: Implementation by nurses and other health professionals of problem-solving training programs that are based on the theory of planned behavior is recommended to strengthen the use of task- and emotion-oriented approaches that help family caregivers of psychiatric patients better cope with stress.
As a worldwide phenomenon, no one is immune - mental illnesses affect people of all ages, cultures, educational and income levels. Burden of caregivers of people with bipolar illness reported moderate or great distress in at least in one burden domain. Hence the descriptive co-relational study has been conducted to assess the burden, social support and family wellbeing among caregivers of mentally ill patients in Mansik Aarogayashala , Gwalior (M.P.). Aim of the study was to determine the caregivers' burden as measured by caregivers burden, social support, family well being and find the relationship between care giver burden and social support, care giver burden and family well being and social support and family well being. By using purposive sampling technique collects total 50 samples. The data was collected using demographic proforma, caregivers' burden assessment scale, social support scale and family wellbeing scale by applying the questioning technique. Results revealed that, Maximum number of caregivers had moderate burden (60%), low social support (82%) and perceived high level of wellbeing (48%); 36% had mild burden, 16% had moderate social support and 46% perceived moderate level of wellbeing. Caregiver burden had negative correlation with social support(r=-0.344, P < 0.005) and family wellbeing (r= -0.404, P < 0.005) while there was positive correlation between social support and family wellbeing(r=0.447, P < 0.005). Study concluded that Caregiver burden had a significant negative relationship as social support and family wellbeing decreased, caregiver burden increased. But there was a positive relationship between social support and family wellbeing, family wellbeing increased with increased social support.
Purpose of the Study: Ambivalence has been described as simultaneous positive and negative emotional experiences. Although ambivalent feelings are often reported by dementia family caregivers, the effect of these feelings on caregivers' mental health has not been studied. Furthermore, the measurement of ambivalence specific to caregiving situations has not been studied. The aims of this study are to analyze the psychometric properties of the Caregiving Ambivalence Scale (CAS) and, drawing upon the stress and coping model, to test whether ambivalent feelings significantly contribute to caregivers' distress. Design and Methods: Participants were 401 dementia family caregivers. Face-to-face interviews were conducted which included measures of ambivalence, depressive (CES-D) and anxious symptomatology (POMS), stressors (disruptive behaviors subscale of the RMBPC), and sociodemographic information. Results: Results from exploratory, parallel, and confirmatory factor analyses suggest that the CAS has a unidimensional structure, explaining a 64.26% of the variance of ambivalent feelings. Good reliability and validity indexes were found, including a Cronbach's alpha of .86. The results revealed significant (p < .01) positive associations with depressive and anxious symptomatology, and frequency and reaction to disruptive behaviors. Ambivalent feeling scores significantly contributed to the explanation of caregivers' depressive and anxious symptoms after controlling for sociodemographic and stressor variables. Implications: The CAS shows good psychometric properties that recommend its use as a measure of ambivalent feelings in caregivers and appears to be a relevant variable for understanding caregivers' mental health.
Background There is limited evidence for the acceptability of training for mental health professionals on service user- and carer-involved care planning. Aim To investigate the acceptability of a co-delivered, two-day training intervention on service user- and carer-involved care planning. Methods Community mental health professionals were invited to complete the Training Acceptability Rating Scale post-training. Responses to the quantitative items were summarized using descriptive statistics (Miles, ), and qualitative responses were coded using content analysis (Weber, ). Results Of 350 trainees, 310 completed the questionnaire. The trainees rated the training favourably (median overall TARS scores = 56/63; median 'acceptability' score = 34/36; median 'perceived impact' score = 22/27). There were six qualitative themes: the value of the co-production model; time to reflect on practice; delivery preferences; comprehensiveness of content; need to consider organizational context; and emotional response. Discussion The training was found to be acceptable and comprehensive with participants valuing the co-production model. Individual differences were apparent in terms of delivery preferences and emotional reactions. There may be a need to further address the organizational context of care planning in future training. Implications for practice Mental health nurses should use co-production models of continuing professional development training that involve service users and carers as co-facilitators.
PURPOSE To examine prediction power of personality traits, expressed emotion, and coping strategies on caregivers' burden. DESIGNS AND METHODS Cross-sectional descriptive correlational design was used to collect data from 196 caregivers using the Self-Administered Questionnaire from Jordanian caregivers of patients with serious mental illness. FINDINGS Jordanian caregivers had a moderate-to-severe burden level (M = 47.1, SD = 11.5). Burden had a significant negative relationship with coping (r = -.15, p = .04) and significant positive relationship with personality dysfunction (r = .16, p = .021). Emotional expression, coping, and personality were found to be significant predictors of burden (F = 5.16, p = .002). PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS Mental health professionals need to address family caregivers in their plans of care.
Carers' views about their role in recovery are under-researched, and studies investigating their needs are underdeveloped. In this study, participatory action research was used; I was supported by a steering group of eight stakeholders to co-produce a training programme on recovery and data collection methods to explore the meaning of recovery for carers. The programme was delivered by me, an expert-by-experience with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and a carer of her son with a similar diagnosis, to a group of eleven participants. Mainly qualitative data was collected together with supplementary quantitative socio-demographic data from the participants. Selected findings based on the carers' discussions are presented which focus on how the relationship between carers and professionals can most effectively facilitate service user recovery. Issues of information exchange between carers and professionals and the impact of patient confidentiality are highlighted, the nature of recovery practice is considered, and the participants' need to be regarded as 'experts' is addressed. A conceptual model of service design based on a recovery-oriented 'triangle of care' is presented. The potential implementation of this model in the current UK mental health service context is considered with the need for co-production between all stakeholders to ensure its development.
Hospitalisation of a parent with acute mental health problems impacts the consumer, their extended family/carers and children. Mental health nurses are at the forefront of promoting recovery for consumers in an acute inpatient setting. Recovery-oriented care can include provision of family-focused care which supports recovery of the parent-consumer and their family members and contributes to prevention of intergenerational mental illness. The aim of this narrative literature review was to explore existing knowledge regarding the experiences, care and support needs of parent-consumers, their family members/carers and children during the parent's acute mental health hospitalisation. It also aims to explore existing knowledge about the practices of mental health nurses providing care to this consumer group, to inform future healthcare practice and strengthen parent, child and family outcomes. Nineteen published studies addressed the review questions. In the context of hospitalisation, the majority of research regarding parenting with a mental illness is focused on mothers. Parents reported experiencing stigma during their hospitalisation. Separation from children was a concern for parents and their extended family, but admission provided an opportunity for the parent to receive treatment and for the family to receive support. Mental health nurses did not always identify parental status on admission. When parental status was identified, nurses reported issues regarding logistics and practicalities of using family rooms, children visiting the unit, and their own professional knowledge and organisational support regarding familyfocused care. Implications for practice are identified, highlighting how mental health nurses can develop their practice to support the recovery of parent-consumers.
Introduction Mental health service policy stipulates that family carers be involved in care planning. Aim To identify families’ experiences of care planning involvement in adult mental health services. Method An integrative review where electronic databases and grey literature were searched for papers published between 01 January 2005 and 10 February 2016. Results Fifteen papers met the inclusion criteria. Thematic analysis generated three themes: (1) families’ experience of collaboration, (2) families’ perceptions of professionals and (3) families’ impressions of the care planning process. Collaborative decision-making is not regularly experienced by families with an ‘us’ and ‘them’ divide, perpetuated by a lack of communication, confidentiality constraints and a claim of ‘insider knowledge’ of service users. When involved, families perceive care planning to be uncoordinated and that their lived experiences are not always appreciated. Discussion Families need to be valued, empowered and engaged in care planning and the partnership distance be addressed. Accommodating the views of family, service user and professionals is preferable but not always possible. Our findings suggest that the key element for professionals is to value all ‘insider knowledge’ where possible. Implications for Practice Services should develop written information on confidentiality for families and facilitate open communication concerning their involvement in care planning.
Experience-based co-design (EBCD) is a service design strategy that facilitates collaborative work between professional staff and service users toward common goals. There is a lack of published examples of it in relation to family carer engagement within a mental health context, and little research exploring the mechanisms behind successful implementation. The aim of this study was to explore the processes that facilitated EBCD with carer involvement. The study adopted a grounded theory–informed approach involving interviews with 16 participants of an existing EBCD project in an English National Health Service (NHS) trust, reflecting multiple stakeholders. EBCD can be thrown off track in two ways: conflict and getting “bogged down.” Leadership by project and design-group leaders could return group cohesion and maintain project momentum. The developed model reflects key processes. Future research should examine EBCD projects with similar ranges of stakeholders and in contexts with different levels of organizational change.
BACKGROUND: Previous research into improving patient safety has emphasised the importance of responding to and learning from concerns raised by service users and carers. Expertise gained by the experiences of service users and their carers has also been seen as a potential resource to improve patient safety. We know little about the ease of raising concerns within mental health services, and the potential benefits of involving service users and carers in safety interventions. This study aimed to explore service user and carer perceptions of raising safety concerns, and service user, carer and health professional views on the potential for service user and carer involvement in safety interventions. METHODS: UK service users, carers and health professionals (n=185) were recruited via social media to a cross-sectional survey focussed on raising concerns about safety issues and views on potential service user and carer participation in safety interventions. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and free text responses were coded into categories. RESULTS: The sample of 185 participants included 90 health professionals, 77 service users and 18 carers. Seventy seven percent of service users and carers reported finding it very difficult or difficult to raise concerns. Their most frequently cited barriers to raising concerns were: services did not listen; concerns about repercussions; and the process of raising concerns, especially while experiencing mental ill health. There was universal support from health professionals for service user and carer involvement in safety interventions and over half the service users and carers supported involvement, primarily due to their expertise from experience. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health service users and carers experience difficulties in raising safety concerns meaning that potentially useful information is being missed. All the health professionals and the majority of service users and carers saw potential for service users and carer involvement in interventions to improve safety, to ensure their experiences are taken into consideration. The results provide guidance for future research about the most effective ways of ensuring that concerns about safety can be both raised and responded to, and how service user and carer involvement in improving safety in mental health care can be further developed.
More than 1 million people who are caring for children and older relatives are at a significantly higher risk of mental health problems and more likely to be struggling for money than the general population, official data has revealed.
The “sandwich generation” who find themselves squeezed between older and younger dependents account for 1.3 million people, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It found the more care people give to both older and younger relatives simultaneously, the more likely they are to report symptoms of mental ill health.
Background: Current Australian mental health policy recommends that carers should be involved in the provision of mental health services. Carers often provide intensive support to mental health consumers and gain detailed insight into their lives. As such, carers could make valuable contributions to well-informed decisions about mental health consumers' use of antipsychotic medication. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore carers' participation in antipsychotic medication decision making. Methods: Snowball sampling was used to enrol 29 carers in this study. Of these carers, 19 participated in semi-structured interviews, and ten participated in a focus group. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Four main themes emerged from the analysis. The findings highlighted that carers typically received little or no information about antipsychotic medication. Carers commonly addressed the shortfall in information by obtaining additional information through online sources or distributing among carer networks material that they had developed themselves. Almost all carers emphasised that they should be involved in decisions about antipsychotic medication, but noted that they were typically excluded. The lack of involvement in medication decisions was a source of frustration, as carers could contribute saliently through sharing detailed knowledge about mental health consumers' lives, address communication gaps that resulted from disjointed care and improve communication between health professionals and mental health consumers. Conclusion: Health professionals could consider improving the extent to which they collaborate with carers in medication decisions.
Academic researchers are increasingly asked to engage with the wider world, both in terms of creating impact from their work, and in telling the world what goes on in university research departments. An aspect of this engagement involves working with patients, carers or members of the public as partners in research. This means working with them to identify important research questions and designing studies to address those questions. This commentary was jointly written by two researchers and people with relevant caring experience for this special issue. It brings to the forefront the concerns of carers who are also involved in research as partners. The aim is to highlight their perspectives to inform future research, policy, and practice.
As mental health (MH) care has shifted from institutional settings to the community, families and friends are responsible for providing the majority of the care at home. The substantial literature on the adverse effects experienced by caregivers has focused mainly on psychological morbidity. Less attention has been paid to how caregivers for persons with MH disorders interact with larger social systems and the impacts of factors such as financial strain, lost time from leisure activities, and the availability of health and social services. Method: a scoping review of MH and other caregiver questionnaires published between 1990 and 2016 to determine whether they addressed four key domains: caregiver work demands, resource needs, resource utilisation and costs. A range of health and social care databases were searched, including MEDLINE and Health and Psychosocial Instruments. After screening for relevance and quality, our search identified 14 instruments addressing elements related to one or more of our domains. Because these instruments covered only a small portion of our domains, a second targeted search was conducted of the general care‐giving literature and consulted with experts, identifying an additional 18 instruments. A total of 32 questionnaires were reviewed, 14 specific to care‐giving for mental health problems and 18 for other health conditions. Our search identified instruments or items within instruments that assess constructs in each of our domains, but no one instrument covered them completely. Additionally, some constructs were evaluated in detail and others only addressed by single items. While these instruments are helpful for moving measurement beyond the psychological impacts of care‐giving, our results serve only as an initial guide. Additional methodological work is needed to more comprehensively measure the impact of care‐giving for individuals with MH disorders and to contribute to the development of more meaningful and effective policies and programmes.
Objectives: Little is known regarding the effect that caring for an individual with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) has on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The authors sought to identify the most important aspects of HRQOL related to caring for an individual with MCI. Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with caregivers of individuals with MCI (n = 32). Qualitative frequency analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Findings indicated that caregivers most frequently discussed social health, including changes in social roles and an increased need for social support (51.2% of the total discussion). This was followed by mental health concerns (37.9%) which centred on anger/frustration, and a need for patience in the caregiving role, as well as caregiver-specific anxiety. Other topics included physical health (10.0%; including the impact that stress and burden have on medical heath), and caregivers’ cognitive health (0.9%; including memory problems in relation to caregiver strain, sleep disruption, and cognitive fatigue). Conclusions: Findings illustrate the multiple domains of HRQOL that are affected in individuals providing care for someone with MCI. Moreover, the findings highlight the need for extending support services to MCI caregivers, a group that is typically not offered support services due to the ‘less severe’ nature of an MCI diagnosis.
Background: An informal care-giver is generally an unpaid individual who looks after the personal and medical needs of the patient. India being a country of traditions and family values, this informal care-giver is usually a family member. These care-givers, being untrained in this job undergo tremendous stress. Available research studies the burden individually in the relatives of chronically medically ill patients and those of psychiatrically ill patients. Furthermore the previous research targets the burden in individual diseases. This study stands out as it makes a comparison between the two broad groups, taking into account almost all possible chronic diseases in each group. Methods: This is a cross-sectional analytical descriptive study that was conducted on the family caregivers of chronically medically ill and psychiatrically ill patients, using the Caregiver's Burden Scale. Data were analyzed by SPSS 20 statistical software and Pearson correlation coefficient tests. Significant difference between area of caregiver burden of medicine and psychiatric patients was tested using relative deviate 'Z' of SEDM test at 5% level of significance. Result: There is a significant difference between each category of Caregiver's Burden Scale among chronically medically ill and psychiatrically ill patients. (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The outcome of this study may help the health care providers in designing stress relief programs for primary care-givers. Overall this study may help better delivery systems of care for both the chronically medically ill as well as psychiatrically ill patients, by proper specific framing and psycho education programs for the caregivers of specific chronic illnesses.
Cigarette smoking poses significant health burdens for people with mental illness. They die sooner than they should, and smoking is a major contributor to their high rates of morbid chronic physical health conditions and early mortality, compared to the general population. Family carers provide important support to people with mental illness. However, family carers' perspectives of smoking by their family members with mental illness are largely absent from the research literature and from practice, despite smoking rates remaining high and quit rates remaining low for this population. Little is known about how family carers are or could be involved in supporting people with mental illness who smoke to stop smoking. This paper aims to provide a discussion of the opportunities for family carers to support their family member's smoking cessation and a discussion of our preliminary research on this topic. From the available literature, it appears that family carers are well placed to support smoking cessation for this population; however, they struggled physically, philosophically, and emotionally with perceived responsibilities involving their family member's smoking and the caring role. They felt isolated and asserted that there was limited support from service providers to assist them. The authors concluded that family carers are important agents within the person's immediate environment who could help them to improve their smoking cessation success. This suggests also that mental health services and other health service providers could benefit from including family carers in their efforts to support smoking cessation for people with mental illness who smoke.
Aims and Objectives To elicit the perspectives of carers of people with mental illness regarding access to, and experience with, physical healthcare services for mental health consumers. Background People diagnosed with mental illness have increased risks of physical illness and earlier death, problems able to be addressed through better physical health services. Carers of people with mental illness play a significant role in the mental healthcare system yet research examining their views is lacking. Design Qualitative exploratory. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 mental health carers. They were asked to describe their views and experiences pertaining to the physical health and availability of physical health care for the people they care for. Data were analysed using the framework of Braun and Clarke. Results Analysis of carer responses identified two important themes: responsiveness and access, and a shortage of care coordination. Carers felt alienated from physical healthcare providers and were compelled to fill gaps in available care through persistence in ensuring access to physical healthcare services. Conclusions The findings identify carers as key stakeholders in the physical health care for the people they care for. Their involvement in accessing and coordinating care provides vital perspective on health service capacity, which requires further consideration in the practice and research domains. Relevance to clinical practice Carers of people diagnosed with mental illness are crucial to the effective delivery of mental health services. Their perspectives must be central to their research agenda and contribute to the development of initiatives to improve clinical practice and promote improved physical health care.
Background: Preventing hospitalization and improving event-free survival are primary goals of heart failure (HF) treatment according to current European Society of Cardiology guidelines; however, substantial uncertainty remains in our ability to predict risk and improve outcomes. Although caregivers often assist patients to manage their HF, little is known about their influence on clinical outcomes. Aims: To quantify the influence of patient and caregiver characteristics on patient clinical event risk in HF. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of data using a sample of Italian adults with HF and their informal caregivers (n = 183 patient–caregiver dyads). HF patients were followed over 12 months for the following clinical events: hospitalization for HF, emergency room visit for HF or all-cause mortality. Influence of baseline caregiver- and patient-level factors (patient and caregiver age; dyad relationship type; patient New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class, cognition, and comorbidities; and caregiver strain, mental health status, and contributions to HF self-care) on patient risk of death or hospitalization/emergency room use was quantified using Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Over the course of follow up, 32.8% of patients died, 19.7% were hospitalized for HF and 10.4% visited the emergency room. Higher caregiver strain, better caregiver mental health status and greater caregiver contributions to HF self-care maintenance were associated with significantly better event-free survival. Worse patient functional class and greater caregiver contributions to patient self-care management were associated with significantly worse patient event-free survival. Conclusion: Considering caregiving factors together with patient factors significantly increases our understanding of patient clinical event risk in HF.
This study investigates changes in the mental and physical health of carers compared to non-carers over 10 years in a sample of New Zealanders aged 54–70. Mental health increased slightly over time for all participants but there was no difference in trajectory change based on carer status except for those who stopped caring. No significant differences in physical health or differences in trajectory change for physical health across time based on caregiver status were found. Results provide some support for a health selection bias into caring and the adaptation hypothesis of caring across time.
Caring for dependent relatives has become a normative challenge for families in the USA and throughout the world. The study objective was to examine the relationship of family caregiving responsibilities and the mental health and well-being of individuals, ages 18–24 years, referred to as emerging young adults. It was hypothesized that young adult caregivers with past and present responsibilities would report significantly more symptoms of depression and anxiety, have lower self-esteem, and use less adaptive coping styles than non-caregiving peers. The sample consisted of 353 undergraduates (81 past caregivers, 76 current/past caregivers, and 196 non-caregivers). Caregivers were also evaluated in terms of care recipients, duration of caregiving, tasks, and hours of effort. Caregivers had significantly higher levels of symptoms of depression and anxiety than non-caregivers. Research to clarify how caregiving interacts with other stressors in emerging young adults and influences behavioral health should be a priority.
In this study, the aims were to assess the mental health state of carers for patients with Alzheimer-type dementia (AD) according to stage of disease and to collect data with the aim of determining precautions to reduce the load of the patient and disease on the carer. The study included 120 patients with stages determined, according to the clinical dementia rating scale (CDR), and 120 patient relatives above the age of 18 who cared for these patients every day, for the whole day or part of the day, and who accepted participation in the research. This prospective and cross-sectional study performed a detailed neurological examination of patients, and after completing the “personal information form” with the interviewer, each patient had CDR and mini-mental test (MMSE) applied to determine stage of dementia and physical state. Carers first completed the “personal information form” and then had the short symptom inventory (SSI) applied. According to the stage of patients, there were significant differences determined in the points for all sub-scales belonging to the SSI of carers. As the disease stage increased, all sub-scale points for the SSI increased. With the transition of disease stages from 0.5–1 to stage 2, from stage 2 to 3, and with the inverse reduction in MMT scores, the points obtained by carers on the SSI sub-scales increased. This data shows that with progressing disease stage, the load on the carer increases and mental health begins to dysfunction.
Carer Peer Support Workers (CPSWs) are people who have lived experience as carers/family members of persons with a mental illness, and are employed to provide support to other carers/family members. This qualitative study aimed to explore carers' experiences within a community-based CPSW pilot program in an Australian mental health service. Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with 20 carer participants in 2015, 5-10 months following their last contact with the service. Thematic analysis uncovered that carers were generally positive about the CPSW's emotional support, practical support, shared lived experience and mutual understanding, and the "ripple effect" the support had on service users. Some carers, on the other hand, felt that the support was unnecessary; either because they believed that it did not have a lasting effect, the focus should have been on the service user, or that they had previously received enough support. Nevertheless, the study highlighted how mental health services could best utilise and benefit from CPSWs. Moreover, to be most useful, the nature of the carer peer support work should be tailored to the specific needs of the carers; which may vary according to their culture, years of caring experience, and previous experiences with mental health services.
Background: The health of informal caregivers of adults with chronic conditions is increasingly vital since caregivers comprise a large proportion of supportive care to family members living in the community. Due to efficiency and reach, internet-based interventions for informal caregivers have the potential to mitigate the negative mental health outcomes associated with caregiving. Objective: The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the impact of internet-based interventions on caregiver mental health outcomes and the impact of different types of internet-based intervention programs. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and AgeLine databases were searched for randomized controlled trials or controlled clinical trials published from January 1995 to April 2017 that compared internet-based intervention programs with no or minimal internet-based interventions for caregivers of adults with at least 1 chronic condition. The inclusion criteria were studies that included (1) adult informal caregivers (aged 18 years or older) of adults living in the community with a chronic condition; (2) an internet-based intervention program to deliver education, support, or monitoring to informal caregivers; and (3) outcomes of mental health. Title and abstract and full-text screening were completed in duplicate. Data were extracted by a single reviewer and verified by a second reviewer, and risk of bias assessments were completed accordingly. Where possible, data for mental health outcomes were meta-analyzed. Results: The search yielded 7923 unique citations of which 290 studies were screened at full-text. Of those, 13 studies met the inclusion criteria; 11 were randomized controlled trials, 1 study was a controlled clinical trial, and 1 study comprised both study designs. Beneficial effects of any internet-based intervention program resulted in a mean decrease of 0.48 points (95% CI –0.75 to –0.22) for stress and distress and a mean decrease of 0.40 points (95% CI –0.58 to –0.22) for anxiety among caregivers. For studies that examined internet-based information and education plus professional psychosocial support, the meta-analysis results showed small to medium beneficial effect sizes of the intervention for the mental health outcomes of depression (–0.34; 95% CI –0.63 to –0.05) and anxiety (–0.36; 95% CI –0.66 to –0.07). Some suggestion of a beneficial effect on overall health for the use of information and education plus combined peer and professional support was also shown (1.25; 95% CI 0.24 to 2.25). Overall, many studies were of poor quality and were rated at high risk of bias. Conclusions: The review found evidence for the benefit of internet-based intervention programs on mental health for caregivers of adults living with a chronic condition, particularly for the outcomes of caregiver depression, stress and distress, and anxiety. The types of interventions that predominated as efficacious included information and education with or without professional psychological support, and, to a lesser extent, with combined peer and psychological support. Further high-quality research is needed to inform the effectiveness of interactive, dynamic, and multicomponent internet-based interventions. Trial Registration: PROSPERO CRD42017075436; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=75436 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/709M3tDvn)
Carers of people with mental illness frequently report interpersonal difficulties in their caring relationship, and experiential avoidance likely contributes to these problems. This study aimed to examine the relationship between experiential avoidance and eight interpersonal problem domains amongst lay mental health carers, and tested the mediating role of attachment anxiety and hostility. In addition, an alternative (reverse) mediation was tested in which experiential avoidance played the mediating role. A cross-sectional community-based sample of 145 mental health carers completed a questionnaire containing demographics and measures of interpersonal problems, experiential avoidance, attachment anxiety and hostility. Results indicated the relationship between experiential avoidance and interpersonal problems was fully mediated for the interpersonal problem domains of cold/distant and socially inhibited. Partial mediation was evident for the vindictive/self-centered, non-assertive, overly accommodating, self-sacrificing and intrusive/needy domains. No mediation occurred for the domineering/controlling domain. Alternative (reverse) model findings indicated partial/full mediation for the overly accommodating, domineering/controlling and vindictive/self-centered domains, and no mediation for the remaining five domains. Although tentative, findings suggest a mechanism for the relationship between experiential avoidance and particular domains of interpersonal problems that warrants further investigation. The importance of our data is highlighted by the burden and difficult relationships experienced by mental health carers, that requires targeted and effective psychological treatment.
The use of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Schema group intervention with the mental health carer population has a strong justification: 1) There is a theoretical rationale for the role of experiential avoidance and negative expectations of relationships (and associated cognitive fusion) in underpinning mental health carers interpersonal problems; 2) Correlational data demonstrates that the processes targeted by ACT (i.e. experiential avoidance) and Schema therapy (i.e. negative expectations of relationships) are associated with mental health carer's experiences of interpersonal problems; 3) Existing studies demonstrate positive results for ACT based interventions with caregiver populations; 4) Multicomponent carer interventions with two conceptually different approaches have achieved more positive outcomes in prior studies. The current study aims to pilot an ACT and Schema group intervention for mental health carers’ interpersonal problems, examining acceptability and conducting preliminary assessment of effectiveness.
Research has shown that young people who care for parents and relatives (young carers and young adult carers) are at greater risk of mental and emotional difficulties and are more likely to do badly at school or college. To explore the difficulties faced by young adult carers (aged 14–25) in the UK, an online survey was conducted. Almost half (45%) of the 295 respondents reported having a mental health problem. The relationship between the extent of caring and perceived mental health problems and the impact of caring responsibilities on work and education were investigated.
This longitudinal study using the sampling frame of the second Australian prevalence study of psychosis aimed to identify predictors of the health and well-being of care-givers of people with psychosis and inform social work recovery-oriented practice. Ninety-eight carers were recruited at baseline and seventy-eight re-interviewed after one year. Correlational and regression analyses were conducted to identify relationships between carer and service user-related factors and predictors of carers’ health and well-being over time. Carers’ poor health and well-being were predicted by a combination of specific service user-related characteristics and care-giving factors. Carers’ assessment of the functioning of their relative/friend with psychosis at baseline had stronger relationships with their own health and well-being at follow-up than other factors. Carers’ care-giving burden was predicted by their educational levels and their relative/friend’s cognitive levels over time. To achieve improved health and well-being for carers, services need to consider potential deterioration of carers’ physical health over time, to facilitate appropriate referral of carers with physical health problems and provide psycho-social rehabilitation services to improve the functioning of people with psychosis. Findings provide some evidence to support social work recovery-oriented practice in working with people with psychosis and the routine inclusion of carers in such interventions.
Purpose Micro-finance self-help groups empower caregivers to indulge in productive activities based on the local availability of resources to reduce their financial burden. The purpose of this paper is to assess the need for and feasibility of initiating micro-finance groups for the caregivers of persons with mental disability in a rural socio-economically backward community of Karnataka, India. Design/methodology/approach The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey, with mixed methodology design out of the eight localities where the Mental Health Public Health Centres (PHC) were running successfully in Konandur area, Thirthahalli Taluk, Karnataka, one PHC was selected using simple Random Sampling Design and a 5 kms radius from Konandur town was selected as the area of the survey (190 households). During door-to-door survey, if the family indicated that a particular member is mentally unwell, the GHQ-5 and Symptoms and Others checklist were administered on him/her and the women caregiver was interviewed using qualitative needs assessment schedule and Perceived Social Support Scale. Findings Ten persons/households with mental illness (5.26 per cent) were identified in the community. Themes of financial needs, capacity of the caregiver, community resources, need for the microfinance self-help groups, informational needs, social support, burn out, and stigma elicited in the interview were depicted in the form of a conceptual framework to understand the inter-connectedness between the various themes. Research limitations/implications This study is the first initiative in the field of micro-finance self-help groups for the persons with mental illness and families. The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey, which is found globally to be the most suited in conducting prevalence studies, as it provides accurate results for future studies as well as it is the first step to obtain accurate baseline values to later plan a prospective follow up study. The study used mixed methodology design. Though the sample size was small, the information collected from the participants in qualitative and quantitative method was triangulated and conceptual frameworks were developed. As this study is one of the first of its kind in the country, the results of this study from the stated sample can be considered as an important pilot for future longitudinal and cross-sectional studies to be planned in the community. Originality/value There is hardly any scientific literature which talks about the need for Micro-finance self-help groups for Persons with Disability, especially with person with mental disability. In order to initiate any Micro-finance SHG activities, it is essential to first undertake the need for and feasibility of initiating such micro-finance group activities in any given area. This study will be an important milestone in initiating any self-help group activity for caregivers of persons with mental disability, as it would help us understand the financial needs of the community, based on which a draft proposal to initiate micro-finance self-help group activities can be drawn up.
Aims: To identify affected family members' (AFMs) experiences of barriers and facilitators to informal and formal help-seeking for themselves and on behalf of a close relative with alcohol and other drug (AOD) misuse. Methods: Qualitative study, informed by interpretative phenomenological analysis. Semi-structured, audio-recorded, telephone interviews were used to collect data from 31 AFMs. Results: AFMs experienced several overlapping and at times competing help-seeking obstacles and enablers in accessing informal and formal support for themselves and on behalf of their relative with AOD misuse, and these are reflected in two themes and associated sub-themes: barriers to help-seeking and facilitators to help-seeking. Five help-seeking barriers were abstracted from the data: Stigma discourages help-seeking, Difficulty locating informal and formal support services, Previous negative AOD service help-seeking experiences deter subsequent help-seeking, Hopelessness inhibits help-seeking, and Feeling undervalued as an AFM. Three help-seeking facilitators were abstracted from the data: Previous positive help-seeking experiences increase future help-seeking, Overcoming shame and isolation and being open with trusted significant others, and Persevering in help-seeking. Conclusions: AFMs who access informal and formal help sources for themselves, and on behalf of their relative, are more likely to sustain their important support-giving role. Measures to strengthen AFMs' capacity and willingness to support their relative should be founded on an understanding of factors that affect their own help-seeking in addition to those encountered when help-seeking on behalf of their relative. Our findings have implications for the visibility of AOD services and informal support groups on the Internet, organisational culture of some AOD services, valuing the contributions of AFMs, and protecting AFMs and their relatives' privacy. Our findings also have implications for reducing public stigma of AOD misuse, changing some AFMs' scepticism about treatment outcomes, and reinforcing and enhancing AFMs' skills in persevering with help-seeking.
Aims: To identify affected family members' (AFMs) experiences of barriers and facilitators to informal and formal help-seeking for themselves and on behalf of a close relative with alcohol and other drug (AOD) misuse. Methods: Qualitative study, informed by interpretative phenomenological analysis. Semi-structured, audio-recorded, telephone interviews were used to collect data from 31 AFMs. Results: AFMs experienced several overlapping and at times competing help-seeking obstacles and enablers in accessing informal and formal support for themselves and on behalf of their relative with AOD misuse, and these are reflected in two themes and associated sub-themes: barriers to help-seeking and facilitators to help-seeking. Five help-seeking barriers were abstracted from the data: Stigma discourages help-seeking, Difficulty locating informal and formal support services, Previous negative AOD service help-seeking experiences deter subsequent help-seeking, Hopelessness inhibits help-seeking, and Feeling undervalued as an AFM. Three help-seeking facilitators were abstracted from the data: Previous positive help-seeking experiences increase future help-seeking, Overcoming shame and isolation and being open with trusted significant others, and Persevering in help-seeking. Conclusions: AFMs who access informal and formal help sources for themselves, and on behalf of their relative, are more likely to sustain their important support-giving role. Measures to strengthen AFMs' capacity and willingness to support their relative should be founded on an understanding of factors that affect their own help-seeking in addition to those encountered when help-seeking on behalf of their relative. Our findings have implications for the visibility of AOD services and informal support groups on the Internet, organisational culture of some AOD services, valuing the contributions of AFMs, and protecting AFMs and their relatives' privacy. Our findings also have implications for reducing public stigma of AOD misuse, changing some AFMs' scepticism about treatment outcomes, and reinforcing and enhancing AFMs' skills in persevering with help-seeking.
Objectives: This study aims to analyse the level of distress caused by delirium in patients' family and their nurses, and to identify factors associated with psychological distress in families of older adult inpatients in Intermediate Care Units/IMCUs regarding their global experience during hospitalization. Method: A prospective pilot study was carried out with families and nurses of older adult patients (≥65 y.o.) consecutively recruited from two IMCUs in Intensive Care Medicine Service in a University Hospital. Patients with Glasgow Coma Scale ≤11, brain injury, blindness/deafness and inability to communicate were excluded. Delirium was daily assessed with Confusion Assessment Method/CAM. The distress level regarding this episode in family and nurses was measured with Delirium Experience Questionnaire/DEQ. Family psychological distress of all recruited patients was assessed with Kessler Psychological Distress Scale/K10. Results: This study included 42 inpatients (mean age/MA = 78 y.o., 50% women), 32 families (68.8% sons/daughters, MA = 50.6 y.o., 81.3% women) and 12 nurses caring for delirium patients (MA = 33 y.o., all women). A total of 12 (28.6%) patients had delirium. Distress related to this episode were higher for families than for nurses (M = 3 vs. M = 2), but differences did not reach statistical significance (Z = –1.535, p = 0.125). The hierarchical regression model explained 44.3% of variability in family psychological distress. Higher levels of psychological distress were associated with living with the patient (p = 0.029), presence of previous cognitive decline (p = 0.048) and development of delirium (p = 0.010). Conclusion: These preliminary results show that family psychological distress is higher, when older adult patients developed delirium during hospitalization. Particular attention to these family carers should be given in future development of psychological support and psychoeducational interventions.
As parents age, well siblings are often asked to assume caregiving responsibilities for their brother or sister with mental illness. However, relatively little is known about how well siblings prioritize sibling caregiving responsibilities with other life demands. We examined well siblings’ attitudes toward self-care and caregiving for their sibling with mental illness (self- and sibling-care) using two cross-sectional samples. The first sample of well siblings (N = 242) was used to examine the psychometric properties of the self- and sibling-care measure (SSCM), designed to assess the degree to which siblings prioritize their own needs and the needs of their sibling with mental illness. A second sample (N = 103) was used to determine the relative contribution of self- and sibling-care attitudes in accounting for variation in well siblings’ reports of personal loss and stress-related personal growth. Results support the psychometric validity of the SSCM and suggest that self- and sibling-care attitudes account for greater variance in scores on perceived personal loss and stress-related growth than demographic or caregiving factors. Our findings support the need to address family care responsibilities and resource limitations through recovery-oriented mental health policies, services, and programs.
Background: Persons with psychiatric disorders (PD) commonly have their money officially or unofficially managed by others, with money managers most commonly being family members. Aims: (i) Identify characteristics of persons with PD, adult family members, and interactions with each other significantly associated with family money management (FMM). (ii) Identify significant differences in aforementioned characteristics between official versus unofficial FMM. Methods: Five hundred and seventy-three adults residing in USA with an adult relative with PD completed a survey. Results: Among persons with PD, FMM was positively associated with lower income, diagnosis of schizophrenia/schizoaffective or bipolar disorder, psychiatric hospitalization, and arrest history. FMM was negatively associated with family members having a mental health diagnosis. FMM was positively associated with interaction characteristics of co-residence, financial assistance, caregiving, and use of limit-setting practices. Compared to official FMM, when unofficial FMM was present, persons with PD were less likely to have been psychiatrically hospitalized or to have regularly attended mental health treatment. When unofficial FMM was present, adult family members were less likely to be a parent of the person with PD. Conclusions: Practitioners should assess the level of burden experienced by family money managers and assess and address with family money managers the use of limit-setting practices.
Carers of individuals with eating disorders (EDs) report high levels of burden and distress and describe a number of unmet needs. As a result, a number of interventions have been designed to support carers, including the “Maudsley eating disorder collaborative care skills workshops,” which comprise six 2‐hr workshops delivered over 3 months for parents and carers of people with EDs. The current study aimed to test a proof‐of‐concept that this workshop could be effectively delivered in 1 day. An additional aim was to assess whether the workshop had direct effects on carer skills. A nonexperimental repeated measures research design was employed, giving measures before and after a 1‐day workshop. Results suggested significant increases in carer self‐efficacy and carer skills, with moderate to large effect sizes. Qualitative analyses supported these results whilst also generating ideas to improve the 1‐day workshop.
Over a third of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are in long-term romantic partnerships, yet little is known about the experiences of their partners. Because difficulties in interpersonal relationships are a hallmark of BPD, it is especially important to understand the support needs of their romantic partners. This systematic review investigates the experiences of romantic partners of adult individuals with BPD and the interventions designed to support them. Twenty-two articles were found, 13 of which pertained to partner experiences and 9 to interventions. Thematic analysis was used to identify three main themes in the descriptions of partners' experiences: emotional challenges, dual roles as both a romantic partner and parental/therapeutic figure, and lack of control. The available interventions, which consisted of educational and skills-based programs with limited efficacy data, addressed only a small portion of the subthemes identified in the literature describing partners' experiences. The discrepancy between the needs identified in the partner-experience literature and the interventions available suggests a need to develop and evaluate more partner-oriented programming. Such programming should use psychoeducation, peer support, and individual- and relationship-based skills development to address and therefore improve the experiences of partners of individuals with BPD.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the development of a recovery-oriented training programme for mental health care-givers. It also considers the effectiveness of using participatory research methods that promote involvement of people with diverse expertise to co-produce this programme. It presents a rationale for developing recovery-oriented training, which employs blended learning, comprising face-to-face and e-learning. Design/methodology/approach A small advisory group consisting of professionals, experts-by-experience (service users) and -by-caring (care-givers) and an academic developed a blended learning programme about the recovery approach for mental health carer-givers. This paper details the participatory approach supported by an action research cycle that contributed to the design of the programme, and the specific impact of experiential knowledge on its development. Findings Reflections on the advisory group process are described that led to the co-production of the course. This leads to consideration of the value of using this research approach to develop a carer-focused programme. The content of the recovery-oriented training programme is presented which adopts blended learning. This leads to discussion of potential of this format to improve carers’ access to training. Originality/value It is proposed that this recovery-oriented course, building on a previous study, has the potential to positively influence outcomes for the training programme participants (the care-givers) and the person they support. It is suggested that blended learning may in part overcome some of the barriers carers experience to accessing and participating in traditional interventions. Reflections on the process of co-production underline the value of participatory research in designing this recovery-oriented course for carers.
Background: Expressed emotion (EE) is a global index of familial emotional climate, which is comprised of emotional over-involvement (EOI) and critical comments (CC)/hostility. Although EE is an established predictor of negative outcomes for both people with long-term mental health difficulties and their family carers, its psychological underpinnings remain relatively poorly understood. This paper examined associations between attachment, mentalisation ability and aspects of EE. Methods: Carers of people with long-term mental health difficulties (n = 106) completed measures of adult attachment (the Experiences in Close Relationships-Short Form questionnaire), mentalisation (the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Emotional Self-Efficacy Scale) and EE (the Family Questionnaire). Data were analysed using hierarchical multiple regression. Results: Attachment avoidance and facets of mentalisation were directly and uniquely positively associated with CC/hostility, with attachment avoidance and other-directed emotional self-efficacy (one facet of mentalisation) each significantly predicting CC/hostility scores after controlling for the effects of EOI and demographic variables. However, no associations were observed between EOI, attachment anxiety and mentalisation. Furthermore, no indirect effects from attachment to EE via mentalisation was found. Conclusions: Although it would be premature to propose firm clinical implications based on these findings, data indicate that it may be beneficial for clinicians to consider attachment and mentalisation in their conceptualisation of carers’ criticism and hostility. However, further research is needed to clarify the magnitude of these associations and their direction of effect before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Purpose :The aim of the article is to explore the chronic sorrow experiences of the caregivers of clients with schizophrenia in Taiwan. Design and Methods: Descriptive, phenomenological, and purposive sampling and one‐to‐one, in‐depth, and unstructured interviews were used. Data saturation was achieved after interviewing 12 participants. Narratives were analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) method. Findings: Three themes and eight subthemes emerged, including encountering sorrow (disordered life, disintegrated self‐esteem, little prospect for hope, and collapsed sense of security), talking with sorrow (cognitive change and transformation of action), and living with sorrow (living with defects and living with responsibilities). Practice Implications: Advanced practice psychiatric nurses should take the emotional stability of caregivers into consideration. Caregivers should be encouraged and taught effective culture‐oriented strategies for living with sorrow.
Purpose: Clinical guidelines emphasise the central role of family members in supporting people with bipolar disorder. However, there has been little focus on the challenges family members face in supporting their relative. This qualitative study explored the challenges of providing support to a relative with bipolar disorder, and how family members attempted to meet these challenges. Factors that helped or hindered their efforts were also explored, including experiences of professional support. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 family members (partners, parents, adult children, and siblings). Transcripts were analysed using the Framework approach. Results: Participants faced numerous challenges pertaining to the nature of the disorder and specific illness phases, their relative’s responses to their attempts to help, and the limitations of support from healthcare professionals. Although participants were resourceful in managing these challenges, they strongly valued professional input. Six themes were identified: ‘Not knowing: like being in a minefield’, ‘It’s out of my control: sitting waiting for the next thing to happen’, ‘Treading on eggshells’, ‘Picking up on signs’, ‘Times of crisis: between a rock and a hard place’, and ‘I have to make my voice heard’. Conclusions: Family members supporting a relative with bipolar disorder face significant challenges but show considerable resourcefulness in managing them. The findings underline the importance of input from healthcare professionals to help family members effectively support their relative and manage the challenges they face. Professional support should be strengths-based, and tailored to family members’ needs.
This experimental study was carried out using a pre-test/post-test control group model to evaluate the effect of a "Brief Cognitive Behavioural Stress Management Programme" (BCBSMP) on mental status, coping with stress attitude, and caregiver burden while caring for patients with schizophrenia. A total of 61 caregivers who provided care for schizophrenia patients at a community mental health centre were included in the study. Caregivers were matched according to gender and scale scores and were assigned to either the study or the control group. Before and after the programme, caregivers in both groups were given the "Demografic Data Form", "Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale", "Coping Attitude Evaluation Scale", "Stress Indicators Scale", and the "General Health Survey-28". Caregivers in the study group were taken to a BCSMP one session per week (each session lasted 120min) for seven weeks. We determined that the stress indicators, the risk of developing a psychological disorder, and caregiver burden decreased and skills related to both the problem-oriented and emotion-oriented aspects of stress increased in the study group after the programme.
The aim of this study was to explore the needs of Family Caregivers of people living with mental illness in Kumasi, Ghana. An exploratory research design using a Qualitative approach was employed for the study and one on one interview was used to collect data. A total of 13 participants who were identified as Family Caregivers of mentally ill persons having their rehabilitation in Kumasi were used for the study. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse and interpret the qualitative data. The results indicated that Family Caregivers were in need of medical attention as well as helping hand to assist them in their many physical engagement and adequate sleep and time off to replenish their lost energies to prevent stress. They were also in need of shelter to accommodate their mentally ill relatives as well as social affection. Others were in need of information to gain insight into patient's treatment and condition as well as financial support. Family Caregivers needed support from friends and society in order to psyche them for their task. It is, therefore, necessary that the needs of Family Caregivers are addressed so that they can function accordingly.
The purpose of this article is to generate meaningful understanding of the mental health informal carers’ experience and to identify a possible approach to social work intervention. A mixed method of quantitative and qualitative analysis was used for data collection. The findings reveal that most of the informal carers are female adult. They experience stress, domestic violence, social exclusion as a result of the caring role, and fear of stigma. Cultural and religious factors must be considered when translating the caring role. The findings suggest implications for social work practice at a community level, utilizing a familial and support-group approach, with a practice that is sensitive to gender and religion.
BACKGROUND: Parents often become the caregivers for their adult children with serious mental illness (SMI) due to the chronic and debilitating course of the illness and shortages in funding for community mental health services and residential placements. OBJECTIVE: To examine parents' management styles when caring for adult children with SMI and parents' perspectives on what type of community-based mental health interventions would support and/or enhance overall family functioning. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive study using semistructured interviews with parents caring for adult children with SMI. The study was undergirded by Knafl and Deatrick's Family Management Style Framework. RESULTS: Four major themes emerged from the data describing prolonged and difficult phases that parents and the family undergo in caring for an adult child with SMI. CONCLUSIONS: Successful management of these phases must include increasing access to mental health information, mental health screening, early interventions, and violence prevention for adult children and their families.
WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Existing literature provides insight into the general experience of carers of people with a mental illness. Previous studies have found that carers experience a range of emotions when looking after their relatives with a mental illness. However, experiences of carers as they engage with the healthcare system is largely absent from the literature. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: This paper identified the experiences of carers when their relatives are experiencing a crisis or acutely unwell. Carers found themselves in the middle between mental health services and their relatives. Strategies employed by carers to ensure their relatives receive adequate care were identified from this study. This paper identified how carers needed to become more assertive in order to receive adequate care for their relatives, and this finding has implications for any future carer education. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: The participants identified the need to work more collaboratively with carers of people with a mental illness as they seek treatment for their relatives in order to achieve better health outcomes for the patients. Improved health service engagement of carers was seen by participants to assist them to better care for their relative. The study also found that there needs to be a clearer definition as to what constitutes mental health crisis and how carers are able to intervene during this period. Services could provide clear information concerning crisis services and in particular triage.
A family peer-education program for mental disorders was developed in Japan, similar to existing programs in the United States and Hong Kong. Families that serve as facilitators in such programs may enhance their caregiving processes and, thereby, their well-being. This study's aim was to describe how families' caregiving experiences change, beginning with the onset of a family member's mental illness, through their involvement in a family group or peer-education program as participants then facilitators. Thus, this study was conducted in a family peer-education program for mental disorders in Japan. Group interviews were conducted with 27 facilitators from seven program sites about their experiences before, during, and after becoming facilitators. Interview data were coded and categorized into five stages of caregiving processes: (1) withdrawing and suppressing negative experiences with difficulty and regret (2) finding comfort through being listened to about negative experiences (3) supporting participants' sharing as facilitators (4) understanding and affirming oneself through repeated sharing of experiences and (5) finding value and social roles in one's experiences. The third, fourth, and fifth stages were experienced by the facilitators. The value that the facilitators placed on their caregiving experiences changed from negative to positive, which participants regarded as helpful and supportive. We conclude that serving as facilitators may improve families' caregiving processes.
Background: Shortened life expectancy of people with mental illness is now widely known and the focus of research and policy activity. To date, research has primarily reflected perspectives of health professionals with limited attention to the views and opinions of those most closely affected. The voice of carers is particularly minimal, despite policy stipulating carer participation is required for mental health services. Aim: To present views and opinions of carers regarding physical health of the people they care for. Methods: Qualitative exploratory. Two focus groups and one individual interview were conducted with 13 people identifying as carers of a person with mental illness. Research was conducted in the Australian Capital Territory. Data analysis was based on the thematic framework of Braun and Clarke. Results: Two main themes were interaction between physical and mental health; and, carers’ own physical and mental health. Participants described the impact of mental illness and its treatments on physical health, including their own. Conclusions: Carers are acknowledged as crucial for the delivery of high quality mental health services. Therefore they have an important role to play in addressing the poor physical health of people with mental illness. Hearing their views and opinions is essential.
Objectives: Stigma compounds the burden experienced by family members of those with a mental illness. This study aimed to examine burden experienced by carers of people with schizophrenia or affective disorders and to explore the relationship between carer burden and stigma. Method: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted with patient-carer dyads involving 67 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 51 diagnosed with affective disorder. Carers completed the Zarit Burden Interview (short version) and stigma was measured using the Stigma Scale and the Internalised Stigma of Mental Illness Scale. Results: Carer burden was significantly higher for schizophrenia than affective disorders. Female carers experienced significantly higher burden than male carers. Diagnosis, gender of carer and stigma predicted 22% of the variance in carer burden, with gender identified as a significant predictor. Conclusions: Reducing stigma related to disclosure of mental illness in carers has the potential to reduce carer burden.
The literature reported several factors which could impact the quality of life of caregivers and patients with psychiatric illnesses. This study aimed to determine the level of quality of life among a sample of 532 of caregivers and patients with psychiatric illness at two out-patient mental health clinics in Northern Jordan, and to examine the relationships of sociodemographic characteristics, stigma and caregiver perceptions of burden with quality of life. A correlational descriptive design was utilized. Three self-administered questionnaires were used. Results indicated that patients had low to moderate QOL, and they suffered moderate to high stigma. Also, family caregivers perceived low to moderate QOL. Patients' and family caregivers' stigma perception correlated negatively and significantly with WHOQOL-BREF. Family caregivers' burden correlated negatively and significantly with all domains of WHOQOL-BREF, total QOL-100, and self-reported general health. Health care providers should assure the importance of focusing more toward minimizing stigma and promoting physical and general health to maintain a good quality of life of caregivers and patients with mental illnesses.
The first aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence for family psychoeducation (FPE) interventions for major depressive disorder (MDD). A second aim was to compare the efficacy of different modes of delivering face-to-face FPE interventions. Ten studies (based on nine distinct samples) were identified comprising four single-family studies, four multifamily studies, one single versus multifamily comparative study, and one peer-led, mixed-diagnosis study. Seven studies measured patient functioning and six reported positive outcomes. Six studies measured carer's well-being and four reported positive outcomes. Results provide preliminary evidence that FPE leads to improved outcomes for patient functioning and family-carer's well-being for persons with depression. The implications for future development and delivery ofFPE interventions for MDD are discussed.
Previous research on healthcare technologies has shown how health tracking promotes desired behavior changes and effective health management. However, little is known about how the family caregivers' use of tracking technologies impacts the patient-caregiver relationship in the home. In this paper, we explore how health-tracking technologies could be designed to support family caregivers cope better with a depressed family member. Based on an interview study, we designed a simple tracking tool called Family Mood and Care Tracker (FMCT) and deployed it for six weeks in the homes of 14 family caregivers who were caring for a depressed family member. FMCT is a tracking tool designed specifically for family caregivers to record their caregiving activities and patient's conditions. Our findings demonstrate how caregivers used it to better understand the illness and cope with depressed family members. We also show how our tool improves family communication, despite the initial concerns about patient-caregiver conflicts.
Background: Caregivers are responsible for the home care of family members with mental-health disorders often experience changes in their life that can generate stress and burden. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with the burden of caregivers of family members with mental disorders. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with a non-probability sample of family caregivers, whose patients attended a community services program, the Psychosocial Care Centers, in three cities in the southwest region of Goiás State, Central Brazil. Data collection took place from June 2014 to June 2015. The participants were 281 caregivers who completed a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Bivariate analyses (t test, analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation) were performed, and variables with values of p < 0.10 and gender were included in a multiple-linear regression model. Values of p < 0.05 were considered significant. Results: The caregivers were mostly female and parents of the patients, were married, with low education, and of low income. The mean ZBI score was 27.66. The factors independently associated with caregivers’ burden were depression, being over 60 years of age, receiving no help with caregiving, recent patient crisis, contact days, and having other family members needing care. Conclusions: This study identified factors that deserve the attention of community services and can guide programs, such as family psycho-education groups, which may help to minimize or prevent the effects of burden on family caregivers responsible for patients’ home care.
Psychoeducational interventions for family carers of people with psychosis are effective for improving compliance and preventing relapse. Whether carers benefit from these interventions has been little explored. This systematic review investigated the effectiveness of psychoeducation for improving carers' outcomes, and potential treatment moderators. We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in English or Chinese in eight databases. Carers' outcomes included wellbeing, quality of life, global morbidities, burden, and expressed emotion. Thirty-two RCTs were included, examining 2858 carers. Intervention duration ranged from 4 to 52weeks, and contact times ranged from 6 to 42hours. At post intervention, findings were equivocal for carers' wellbeing (SMD 0.103, 95% CI −0.186 to 0.392). Conversely, psychoeducation was superior in reducing carers' global morbidities (SMD −0.230, 95% CI −0.386 to −0.075), perceived burden (SMD −0.434, 95% CI −0.567 to −0.31), negative caregiving experiences (SMD −0.210, 95% CI −0.396 to −0.025) and expressed emotion (SMD −0.161, 95% CI −0.367 to −0.045). The lack of available data precluded meta-analysis of outcomes beyond short-term follow-up. Meta-regression revealed no significant associations between intervention modality, duration, or contact time and outcomes. Further research should focus on improving carers' outcomes in the longer-term and identifying factors to optimise intervention design.
Purpose: Caregiver, relational, and patient factors have been associated with the health of family members and friends providing care to patients with early-stage cancer. Little research has examined whether findings extend to family caregivers of patients with incurable cancer, who experience unique and substantial caregiving burdens. We examined correlates of mental and physical health among caregivers of patients with newly-diagnosed incurable lung or non-colorectal gastrointestinal cancer. Methods: At baseline for a trial of early palliative care, caregivers of participating patients (N = 275) reported their mental and physical health (Medical Outcome Survey-Short Form-36); patients reported their quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General). Analyses used hierarchical linear regression with two-tailed significance tests. Results: Caregivers’ mental health was worse than the U.S. national population (M = 44.31, p < .001), yet their physical health was better (M = 56.20, p < .001). Hierarchical regression analyses testing caregiver, relational, and patient factors simultaneously revealed that younger (B = 0.31, p = .001), spousal caregivers (B = −8.70, p = .003), who cared for patients reporting low emotional well-being (B = 0.51, p = .01) reported worse mental health; older (B = −0.17, p = .01) caregivers with low educational attainment (B = 4.36, p < .001) who cared for patients reporting low social well-being (B = 0.35, p = .05) reported worse physical health. Conclusions: In this large sample of family caregivers of patients with incurable cancer, caregiver demographics, relational factors, and patient-specific factors were all related to caregiver mental health, while caregiver demographics were primarily associated with caregiver physical health. These findings help identify characteristics of family caregivers at highest risk of poor mental and physical health who may benefit from greater supportive care.
Background: The recovery process of a psychiatric patient is related to his primary informal caregiver's style of coping with stress. There is insufficient literature on validations of instruments that measure coping styles in this population. Objective: To adapt and validate a scale to measure coping strategies in primary informal caregivers. Method: The adapted scale was based on the Extreme Coping Scale of López‐Vázquez and Marván. Items from that scale were adapted for application to informal caregivers. The scale was administered to 122 primary informal caregivers of patients from two psychiatric institutions in Mexico. Psychometric analyses were performed to determine the scale's properties. Results: The scale was composed of 20 items (six less than in the original scale) and two factors: (i) active coping (Cronbach's alpha = .837) and (ii) passive coping (Cronbach's alpha = .718). Discussion: The findings are discussed in the light of the importance of studying the relationship between coping styles and the well‐being of both informal caregivers and psychiatric patients. Implications for practice: The scale could be used by health practitioners and researchers to generate strategies to support the family caregiver, as well as to measure the results of interventions.
The association between the socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers, such as gender and caregiver burden, is well documented; however, the process underlying this relationship is poorly understood. Based on the stress process model, we designed a cross-sectional study to examine the mediating and moderating effect of resilience on the relationship between gender and caregiver burden. Caregivers of individuals with severe mental illness (n = 201) were recruited in two psychiatric outpatient clinics in Malaysia. The relationship between the gender of the caregiver and caregiver burden was mediated by resilience, thus supporting the stress process model. The findings from the present research contribute to the growing evidence of the interaction between socio-demographic variables of caregivers and resilience, and caregiver burden.
Within the current Dutch policy context the role of informal care is revalued. Formal care activities are reduced and family and friends are expected to fill this gap. Yet, there is little research on the moral ambivalences that informal care for loved ones who have severe and ongoing mental health problems entails, especially against the backdrop of neoliberal policies. Giving priority to one’s own life project or caring for a loved one with severe problems is not reconciled easily. Using a case study we illustrate the moral ambivalences that persons may experience when they try to shape their involvement and commitment when a relative is in need. The case comes from a research project which explores whether it is possible to reduce coercive measures in psychiatry by organizing a Family Group Conference. The purpose of the article is to explore what theoretical concepts such as ‘communities of fate’, ‘communities of choice’ and ‘personal communities’ add in understanding how persons shape their involvement and commitment when a family member experiences recurrent psychiatric crises.
This positional paper explores the role of personal networks (family and friends) in caring for people with mental health problems. Since the eighties, major changes have been made in the organization and focus of professional mental healthcare. Correspondingly, new expectations and changes in the division of care responsibilities between people with mental health problems, their personal networks and their professional care providers were created. In this paper, I investigate how the transition in mental healthcare changed the allocation of care responsibilities between personal networks, people with mental health problems and professional caregivers. I will consider why care responsibilities of personal networks have been taken for granted in these processes, and discuss whether personal networks should have a more prominent voice in the assignment of care responsibilities, and how this can be done. A theoretical framework of feminist care ethics inspired by scholars such as Margaret Urban Walker, Joan Tronto and Hilde Lindemann is used to reflect on the need for social inclusion.
Despite the internationally recognised importance of informal care, especially in settings with limited services, few studies focus on the informal care for people with mental health problems in low‐ and middle‐income countries. Making informal care visible is important for understanding the challenges and identifying the needs to be addressed. This ethnographic case study explored the dynamics of informal care for people with chronic psychotic symptoms in a group of San living in poor socioeconomic circumstances in a township near Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa. Data were collected in 2013 and 2014 and included semi‐structured interviews, informal conversations and observations. Using local terminology, four individuals with chronic psychotic symptoms were identified and selected during the research process. A total of 33 semi‐structured interviews took place with their caregivers. Data were analysed using descriptive, interpretive and pattern coding to identify core themes and interrelations across the four cases. Results indicate that informal care is characterised by shared and fragmented care structures. Care was shared among family members from various households and unrelated community members. This allowed for an adaptive process that responded to local dynamics and the care recipients’ needs. However, informal care was fragmented as it was generally uncoordinated, which increased the recipients’ vulnerability as caregivers could redirect care‐giving responsibility and withdraw care. Specific challenges for providing care were related to poverty and care resistance. To improve the living conditions of people suffering from psychosis‐related mental health problems, community‐based mental healthcare should broaden its scope and incorporate local strengths and challenges.
Providing care to a disabled parent can be a psychologically strenuous activity with potential negative consequences for the caregiver's mental health. At the same time, experiencing the declining health of a parent – often the very reason for the parent's care needs – can impact the adult child's mental health negatively. Because both events are usually observed simultaneously, disentangling the “caregiver effect” and the “family effect” remains a challenge. Using longitudinal data of the elderly population in Europe and an instrumental variable approach to address possible endogeneity concerns, this paper separately estimates the effect of caregiving and the decline of a parent's health on adult children's mental health. While I find negative but small caregiver and family effects for the “average” caregiver, the caregiver effect is multiplied for daughters if care provision is triggered by higher parental care needs.
Significant others are often crucial for suicidal persons or suicide attempters’ access to care, yet little is known about their efforts to seek help. This article presents the findings of a qualitative pilot study carried out in Switzerland on the help-seeking process of 18 significant others, their perception of the care received by their loved one, and the interactions and collaboration they experienced with professionals. Most significant others repeatedly sought out support for their loved one and themselves. The help-seeking process seemed mostly difficult, was seldom successful on the first attempt, and was filled with multiple difficulties, such as availability and continuity of care and cooperation issues with professionals. Two-thirds of participants were not satisfied with the care provided to their loved ones and half of them faced challenges in their cooperation with professionals, i.e., poor sharing of information or not being acknowledged as partners or supported by professionals. Based on their experience, providing education about suicidal crises and care programs to significant others might lighten their burden and improve their cooperation with professionals, who in turn may benefit from training in communication issues and specific methods of cooperation with significant others in suicidal situations.
Informal care‐giving can be a demanding role which has been shown to impact on physical, psychological and social well‐being. Methodological weaknesses including small sample sizes and subjective measures of mental health have led to inconclusive evidence about the relationship between informal care‐giving and mental ill‐health. This paper reports on a study carried out in a region which investigated the relationship between informal care‐giving and mental ill‐health. The analysis was conducted by linking three data sets, the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study, the Northern Ireland Enhanced Prescribing Database and the Proximity to Service Index from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Our analysis used both a subjective measure of mental ill‐health, i.e. a question asked in the 2011 Census, and an objective measure, whether the respondents had been prescribed antidepressants by a General Practitioner between 2010 and 2012. We applied binary logistic multilevel modelling to these two responses to test whether, and for what sub‐groups of the population, informal care‐giving was related to mental ill‐health. The results showed that informal care‐giving per se was not related to mental ill‐health, although there was a strong relationship between the intensity of the care‐giving role and mental ill‐health. Females under 50, who provided over 19 hours of care, were not employed or worked part‐time and who provided care in both 2001 and 2011 were at a statistically significantly elevated risk of mental ill‐health. Caregivers in remote areas with limited access to shops and services were also at a significantly increased risk as evidenced by prescription rates for antidepressants. With community care policies aimed at supporting people to remain at home, the paper highlights the need for further research in order to target resources appropriately.
The recent rise in suicide among Bhutanese refugees has been linked to the erosion of social networks and community supports in the ongoing resettlement process. This paper presents ethnographic findings on the role of informal care practiced by relatives, friends, and neighbors in the prevention and alleviation of mental distress in two Bhutanese refugee communities: the refugee camps of eastern Nepal and the resettled community of Burlington, Vermont, US. Data gathered through interviews (n = 40, camp community n = 22, resettled community), focus groups (four, camp community), and participant observation (both sites) suggest that family members, friends, and neighbors were intimately involved in the recognition and management of individual distress, often responding proactively to perceived vulnerability rather than reactively to help-seeking. They engaged practices of care that attended to the root causes of distress, including pragmatic, social, and spiritual interventions, alongside those which targeted feelings in the “heart-mind” and behavior. In line with other studies, we found that the possibilities for care in this domain had been substantially constrained by resettlement. Initiatives that create opportunities for strengthening or extending social networks or provide direct support in meeting perceived needs may represent fruitful starting points for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in this population. We close by offering some reflections on how to better understand and account for informal care systems in the growing area of research concerned with identifying and addressing disparities in mental health resources across diverse contexts.
Aims and objectives: To explore parents’ involvement in the informal and professional care of their young adult child with mental illness. A further aim was to examine concepts in the caring theory of ‘Involvement in the light–Involvement in the dark’ in the context of mental health care.
Background: Mental illness has increased among young people in high‐income countries, and suicide is now the leading cause of death for this group. Because of their disease, these young people may have difficulty in carrying out daily, taken‐for‐granted, tasks. Consequently, they often become dependent on their parents, and their parents shoulder a considerable responsibility.
Design: A secondary descriptive design with a deductive content analysis was used.
Methods: Ten parents who have a son or daughter with long‐term mental illness (aged 18–25 years) were interviewed. The deductive analysis was based on the caring theory of ‘Involvement in the light–Involvement in the dark’.
Results: The results are described using the following concepts in the theory: ‘Knowing’, ‘Doing’, ‘Being’ and ‘Attitude of the health professionals’. The result are to a great extent consistent with the ‘Involvement in the dark’ metaphor, which describes an isolated involvement in which the parents were not informed, seen or acknowledged by the health professionals. Continuous support by professionals with a positive attitude was described as being of decisive importance for meaningful involvement. The theory's transferability is strengthened to the mental health care context.
Conclusions: Parents have a considerable need for knowledge that can enable them to choose how they should act (be) and what they should do, in order to help and support their child.
Relevance to clinical practice: Since the patient, the family members and the professionals are mutually dependent, it is important to make use of each other’s knowledge in a partnership to achieve a common caring strategy.
Caring for someone with a mental illness is associated with high levels of burden and psychological distress. Understanding these factors could be important to prevent the development of physical and mental health problems in carers. The purpose of the present study was to determine the contribution of coping styles and social support in predicting the psychological distress reported by informal carers (IC) of individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder. IC (n = 72) of adults with a diagnosed depressive illness were recruited from mental health organizations within the community setting. Carers completed the General Health Questionnaire, Brief COPE, and Social Support Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that 63% of the variance in psychological distress could be accounted for by adaptive and maladaptive coping styles and perceived quantity and satisfaction with social support. Satisfaction with social support (β = -0.508, P < 0.001) and maladaptive coping (β = 0.369; P < 0.001) were significant predictors of psychological distress. These findings suggest that interventions should consider coping styles, specifically the interaction between maladaptive behaviours and enhancement of quality of support, to assist carers to manage psychological distress, especially earlier in the caring role.
Purpose: To describe the experiences of informal caregivers with the nursing care received by relatives hospitalized for mania.; Design and Methods: Multicenter phenomenological study using open interviews. Data were analyzed using the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method.; Findings: The essence of the experiences was the importance of communication, about being informed and involved in treatment during hospitalization of their relative. The experiences depended on the nature of the relation between participant and relative.; Practice Implications: Nurses should listen to caregivers' experiences, inquire about the expectations of caregivers regarding nursing care, and advise informal caregivers on how to take care of their relatives.
Background: Population aging places greater demands on the supply of informal carers. The aims of this study were to examine (1) the types of unmet support needs of carers of older Australians and (2) the association of unmet needs with mental health.; Methods: Utilizing new data from the 2015 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, we calculated the prevalence of carers experiencing specific and multiple unmet needs for support, using single and multiple item measures. Logistic regression models were fitted to examine the association between unmet needs and psychological distress (using the Kessler psychological distress scale), once demographic and health factors were controlled for.; Results: In 2015, 35% of carers of older Australians cited at least one unmet need for support. Among this group, almost two-thirds cited multiple unmet support needs (64.7%). The most prevalent types of unmet needs included financial (18%), physical (13%), and emotional support (12%), as well as additional respite care and support to improve carer health (12%). After controlling for demographic and health characteristics of the carer, having any unmet need for support increased the odds of psychological distress by twofold (OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.65, 2.94). With each successive unmet need for support, the odds of psychological distress increased 1.37 times (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.22, 1.54). Those who had received assistance with care, but required further support were 1.95 times more likely (OR = 1.95, 95% CI = 1.17, 3.24) to be in distress and those who had not received care assistance were about 2.4 times more likely (OR = 2.38 95% OR = 1.56, 3.62) to be in distress relative to those with no unmet need.; Conclusions: Addressing unmet support needs of carers is important, not only for the planning of services for carers in an aging population, but also because of the association between unmet support needs and carers mental health.
Objectives: Informal caregiving relationships play an important role in facilitating recovery outcomes in psychosis. The relationship can serve as a source of positive experiences that co-exist alongside common challenges typically associated with mental health problems. People with psychosis, when compared to the general population, are more likely to perpetrate acts of violence, a relationship that is particularly evident during the first psychosis episode. Although victims of service user violence are typically people already known to them, such as informal carers, there remains a lack of understanding about their caring experiences and needs. This study sought to address gaps in the literature by exploring the subjective accounts of informal carers supporting a relative experiencing their first episode of psychosis who has also behaved violently towards them.; Design: A cross-sectional design was employed.; Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews, which were audio recorded and later transcribed for analyses, were undertaken with a convenience sample of eight carers drawn from a specialist early psychosis service. Interview questions focused on their experiences of patient violence, the subjective impact, and coping strategies. An interpretative phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data.; Results: Participants were mostly living with their relative with psychosis and were typically female, parents, and from a black and minority ethnic background. Data analyses identified seven key themes from participant interviews including the lack of predictability over when the violence occurred, being scared and fearful, keeping quiet about what happens at home and in the caregiving relationship, and staying safe.; Conclusions: Reports by informal carers about experiencing violence and victimization from their relatives with psychosis are an important issue in some caregiving relationships during the first episode. Developing a more informed understanding of the specific needs of these carers and the caregiving relationship is indicated. The implications for service providers are discussed.; Practitioner Points: Carers were exposed to a broad range of patient violence, which included being kicked and having weapons used against them. The violence typically occurred within carers' homes, when no other people were around. Patient violence impacted negatively on carer emotional and physical functioning, which included leaving carers living in fear of their own safety and what might become of their relative. The results highlight the importance of routinely asking first-episode carers about their experience of patient violence. The development of interventions (e.g., identification of early triggers, de-escalation) that are able to take account of the ongoing nature and complexity of the caregiving relationship but are purposefully aimed at supporting carers to remain safe in their relationship should be explored for their impact.
Background: Reduced life expectancies are recorded in adults with psychotic disorders. Informal carers play key roles in improving illness outcomes for patients, including significantly reducing rates of relapse and hospitalisation. There is, however, a dearth of literature detailing carers' perspectives on physical health problems in the relatives they care for and implications for those in the caregiving role. The study sought to explore carers' subjective experiences of supporting a relative with psychosis and physical health problems.; Methods: Carers of adults with psychosis were interviewed individually, or as part of a group, about physical health problems in the relatives they care for.; Results: Five key themes were identified from the interviews that reflected (1) ubiquity of physical health problems in psychosis, (2) gaps in service provision for those living with mental and physical health problems, (3) carers' role in responding to service gaps, (4) difficult conversations and (5) impact on carer health.; Conclusion: Service initiatives that are designed to improve patient physical health in psychosis should not overlook the role that informal carers might have in supporting this process. The implications that patient physical health problems present for carer well-being and the quality of the caregiving relationship in psychosis deserve further investigation.
Background: Severe mental illnesses (SMIs) have been found to be associated with both increases in morbidity-mortality, need for treatment care in patients themselves, and burden for relatives as caregivers. A growing number of web-based and mobile software applications have appeared that aim to address various barriers with respect to access to care. Our objective was to review and summarize recent advancements in such interventions for caregivers of individuals with a SMI.; Methods: We conducted a systematic search for papers evaluating interactive mobile or web-based software (using no or only minimal support from a professional) specifically aimed at supporting informal caregivers. We also searched for those supporting patients with SMI so as to not to miss any which might include relatives.; Results: Out of a total of 1673 initial hits, we identified 11 articles reporting on 9 different mobile or web-based software programs. The main result is that none of those studies focused on caregivers, and the ones we identified using mobile or web-based applications were just for patients and not their relatives.; Limitations: Differentiating between online and offline available software might not always have been totally reliable, and we might have therefore missed some studies.; Conclusions: In summary, the studies provided evidence that remotely accessible interventions for patients with SMI are feasible and acceptable to patients. No such empirically evaluated program was available for informal caregivers such as relatives. Keeping in mind the influential role of those informal caregivers in the process of treatment and self-management, this is highly relevant for public health. Supporting informal caregivers can improve well-being of both caregivers and patients.
Few accounts exist of programmes in low- and middle-income countries seeking to strengthen community knowledge and skills in mental health. This case study uses a realist lens to explore how a mental health project in a context with few mental health services, strengthened community mental health competence by increasing community knowledge, creating safer social spaces and engaging partnerships for action. We used predominantly qualitative methods to explore relationships between context, interventions, mechanisms and outcomes in the "natural setting" of a community-based mental health project in Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, North India. Qualitative data came from focus group discussions, participant observation and document reviews of community teams' monthly reports on changes in behaviour, attitudes and relationships among stakeholder groups. Data analysis initially involved thematic analysis of three domains: knowledge, safe social spaces and partnerships for action. By exploring patterns within the identified themes for each domain, we were able to infer the mechanisms and contextual elements contributing to observed outcomes. Community knowledge was effectively increased by allowing communities to absorb new understanding into pre-existing social and cultural constructs. Non-hierarchical informal community conversations allowed "organic" integration of unfamiliar biomedical knowledge into local explanatory frameworks. People with psycho-social disability and caregivers found increased social support and inclusion by participating in groups. Building skills in respectful communication through role plays and reflexive discussion increased the receptivity of social environments to people with psycho-social disabilities participation, thereby creating safe social spaces. Facilitating social networks through groups increases women's capacity for collective action to promote mental health. In summary, locally appropriate methods contribute most to learning, stigma reduction and help-seeking. The complex social change progress was patchy and often slow. This study demonstrates a participatory, iterative, reflexive project design which is generating evidence indicating substantial improvements in community mental health competence.
Objective: The aim was to quantify caregiver distress among informal caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and identify its correlates.; Methods: From December 2014 through April 2015, ads posted with mental health advocates and the media recruited informal caregivers, age ≥21 years, to complete an online questionnaire. It included the ten-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) (0, no distress; 39, highest) and hypothesized distress correlates in four groups: caregiver and care recipient characteristics; caregiver role demands; caregiver social supports; and caregiver cognitive appraisals of caregiving. Three hypotheses were tested: first, distress is significantly related to variables from each group; second, social supports moderate the effects of role demands on distress; and third, cognitive appraisals mediate the effects of role demands on distress. Hypotheses were tested with multiple linear regression equations and structural equation models (SEMs).; Results: Of 2,338 Web site "hits," 1,708 individuals consented, 1,398 were eligible, and 1,142 had complete data. Most caregivers were women (83%), white (89%), and college educated (59%), with a mean±SD age of 55.6±13.0. Compared with U.S. norms on the PSS (13.4±6.5), mean caregiver distress was high (18.9±7.1). According to SEMs, variables from each group were associated with distress. Contributing most to greater distress were caregiver health problems, providing frequent caregiving assistance, monitoring medication, having limited social support, and appraising caregiving negatively. Cognitive appraisals mediated the effects of demands on distress. Social support had a significant direct effect only.; Conclusions: Caregiver distress was relatively high and related to multiple variables, some of which are potentially modifiable.
Context: In response to political and social factors over the last sixty years mental health systems internationally have endeavoured to transfer the delivery of care from hospitals into community settings. As a result, there has been increased emphasis on the need for better quality care planning and care coordination between hospital services, community services and patients and their informal carers. The aim of this systematic review of international research is to explore which interventions have proved more or less effective in promoting personalized, recovery oriented care planning and coordination for community mental health service users.; Methods: A systematic meta-narrative review of research from 1990 to the present was undertaken. From an initial return of 3940 papers a total of 50 research articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria, including research from the UK, Australia and the USA.; Findings: Three research traditions are identified consisting of (a) research that evaluates the effects of government policies on the organization, management and delivery of services; (b) evaluations of attempts to improve organizational and service delivery efficiency; (c) service-users and carers experiences of community mental health care coordination and planning and their involvement in research. The review found no seminal papers in terms of high citation rates, or papers that were consistently cited over time. The traditions of research in this topic area have formed reactively in response to frequent and often unpredictable policy changes, rather than proactively as a result of intrinsic academic or intellectual activity. This may explain the absence of seminal literature within the subject field. As a result, the research tradition within this specific area of mental health service delivery has a relatively short history, with no one dominant researcher or researchers, tradition or seminal studies amongst or across the three traditions identified.; Conclusions: The research findings reviewed suggests a gap has existed internationally over several decades between policy aspirations and service level interventions aimed at improving personalised care planning and coordination and the realities of everyday practices and experiences of service users and carers. Substantial barriers to involvement are created through poor information exchange and insufficient opportunities for care negotiation.
Social exclusion has a negative impact on quality of life. People living with dementia or mental health disorders as well as informal carers have been separately described as socially excluded. The objective of this systematic narrative review was to examine the extent to which social exclusion experienced by adult informal carers of people living with dementia or severe mental health disorders has been identified and described in research literature. It synthesised qualitative and quantitative evidence and included the perspectives of carers themselves and of professionals. Eight electronic databases (1997-2017) were searched. Five relevant studies published between 2010 and 2016 were identified. All were qualitative and used interviews and focus groups. Study quality was variable and most were European. Two focused on carers of people living with dementia and three on carers of people with mental health disorders. Four investigated carers' perspectives and experiences of social exclusion directly (total of 137 carer participants, predominantly parents, spouses and adult children), while the fifth focused on the perceptions of 65 participants working in health and social care. Stigma, financial difficulties and social isolation were highlighted in four studies and the challenges for carers in engaging in leisure activities were described in the fifth. Most conceptualised social exclusion as a form of stigma, or as resulting from stigma. One presented social exclusion as an element of carer burden. Two explicitly discussed the negative effects of social exclusion on carers. The dearth of research and the lack of specificity about social exclusion in carers was surprising. Future research should investigate aspects of social exclusion that may adversely affect carer wellbeing.;
Councils in England receive 1.8 million new requests for adult social care a year – the equivalent of nearly 5,000 a day – and despite some helpful extra funding there is still a £3.5 billion funding gap facing adult social care by 2025 just to maintain existing standards of care. Despite these tremendous pressures this publication demonstrates current examples of how councils support adult and young carers locally in a range of different ways from respite breaks to discount cards to tailored information and advice.
The following case studies show how local authorities are supporting carers across England. It identifies the challenges authorities face and how they address them, often in partnership. It highlights the impact of services and lessons learned that will be of interest to all councils. The case studies were compiled following discussions with the lead officers and members in the areas.
Background: Agitation is a common feature of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Previous research indicates that specific symptoms impact caregiver burden in these conditions, but the impact of agitation on caregiver experience is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterise caregiver burden in providers of informal care for patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia who experience agitation.; Methods: In total, 297 matched patient and caregiver surveys were collected across the UK, Germany and Spain between October 2016 and January 2017. To be eligible, caregivers needed to provide informal care to a patient with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia with agitation managed in a community setting and participating in the patient survey. The caregiver survey captured information on demographics and their role in managing the patient's agitation. Caregiver burden was assessed using the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was conducted.; Results: Caregivers provided 38.3 h (SD ± 40.34) a week of support to the patient with 20% providing 50 h or more. Most caregivers reported that they recognised an episode of agitation all of the time (44%, n = 130) or sometimes (40%, n = 119). Verbal de-escalation techniques (talking (80%, n = 239) and soothing (73%, n = 218) were the most commonly reported strategies used by caregivers during an episode of agitation; 14% (n = 43) reported resorting to physically restraining the patient. Caregivers supervised rescue medication administration regularly (41%, n = 69) or occasionally (49%, n = 82). Mean Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire score was 32.2 (± 15.27), equivalent to 28.4 (± 13.56) in Germany, 35.6 (± 16.55) in Spain and 33.3 (± 15.15) in the UK. Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire scores were higher for caregivers who reported hostile (41.7 ± 17.07) lack of control (40.3 ± 16.35) and violent (39.5 ± 16.40) patient behaviours when agitated. Over excitement (31.8 ± 15.05), restless (32.6 ± 14.77) and tense (32.9 ± 15.64) behaviours were associated with a lower Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire score.; Conclusions: Caregivers are active participants in the recognition and management of agitation episodes. The substantial burden reported by these caregivers is impacted by factors including the number of hours of care provided, patient behaviours and country. These may be viable targets for effective interventions to reduce caregiver burden.
Background: Older people with multi-morbidity are major users of healthcare and are often discharged from hospital with ongoing care needs. This care is frequently provided by informal caregivers and the time immediately after discharge is challenging for caregivers with new and/or additional tasks, resulting in anxiety and stress.; Aim: This study aimed to describe mental health, with particular reference to anxiety and depression and reactions to caregiving, and to investigate any associations between the two, in next of kin of older people with multi-morbidity after hospitalisation. It also aimed to explore the association between the demographic characteristics of the study group and mental health and reactions to caregiving.; Methods: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Caregiver Reaction Assessment. The study group consisted of 345 next of kin of older people (65+) with multi-morbidity discharged home from 13 medical wards in Sweden. Data were analysed using descriptive and analytical statistics. To identify whether reactions to caregiving and next of kin characteristics were associated with anxiety and depression, a univariate logistic regression analysis was performed.; Results: More than one quarter of respondents showed severe anxiety and nearly one in 10 had severe depressive symptoms. The frequencies of anxiety and depression increased significantly with increased negative reactions to caregiving and decreased significantly with positive reactions to caregiving. Regarding caregiving reactions, the scores were highest for the positive domain Caregiver esteem, followed by the negative domain Impact on health. Women scored significantly higher than men on Impact on health and spouses scored highest for Impact on schedule and Caregiver esteem.; Conclusions: Nurses and other healthcare professionals may need to provide additional support to informal caregivers before and after discharging older people with significant care needs from hospital. This might include person-centred information, education and training.
Caring for offspring diagnosed with eating disorders (EDs) puts caregivers under high levels of chronic stress, which have negative consequences for their health. Unfortunately, caregivers have received little attention from mental health professionals. Chronic stress experienced by informal caregivers has been associated with the alteration of body homeostasis, and therefore, the functioning of various physiological systems. This could be the basis of health problems in informal caregivers of people with EDs. The main objective of this study was to analyze physiological response, in terms of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV), to an acute laboratory stressor in a sample of informal caregivers of individuals with anorexia nervosa (n = 24) compared to a sample of noncaregivers (n = 26). In addition, the relationship between depressive mood and the aforementioned cardiovascular response parameters was analyzed in the group of caregivers. Caregivers had higher high-frequency (HF) power HRV, and lower HR, low-frequency (LF) power HRV and LF/HF ratio values than noncaregivers, which suggests lower cardiovascular reactivity to the acute stressor than noncaregivers. Moreover, a blunted HR response to stress was associated with high depressive mood scores in caregivers. Hence, it seems that the worse the mood the lower the cardiovascular reactivity to stressful events in this population. Developing and implementing psychotherapeutic interventions focused on stress management would help caregivers to reduce their stress levels and cope more effectively with stressors.
Caregivers have to cope repeatedly with acute stressors in their daily lives, and this is associated with disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the immune system. Such disturbances could contribute to the development of health problems in informal caregivers of people with chronic illnesses, such as eating disorders (EDs). The main objective of this study was to examine endocrine (salivary cortisol levels (Csal)), immune (immunoglobulin-A (IgA)), and psychological (anxiety, mood, and anger feelings) responses to an acute psychological stressor in a sample of informal caregivers of individuals with EDs compared to a sample of non-caregivers. In addition, it also aimed to analyze the potential relationship of the aforementioned endocrine and immune response parameters with psychological variables in the caregivers. Caregivers had lower Csal and IgA levels at all assessment points except baseline. Moreover, they also exhibited lower Csal and IgA responses and greater worsening of mood in response to acute psychosocial stress than the non-caregivers, which suggests that caregivers had dampened endocrine and immune reactivity to acute stress. On the other hand, endocrine and immune parameters were unrelated to psychological variables. These findings advance our understanding of how a chronically stressed population reacts to acute stress, and should be considered for the development of effective interventions focused on stress management that could help caregivers to reduce their stress levels, which, in turn, would improve their health.
Aims In occupational settings, burnout is a common response to chronic exposure stressors and has been frequently documented in formal caregivers (i.e. paid psychiatric staff). However, the literature is limited on reports of burnout among informal caregivers and particularly within early psychosis groups. The current study sought to investigate reports of burnout in carers of young adults treated within a specialist early psychosis service and links with key appraisals reported about the illness and coping. Methods Seventy-two carers completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory along with self-report measures of coping styles and illness beliefs. Results Seventy-eight per cent of carers reported high burnout in at least one of the three key burnout markers (i.e. emotional exhaustion, depersonalization or low personal accomplishment). Seven per cent of carers met full criteria for high burnout across all the three domains. A carer's belief about the negative consequences of the illness for themselves was a significant predictor of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Low personal accomplishment was linked to a carer's less optimistic beliefs about the illness timeline and fewer reports of adaptive coping. Conclusions The results provide preliminary support for the importance of asking carers in the early illness phase about their experiences of caregiving. Targeted assessment may serve as a helpful tool to identify and intervene with carers in need of additional support with stress management, use of adaptive coping strategies, and balanced recovery focused information about psychosis.
Objective: Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent in patients with COPD and their informal carers, and associated with numerous risk factors. However, few studies have investigated these in primary care or the link between patient and carer anxiety and depression. We aimed to determine this association and factors associated with anxiety and depression in patients, carers, and both (dyads), in a population-based sample.; Materials and Methods: This was a prospective, cross-sectional study of 119 advanced COPD patients and their carers. Patient and carer scores ≥8 on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale defined symptoms of anxiety and depression, χ2 tests determined associations between patient and carer symptoms of anxiety/depression, and χ2 and independent t-tests for normally distributed variables (otherwise Mann-Whitney U tests) were used to identify other variables significantly associated with these symptoms in the patient or carer. Patient-carer dyads were categorized into four groups relating to the presence of anxious/depressive symptoms in: both patient and carer, patient only, carer only, and neither. Factors associated with dyad symptoms of anxiety/depression were determined with χ2 tests and one-way analysis of variance for normally distributed variables (otherwise Kruskal-Wallis tests).; Results: Prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression was 46.4% (n=52) and 42.9% (n=48) in patients, and 46% (n=52) and 23% (n=26) in carers, respectively. Patient and carer symptoms of anxiety/depression were significantly associated. Anxious and depressive symptoms in the patient were also significantly associated with more physical comorbidities, more exacerbations, greater dyspnea, greater fatigue, poor mastery, and depressive symptoms with younger age. Symptoms of carer anxiety were significantly associated with being female and separated/divorced/widowed, and depressive symptoms with younger age, higher educational level, and more physical comorbidities, and symptoms of carer anxiety and depression with more unmet support needs, greater subjective caring burden, and poor patient mastery. Dyad symptoms of anxiety/depression were significantly associated with greater patient fatigue.; Conclusion: Symptoms of anxiety and depression in COPD patients and carers are significantly associated. Given their high prevalence, considerable impact on mortality, impact on quality of life and health care use, and associations with each other, screening for and addressing patient and carer anxiety and depression in advanced COPD is recommended.
Objectives: To determine if providing informal care to a co-resident with dementia symptoms places an additional risk on the likelihood of poor mental health or mortality compared with co-resident non-caregivers.; Design: A quasi-experimental design of caregiving and non-caregiving co-residents of individuals with dementia symptoms provides a natural comparator for the additive effects of caregiving on top of living with an individual with dementia symptoms.; Methods: Census records, providing information on household structure, intensity of caregiving, presence of dementia symptoms and self-reported mental health were linked to mortality records over the following 33 months. Multi-level regression models were constructed to determine the risk of poor mental health and death in co-resident caregivers of individuals with dementia symptoms compared with co-resident non-caregivers, adjusting for the clustering of individuals within households.; Results: The cohort consisted of 10 982 co-residents (55.1% caregivers), with 12.1% of non-caregivers reporting poor mental health compared with 8.4% of intense caregivers (>20 h of care per week). During follow-up, the cohort experienced 560 deaths (245 to caregivers). Overall, caregiving co-residents were at no greater risk of poor mental health but had lower mortality risk than non-caregiving co-residents (adjusted odds ratio (ORadj) = 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79, 1.10 and ORadj = 0.67, 95% CI 0.56, 0.81, respectively); this lower mortality risk was also seen amongst the most intensive caregivers (ORadj = 0.65, 95% CI 0.53, 0.79).; Conclusion: Caregiving poses no additional risk to mental health over and above the risk associated with merely living with someone with dementia and is associated with a lower mortality risk compared with non-caregiving co-residents.
Background: In studies enrolling informal caregivers of patients in palliative care, it is necessary to ensure that findings are not influenced by factors such as mental disorders.; Aim: This study aims to describe the influence of anxiety and depression on bereaved informal caregivers' retrospective ratings of the quality of dying and death (QoDD) of their loved ones.; Design: Informal caregivers of deceased patients from 2 German palliative care (PC) units took part in a validation study of the German version of the original QoDD-Deutsch-Angehörige (QoDD-D-Ang) during the fourth week following the patient's death at the earliest. Depressive and panic disorders were assessed via the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). Group comparisons (χ2, t test; significance level P < .05) analyzed whether informal caregivers with depression or panic disorders and those without such disorders differ in their estimates.; Results: A total of 226 informal caregivers participated between August 2012 and December 2013. The mean age of participants was 55.5 years; 61.1% were female. The PHQ of 221 participants resulted in 8.6% with major disorders, 13.6% with other depressive syndromes, and 77.8% without depressive disorders. In this secondary data analysis here, there was no difference between female and male participants concerning the incidence of depression ( P = .519, χ2). Two participants screened positive for both panic and major depressive disorders. Both groups presented no significant differences in the mean total QoDD-D-Ang scores ( P = .343).; Conclusion: Informal caregivers' estimates on the QoDD-D-Ang of their significant others do not interfere with mental disorders. Therefore, bereaved informal caregivers are able to participate in the PC research after a few weeks following the loss of a loved one.
Informal caregiving can be fundamental to disease management. Yet, the psychosocial, physical, and financial burden experienced by caregivers can be significant. In the US, Latinos experience increasing rates of chronic conditions, the highest uninsured rates in the country, and a growing dependence on informal caregivers. This article explores the impact of caregiving on caregivers of individuals with comorbid chronic disease and depression. Findings highlight the impact of caregiving on financial insecurity, balancing competing demands, increased emotional distress, and community supports. Findings support the inclusion of caregivers in disease management programs to enhance psychosocial outcomes for both caregivers and their patients.
The shift in care from long-term hospitalization of individuals with mental illness to the community places a greater onus of responsibility on informal caregivers. The purpose of the current study was to explore the lived experiences of long-term caregivers of individuals with unipolar depression. A qualitative phenomenological methodology was used and two sets of semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine informal caregivers. Data were transcribed following Giorgi's phenomenological method. The following three themes were identified: Flooded by Emotions, Personal Growth and Satisfaction, and Psychosocial Effects and Challenges. Caregivers described adapting by adjusting their behavior to avoid conflict with care recipients. These adjustments had a detrimental effect on their well-being, where they described that they were "existing but not living." These findings highlight the need for ongoing support, which should be tailored to the unique needs and concerns of individuals who are providing long-term care to individuals with depression.
Affiliated stigma often refers to internalized stigma among family members of stigmatized individuals. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between affiliate stigma and quality of life (QOL) among primary caregivers of individuals with mental illness undergoing treatment at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. Three hundred and fifty caregivers were recruited for the study. The World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) and Family Stigma Scale (FSS) were administered to the primary caregivers of patients with mental illness. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association of affiliate stigma with QOL. A high proportion of caregivers of individuals with mental illness experience affiliate stigma in Singapore. All four QOL domains were significantly associated with affiliate stigma. These findings entail that it is imperative to improve public's perception of those with mental illness to reduce stigmatization and thus improve caregiver's QOL.
Background: The recent policy of deinstitutionalization of health care in Western countries has resulted in a growing number of people - including elderly - with severe mental illness living in the community where they rely on families and others for support in daily living. Caregiving for partners, parents, children, and significant others can be a stressful experience and has been associated with psychosocial problems and poorer physical health. To support caregivers, a new, complex, nurse-led caregiver - centered intervention was developed. The intervention focuses on preventing deterioration in the wellbeing of caregivers. The objective of this study is to obtain a better understanding of the potentials of this new intervention. Methods: We applied an interpretative qualitative field study at two Dutch mental health care institutes. Thirteen caregivers participated in a one-time semi-structured interview. Results: From the caregivers' perspective, a trusting relationship between caregivers and the mental health nurse is an essential condition for the depth and hence the effectiveness of the caregiver-centered counseling intervention. In this trusting relationship three overlapping and mutually reinforcing phases were identified (1) phase of engagement, (2) recognition of personal needs and (3) hope and optimism. Each phase encompasses key experiences that enhanced trust in that phase. Conclusions: Collaborative relationships between caregivers and mental health nurses provide a framework in which the mental health nurse can assess and help not only patients but also caregivers to gain insight into their situation and take on new roles and responsibilities in ways that promote their wellbeing.
Keshet, a course for family members of persons’ coping with mental illness, was developed to enhance positive family cognitive communication skills. Improving communication with the use of mediation techniques, primarily used by therapists, creates a learning environment viewed as a strategy of Knowledge Translation. To examine the effectiveness of Keshet in improving attitudes, problem solving, communication skills and attenuation of burden a quasi-experimental research design was applied with study and control condition. The same group of participants (N = 38) completed questionnaires at different stages: 3 months prior to course, initiation and completion. Following participation, significant changes were observed in attitudes regarding knowledge of how to cope and interact with family member. A correlation was found between improved knowledge and decline in burden. Implementing interventions which provide caregivers with professional “know-how” leads to lessened burden, thus contributing to maintaining well-being of family caregiver population.
Background: As with most of the chronic illnesses, the changes and consequences brought on by bipolar disorder (BD) are not exclusive to the patient and often spread to those around them, especially for direct caregivers of these patients. It is known that there is a significant emotional and physical toll among persons who coexist daily with those who suffer from this disorder. Objective: Aware of the importance of the role played by informal caregivers (especially the family) in the stability and evolution of patients with bipolar disorder, this study seeks to explore the perception that family members responsible for bipolar persons have of themselves as caregivers of these patients. Method: This is a qualitative study using a phenomenological design, for which the technique of focused or semi-structured interviews was employed. Ten caregivers of people with diagnosis of BD agreed to participate. Results: Within the family, it is a single individual who has the role of caregiver. Experiences and meanings that are generated into the nucleus of the patient–caregiver relationship are full of ambivalence and involve many aspects worthy of analysing, such as the development of identities, the feminization of patient care, the process of therapeutic decision-making and the evolution of the disease. Conclusions: It is necessary to integrate evaluation and attention for patients’ caregivers, recognizing them as individuals and elucidating their constructed meanings and the dynamics established in their relationship with patients. In this way, there would be a more integrative clinical approach of the patient–caregiver relationship, considering not only the necessary pharmacological treatments but also accompanying both patient and family, along the path they travel as they experience BD.
Background: Families living with a person with mental illness can experience distress requiring therapeutic interventions. Web-based mindfulness interventions have shown beneficial health outcomes for both clinical and healthy populations, and may help families cope and overcome barriers that can otherwise hinder a help-seeking process.; Aims: To develop and assess outcomes of a web-based mindfulness intervention for families living with a person with mental illness.; Methods: A pilot study investigating an 8-week web-based mindfulness intervention with a pre-post design and follow-up after 3 months, with mindfulness as the primary outcome and perceived stress, caregiver burden and self-compassion as secondary outcomes. The study included a sample of 97 persons approached by advertisement in newspapers, newsletters, and online.; Results: The study showed significant improvements in levels of mindfulness post-intervention and at follow-up as well as significant improvements in levels of perceived stress, caregiver burden, and self-compassion both post-intervention and at follow-up.; Discussion: Acceptability and feasibility of the intervention were high, outcomes were relevant, and the intervention showed positive and significant results supporting the hypothesis that the intervention may help families cope with a stressful situation.; Conclusion: Further randomized controlled studies of the intervention are needed to investigate the intervention's effectiveness, including dose-effect studies.;
Background: Almost 40 million family caregivers care for a loved one with severe physical or cognitive impairments. The purpose of this review is to summarize evidence about the benefits of interventions to support or involve family members/caregivers of patients with trauma-related injury on caregiver, patient, and household outcomes. Methods: English-language peer-reviewed publications in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO from 1995 through December 2016 were identified. Eligible studies included RCT or quasi-experimental studies evaluating interventions designed to support or involve caregivers or family members of patients with TBI, PTSD, or polytrauma. Abstractions were completed by one reviewer and checked by a second; two reviewers independently assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Review Criteria. Results: Thirteen studies (n = 9 TBI; n = 4 PTSD, n = 0 polytrauma) evaluated psychological or rehabilitation interventions involving caregivers. Interventions did not improve TBI patients' functional status (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.29 [95% confidence interval [CI], - 0.51 to 1.08]) or psychological symptoms (SMD - 0.25, CI - 0.62 to 0.12). Qualitative analysis shows potential intervention benefit for TBI symptoms. Interventions did not improve TBI caregiver psychological symptoms (SMD - 0.26, CI - 0.57 to 0.05); however, qualitative analysis suggests mixed effects for caregiver burden and quality of life. Positive intervention effects on patients' PTSD symptoms, mental health service use, and PTSD caregivers' psychological symptoms were identified with certain interventions. Strength of evidence ranged from moderate to very low. Discussion: Studies showed mixed patterns of intervention effects on caregiver and patient outcomes; evidence about intervention impact is inconclusive. This review is the first to identify caregiving interventions for patients with TBI and polytrauma and extends past reviews about patients with PTSD. Limitations include a small evidence base, low study quality, disparate methods, varied outcome measures, and high heterogeneity. PROSPERO Registration CRD42017053516.
The VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) provides landmark support for family caregivers of post-9/11 veterans. This study examines PCAFC support for veterans with and without PTSD and assesses whether program effect differs by PTSD status using a pre-post, non-equivalent, propensity score weighted comparison group design (n = 24,280). Veterans with and without PTSD in PCAFC accessed more mental health, primary, and specialty care services than weighted comparisons. PCAFC participation had stronger effects on access to primary care for veterans with PTSD than for veterans without PTSD. For veterans with PTSD, PCAFC support might enhance health service use.
Objective: Caregivers experience physical and mental stress that ends up lowering their quality of life (QoL). Our goal was to research (a) the level of caregivers QoL; (b) the relationships between the demographic characteristics of the caregivers, their caregiving burden, their family functioning, their social and professional support and their QoL and (c) the best predictors of caregivers QoL. Methods:100 key caregivers (70% parents, 8% spouses, 17% siblings and 5% children) were studied using the world health organization quality of life-Bref (WHOQOL-BREF) to research their QoL, the Zarit Scale to assess their perception of their caregiving burden, the Social Network Questionnaire to examine their social support, the Family APGAR to assess the satisfaction with social support from the family and a professional support scale (Escala de Apoyo Profesional) to determine the professional support received by caregivers was performed. Results: Scores on the WHOQOL-BREF in the Physical, Psychological, Social and Environment domains were 15.0 (SD = 3.7), 13.3 (SD = 4.2), 11.0 (SD = 4.7) and 13.5 (SD = 3.1), respectively. Through bivariate analysis, the dimensions that showed a positive significant association with QoL were being a young male caregiver who was a working father with a high educational level and help from other family members. Caregivers of patients who were older and had a later onset of the illness, a lower score on the Zarit Scale and a high score on the Social Network Questionnaire, Family APGAR and Escala de Apoyo Profesional showed higher QoL. Many of these variables made a unique contribution in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions: There is a significant association between the caregiver’s burden and their QoL. Regression analysis showed that the best predictors of QoL were caregiving burden, social support and professional support.
Aims and objectives: To explore the experiences of female spousal caregivers in the care of husbands with severe mental illness. Background: Family involvement in the care of patients with chronic illness is essential to provide a backbone of support for them. However, little is known about how female spousal caregivers are confronted with challenges while taking care of their husbands with severe mental illness. Design: An exploratory qualitative study. Methods: Fourteen female spousal caregivers of people with severe mental illness (defined here as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders and bipolar affective disorders) were recruited using purposive sampling and were interviewed using a semistructured in‐depth interview method. Data were analysed by conventional content analysis until data saturation was achieved. Results: Care of a husband with severe mental illness had a disruptive influence on the emotional relationships of the family and resulted in emotional detachment over time. Despite the caregivers’ struggle to protect their families, the lack of supportive resources caused emotional exhaustion. Caregiving tasks interfering with their many other responsibilities, along with being a reference for family matters, led to loss of self. Consequently, they experienced psychological distress because of the transition to a caregiver role without any supportive resources. Conclusion: Constant caring, without supportive resources, forced them to do various roles and manage other issues within the family. Being unprepared for a caregiving role led to the psychological distress of female spousal caregivers. Therefore, adequate information, education and supportive resources must be provided for spouses to facilitate their transition to caregiving roles. Relevance to clinical practice: It is necessary to pay close attention to the spousal caregivers’ own mental health problems while they care for their mentally ill husbands. Mental health professionals should adopt a new approach to the prioritisation and planning of policies that support both family caregivers and patients.
Basic knowledge regarding schizophrenia, having positive attitudes towards it, and possessing the necessary care skills are crucial aspects for caregivers have in order to provide sustainable care for a relative with schizophrenia. Coaching can facilitate successful caregiving through the understanding of a caregiver's knowledge, attitudes, and skills. This study examined the effectiveness of a coaching program in enhancing family caregivers' knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to caring for persons with schizophrenia. 100 primary family caregivers were randomly recruited. Of these, 50 participated in a coaching program, which lasted 7 weeks and employed implementation methods such as discussion, watching videos, providing information, training, observation, demonstration, role-plays, and telephone follow-ups. The coaching group participants showed significantly higher knowledge levels (F = 85.77, p < 0.001), lower levels of negative attitudes towards schizophrenia (F = 13.22, p < 0.001), and higher skill levels (F = 22.94, p < 0.001) than those in the routine care group. The results also discovered significant improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and caregiving skills on follow-ups at week 2 and 1 month after the completion of the program in the coaching group, as compared to those in the routine care group (p <0.001). The coaching program examined in this study clearly indicated positive effects on caregiver knowledge, attitudes, and caregiving skills when compared with routine care.
Background: Crisis resolution teams (CRTs) can provide effective home-based treatment for acute mental health crises, although critical ingredients of the model have not been clearly identified, and implementation has been inconsistent. In order to inform development of a more highly specified CRT model that meets service users' needs, this study used qualitative methods to investigate stakeholders' experiences and views of CRTs, and what is important in good quality home-based crisis care. Method: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with service users (n = 41), carers (n = 20) and practitioners (CRT staff, managers and referrers; n = 147, 26 focus groups, 9 interviews) in 10 mental health catchment areas in England, and with international CRT developers (n = 11). Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Three domains salient to views about optimal care were identified. 1. The organisation of CRT care: Providing a rapid initial responses, and frequent home visits from the same staff were seen as central to good care, particularly by service users and carers. Being accessible, reliable, and having some flexibility were also valued. Negative experiences of some referral pathways, and particularly lack of staff continuity were identified as problematic. 2. The content of CRT work: Emotional support was at the centre of service users' experiences. All stakeholder groups thought CRTs should involve the whole family, and offer a range of interventions. However, carers often feel excluded, and medication is often prioritised over other forms of support. 3. The role of CRTs within the care system: Gate-keeping admissions is seen as a key role for CRTs within the acute care system. Service users and carers report that recovery is quicker compared to in-patient care. Lack of knowledge and misunderstandings about CRTs among referrers are common. Overall, levels of stakeholder agreement about the critical ingredients of good crisis care were high, although aspects of this were not always seen as achievable. Conclusions: Stakeholders' views about optimal CRT care suggest that staff continuity, carer involvement, and emotional and practical support should be prioritised in service improvements and more clearly specified CRT models.
Aim: We aimed to systematically review the evidence of the effectiveness of family interventions for caregivers of people with recent‐onset psychosis compared with usual psychiatric care. A secondary objective was to directly compare the effects of different types of family interventions. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), CINAHL Complete and EBSCOhost were searched to identify relevant randomized controlled trials. Trial data were extracted following the procedures described in the Cochrane Handbook of systematic reviews. Random‐effects models were used to pool the intervention effects. Results: Twelve studies including 1644 participants were included in this review. With the exception of a high risk of performance bias inherent to the nature of the psychosocial interventions, the studies had an overall low or unclear risk of bias, suggesting that sources of bias are unlikely to lower confidence in the estimate of intervention effects. Meta‐analyses were conducted for 4 different participant outcomes reported in 9 studies. Compared with usual psychiatric care, family intervention was more effective in reducing care burden over all follow‐up periods. Family intervention was also superior to usual care with regards to caregiving experience in the short term and improved utilization of formal support and family functioning over longer‐term follow up. Mutual support is more effective than psychoeducation in improving family functioning when measured 1 to 2 years after the intervention but had equivalent effects on utilization of formal support services. Conclusions: This review provides evidence that family intervention is effective for caregivers of recent‐onset psychosis, especially for care burden where the positive effects are enhanced over time.
Family interventions have been emphasized in the treatment of bipolar disorder (BPD) due to the bidirectional and entangled relationships between patients and the family system, and have benefits for patients’ symptoms and health; however, the effects of family interventions on family function and caregivers’ health‐related outcomes have not been well investigated. This randomized, controlled trial with 47 hospitalized patients with BPD/family caregiver dyads at a medical centre in northern Taiwan compared the effects of a brief family‐centred care (BFCC) programme with treatment as usual (TAU). All of the family caregivers in two groups were invited to attend a routine 60‐min family discussion group about violence and suicide prevention. The TAU group without specific family interview for patient and family caregiver dyad. In the BFCC group, four 90‐min BFCC programme sessions were additionally provided twice a week for each hospitalized family dyad. We hypothesized that, first, family caregivers in the BFCC group could increase their family function, and second, improve perceived health status and reduce caregiver's burdens compared to the TAU. The results showed that family caregivers in the BFCC group significant interaction effects in overall family function (P = 0.03) and subscale conflict (P = 0.04), communication (P = 0.01), and problem‐solving (P = 0.04), but there were no significant interaction effects on the caregivers’ perceived health status and caregivers’ burdens. Our findings support both the feasibility of using the BFCC programme for inpatients and its specific benefits for family function. An intensive family intervention during hospitalization has been suggested in psychiatric practice to support patients with BPD and family caregivers.
There have been several violence-related deaths in Japan due to family violence by persons with severe mental illness against their caregivers. However, it is not often acknowledged that these violent acts are mainly directed at family members. This study aimed to clarify what acts of violence family caregivers experienced from their relative with schizophrenia, and how frequently these violent incidents occurred in their lifetime. We also examined caregivers’ thoughts of death about themselves and their relatives, as well as their consultation efforts and escape from the violence perpetrated by their relative. Of the 277 caregivers, 87.7% had experienced psychological violence and 75.8% had experienced physical violence perpetrated by their relative. Of 210 caregivers who had experienced physical violence, 26.7% had thought of murder-suicide and 31.0% had wished for their relative’s death. Family violence by persons with schizophrenia is not rare but a common occurrence in Japan and may have fatal consequences.
Personal budgets aim to increase choice and independence for people with social care needs but they remain underused by people with mental health problems compared to other disability groups. The use of personal budgets may impact on families in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. This paper draws on interviews, undertaken in 2012-2013 with 18 family carers and 12 mental health service users, that explored experiences of family involvement in accessing and managing personal budgets for a person with mental health-related social care needs. The sample was drawn from three sites across England, with additional carers being recruited via voluntary sector networks. Our findings show that for many people with severe mental health needs who lack motivation and confidence to negotiate access to personal budgets, carers may provide the necessary support to enable them to benefit from this form of social care support. We illustrate the role carers may play in initiating, pursuing and maximising the level of support available through personal budgets. However, some carers interviewed considered that personal budget funding was reduced because of practitioners' assumptions about carers' willingness and ability to provide support. We also report perceived tensions between family carers and practitioners around appropriate involvement in decision-making. The study findings have implications for local authorities, practitioners and family carers in supporting the involvement of family carers in support for people with severe mental health problems.
Family members continue to be the predominant providers of support, care and accommodation for loved ones with mental health issues, and empirical studies suggest that accessing mental health respite can be helpful for both carers and consumers. However, the availability of, and access to, this respite in Australia is far from optimal. Major issues have also been identified such as low utilisation, the inappropriate and inflexible nature of services and the inability of services to respond to situations where multiple needs exist. This article presents findings from a small evaluation of a pilot residential respite service. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with eight family members/carers and four consumers using the service, and five service providers. In addition, anonymised sociodemographic information about all users of the service in the first 9 months of its operation were analysed. Reflecting the current limitations around respite options, the majority of family members/carers and consumers were appreciative of, and satisfied with, the service. The research highlighted issues such as availability and suitability of respite, particularly when consumers had multiple and unmet needs. Mental health residential respite is often a stopgap in crisis situations and intersects with the difficulty of planning respite and shortages in affordable supported accommodation. Furthermore, the ramifications of individualised funding for people with “psychosocial disability” in the new Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) remain unclear. While family members and carers may benefit indirectly from NDIS funding, it is especially important at this time that the need for more suitable, recovery‐oriented respite services is highlighted.
Background: Carers are family members or friends who support people with a mental health problem without being paid. Carer involvement in mental health treatment has been consistently supported by research evidence and promoted by policies but its implementation rates are poor. Particularly when patients are treated in inpatient units, carers often report being left without information or being excluded from decisions about treatment. In this study we have explored, along with staff perspectives, views of patients and carers who had a recent experience of inpatient mental health care on how to improve the implementation of carer involvement in inpatient care. Methods: Sixteen focus groups were held with carers, patients and clinicians in London, United Kingdom. We included staff working in inpatient units and patients and carers who had experience of inpatient care in the last five years. Data from focus groups were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Eighty six participants in total (31 service users, 22 carers and 33 clinicians) attended the focus groups. Participants identified that generally, carer involvement should happen as soon as possible after admission, although this may be challenging in some cases. Carer involvement should include receiving information, participating in decisions about care and discharge and receiving emotional support by staff. When carers are involved, their personal knowledge of the patient's condition should be utilised. Challenges to carer involvement may include problems with identifying carers during a mental health crisis, obtaining valid patient consent, sharing appropriate information, and contacting and engaging carers. Additionally, it was perceived that all the ward staff need to be actively engaged in order to make carer involvement happen and this cannot be left only to specifically trained clinicians. Conclusions: These findings identify basic components that all family interventions in inpatient units should have. Further studies are needed to explore how and if purposively designed clinical interventions can improve carer involvement in inpatient treatment and, consequently, patient outcomes.
The broad spectrum of problems caused by caring for a patient with mental illness imposes a high burden on family caregivers. This can affect how they cope with their mentally ill family members. Identifying caregivers' experiences of barriers to coping is necessary to develop a program to help them overcome these challenges. This qualitative content analysis study explored barriers impeding family caregivers' ability to cope with their relatives diagnosed with severe mental illness (defined here as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, and bipolar affective disorders). Sixteen family caregivers were recruited using purposive sampling and interviewed using a semi-structured in-depth interview method. Data were analyzed by a conventional content analytic approach. Findings consisted of four major categories: the patient's isolation from everyday life, incomplete recovery, lack of support by the mental health care system, and stigmatization. Findings highlight the necessity of providing support for caregivers by the mental health care delivery service system.
Objectives: Available data suggest high burden on caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder (BD), yet the well-being of patients with BD increasingly depends on family members, partners and close friends. As patients with BD get older, the need for informal care may shift. We aimed to describe the caregivers of older adults with BD (OABD) and explore what patients' and caregivers' characteristics are associated with caregiver burden. Method: Forty-seven caregivers of OABD were questioned about their perceived burden and depressive symptoms. Linear regression analyses were performed to examine the influence of various patients' and caregivers' characteristics on caregiver burden or depression. Results: More than half of all caregivers experienced some degree of burden, and 6.4% reported depressive symptoms. The number of psychiatric admissions and social functioning were the only patients' characteristics associated with higher burden. Caregiver burden was significantly associated with caregiver's other obligations. None of the patient or caregiver characteristics was significantly associated with depression in caregivers of OABD. Conclusion: In OABD, even with few residual symptoms, more than half of all caregivers experience substantial burden. Future studies are needed to confirm if improving social functioning and preventing psychiatric hospitalizations decrease the burden on the caregivers of OABD.
The aim of this study was to determine the relation among anxiety and family burden in primary first-degree relative caregivers of outpatients with mental disorders in Turkey. Data were collected with patients'primary first-degree relative caregivers via the Information Form, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Perceived Family Burden Scale (PFBS). In all, 481 caregivers (325 women and 156 men) participated in this study. Based on this study's results, primary caregivers of patients with mental disorders had a moderate level anxiety, and as anxiety increased, family burden also increased. Those results suggest that mental health nurses should plan interventions not only for patients, but also for their family member or their caregivers to decrease anxiety level.
Background: In Turkey, individuals with schizophrenia usually live with their families. Therefore, families are main caregivers and face psychological, financial and social problems. Aim: The aim of this study is to understand the personal burdens and coping strategies, and social support affecting the families that provide care to the individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 members of 12 families. Results: Four themes were formed: learning and accepting the disorder, caregiving, social dimensions and service dimensions. Families have a problem with accepting this order and caregiving affects their quality of life both financially and socially. As schizophrenia is one of the reasons for being isolated from community, families prefer hiding it. Although families are satisfied with community-based systems, they need long-term solution, training and financial aid. Conclusions: To reduce the burden, family therapies, education and psychological support should be provided for families, and job opportunities, long-term caregiving services and psychological support should be provided for individuals with schizophrenia.
Aims and Objectives: To examine the relationship between psychiatric patients' caregiver burden and anger expression styles.; Background: In the caregiving process, when coping with problems, caregivers may exhibit emotional and behavioural responses, which can produce distressful results. One of these responses is angry. Examining the relationship between psychiatric patients' caregiver burden and caregivers' anger expression styles is necessary for quality of care.; Design: A descriptive and relational study.; Methods: The sample for study included 60 family caregivers who were stayed with patient in psychiatry clinic during the treatment of inpatient setting of a university hospital. Data for the study were collected using the Caregiver Burden Inventory and the Trait Anger and Anger Expression Scale. The analysis of variance, Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis and Pearson correlation analysis were used.; Results: The caregivers' Caregiver Burden Inventory score was found to be 24.60 ± 1.57. Gender, working status, level of intimacy with patient, status of whether or not caregiver was living with patient and status of whether or not caregiver experienced difficulties in providing care had a significant effect on the Caregiver Burden Inventory scale as a whole, as well as its subscales. This study found a positive relationship between caregiver burden and caregivers' anger expression styles (p < .05, p < .01).; Conclusion: The total Caregiver Burden Inventory mean score of caregivers was concluded to be low, with some introductory characteristics and anger expression styles having an impact on the burden experienced by caregivers.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: Knowing the anger expression styles of caregivers is important for reducing caregiver burden and improving quality of care.; © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Background: Caregiving in schizophrenia is a demanding and exhausting activity that challenges the physical and emotional resources of family caregivers. In traditional societies such as India, this is further compounded by illiteracy, ignorance and religious and cultural explanations attributed to mental illness.; Aims: This study aimed to assess primary caregivers of persons with schizophrenia in terms of their perceived burden, manifestation of psychological distress and quality of life (QOL).; Methods: The study used a quantitative cross-sectional design and survey methodology to collect data from caregivers in a hospital setting in Thanjavur, India. Standardized instruments were used to collect data from patients and their caregivers.; Results: High perceived burden and lower QOL were seen in the majority of caregivers. They also manifested high levels of anxiety and depression. Patient characteristics such as age, gender, symptoms and duration of illness did not influence the perceived burden of caregivers, while positive and negative symptoms and the duration of illness were correlated with their QOL.; Conclusions: Findings indicate the need for intervention for family caregivers to enable them cope more effectively with the demands of caregiving. Psychoeducation and participation in peer support groups are advocated as low resource and effective outcome strategies for caregivers in India.;
Purpose: Aim of the study is to evaluate the predictive power of Expressed Emotion in Schizophrenia relapse in Pakistan. Method: A longitudinal study was conducted comprising 53 in-patients' sample diagnosed with Schizophrenia and their 101 key carers. Participants fulfilled DSM-IV-TR criteria for Schizophrenia based on Structural Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV diagnosis. Symptomatic status was measured through Brief Psychiatric Rating Scales-Expanded (BPRS-E). Caregivers' level of EE was assessed through Camberwell Family Interview (CFI). Patients were followed up for 9 months after hospital discharge.Results: Relapse rate for patients with high-EE household was 72% as compared with 36% in the low-EE household. Logistic Regression showed a positive relationship between high-EE and relapse (CI 0.06-0.80; p < 0.05). Both hostility and critical comments emerged as significant predictors of relapse. The odds ratio showed that a one unit increase in caregivers' score on the CCs and hostility scales were associated with a 1.29 (CI 1.06-1.56; p < 0.05) and 1.89 (CI 1.14-3.13; p < 0.05) times increased rate of relapse, respectively. Conversely, a non-significant relationship was observed between EOI and relapse. Conclusions: The findings from this study confirmed the validity of EE construct in predicting schizophrenia relapse in a Pakistani sample. However, medication compliance has not been experimentally controlled and that is one of the limitations of the study
Background: Caring for a person with first episode psychosis (FEP) is a challenging and distressing task for the carers. The carers' stress in the early stage of psychosis can increase their expressed emotion (EE) while social support is hypothesized to decrease EE. However, the influence of stress and social support on carers' EE is not well understood in FEP.; Aim: To examine how the stress and social support shape expressed emotion in the carers of FEP.; Methods: Seventy one carers of the patients with non-affective FEP were recruited from the inpatient psychiatry ward of a tertiary mental health care center in South India. The family questionnaire, perceived stress scale and multidimensional scale of perceived social support were used to measure their EE, stress and social support respectively.; Results: Carers experienced high level of perceived stress, EE and poor social support. Perceived stress significantly increased EE (β=0.834; p<0.001) and social support did not significantly influence EE (β=-0.065; p>0.05). Perceived stress predicted 76 percent of the variance on EE (Adjusted R2=0.761).; Conclusion: The results emphasize high level of stress and EE in carers of patients with FEP that implies the need for appropriate psychosocial interventions to manage their stress.; Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Background: There is an expectation in current heath care policy that family carers are involved in service delivery. This is also the case with compulsory outpatient mental health care, Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) that were introduced in England in 2008. No study has systematically investigated family involvement through the CTO process.; Method: We conducted qualitative interviews with 24 family carers to ascertain their views and experiences of involvement in CTOs. The transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis that incorporated both deductive and inductive elements.; Results: We found significant variation in both the type and extent of family carer involvement throughout the CTO process (initiation, recall to hospital, renewal, tribunal hearings, discharge). Some were satisfied with their level of involvement while others felt (at least partly) excluded or that they wanted to be more involved. Some wanted less involvement than what they had. From the interviews we identified key factors shaping carers' involvement. These included: perceptions of patient preference; concern over the relationship to the patient; carers' knowledge of the CTO and of the potential for carer involvement; access to and relationships with health professionals; issues of patient confidentiality; opportunities for private discussions, and; health professionals limiting involvement. These factors show that health professionals have many opportunities to facilitate, or hinder, carer involvement. The various roles attributed to carers, such 'proxy' for patient decision, 'gatekeeper' to services, 'mother' or 'expert carer', however, conflict with one another and make the overall role unclear.; Conclusions: There is a need for clarification of the expectations of carers in individual care situations, for carers to be equipped with the information they need to in order to be involved, and for services to find flexible and innovative ways of ensuring continuous, open communication. The introduction of CTOs in England has not been successful in its ambition for carer involvement.
Background: Low and middle income countries face many challenges in meeting their populations' mental health care needs. Though family caregiving is crucial to the management of severe mental health disabilities, such as schizophrenia, the economic costs borne by family caregivers often go unnoticed. In this study, we estimated the household economic costs of schizophrenia and quality of life of family caregivers in Ghana.; Methods: We used a cost of illness analysis approach. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the abridged WHO Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) tool. Cross-sectional data were collected from 442 caregivers of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia at least six months prior to the study and who received consultation in any of the three psychiatric hospitals in Ghana. Economic costs were categorized as direct costs (including medical and non-medical costs of seeking care), indirect costs (productivity losses to caregivers) and intangible costs (non-monetary costs such as stigma and pain). Direct costs included costs of medical supplies, consultations, and travel. Indirect costs were estimated as value of productive time lost (in hours) to primary caregivers. Intangible costs were assessed using the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). We employed multiple regression models to assess the covariates of costs, caregiver burden, and QoL.; Results: Total monthly cost to caregivers was US$ 273.28, on average. Key drivers of direct costs were medications (50%) and transportation (27%). Direct costs per caregiver represented 31% of the reported monthly earnings. Mean caregiver burden (measured by the ZBI) was 16.95 on a scale of 0-48, with 49% of caregivers reporting high burden. Mean QoL of caregivers was 28.2 (range: 19.6-34.8) out of 100. Better educated caregivers reported lower indirect costs and better QoL. Caregivers with higher severity of depression, anxiety and stress reported higher caregiver burden and lower QoL. Males reported better QoL.; Conclusions: These findings highlight the high household burden of caregiving for people living with schizophrenia in low income settings. Results underscore the need for policies and programs to support caregivers.
Family and informal caregivers provide a substantial amount of care and support to people who experience mental health problems. The aim of this study was to explore mental health nurses', students' and service users' perceptions of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required by mental health nurses to work with families and carers using a qualitative methodology. Three themes emerged from the data: Knowledge of the family and how mental distress affects the family; working with the family – support and education; and valuing the role of the family. The three themes demonstrate the complexity of preparing mental health nurses to work with families and carers, and the article offers recommendations about how this might be achieved.
Aims and Objectives: To examine influencing factors of health-related quality of life in primary family caregivers of people with schizophrenia receiving inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation services.; Background: Families, particularly primary family caregivers, have become more important than ever in mental health care. Yet, research on health-related quality of life among primarily family caregivers is limited.; Design: A correlational study design was used.; Methods: A convenience sample of 122 primary family caregivers participated in the study. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, Pearson's product-moment correlation, t test, one-way analysis of variance and a hierarchical multiple regression analysis.; Results: Primary family caregivers who were parents, older, less educated, and had a lower monthly household income, increased affiliate stigma and decreased quality of family-centred care experienced poor health-related quality of life. Particularly, monthly household income, affiliate stigma and quality of family-centred care appeared to be the most critical determinants of health-related quality of life.; Conclusions: Efforts to enhance satisfaction of life should focus on reducing affiliate stigma as well as increasing monthly household income and strengthening the quality of family-centred care.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: Findings may assist in the development of culturally integrated rehabilitation programmes to decrease affiliate stigma and increase family engagement as a means of promoting quality of life for primary family caregivers living with people who have schizophrenia.; © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Background: Mental illness is a disease that affects millions of people every year. It not only causes stress to the mentally ill patients, but also for the family members who provide them the care. The family caregivers, therefore need some form of coping strategies in dealing with their mentally ill family members.; Aims: This qualitative study aims at identifying and analysing the coping strategies adopted by the family caregivers in dealing with their mentally ill family members.; Method: A total of 15 family caregivers from the state of Kedah, Malaysia participated in the face-to-face semi structured interview.; Results: The study findings identified an array of coping strategies used by the family caregivers, including religious coping, emotional coping, acceptance, becoming engaged in leisure activities, and the use of traditional healing to help them cope with their mentally ill members. Suggestions and conclusions: Study suggests that the family caregivers should engage themselves in social support groups to learn about and obtain the positive coping strategies used by other caregivers who have similar experiences in caring for the mentally ill. Study also suggests that they should get appropriate training from the mental health professionals in order to enhance the caregivers' coping skills.
People with a mental illness experience greater chronic disease morbidity and mortality, and associated reduced life expectancy, compared to those without such an illness. A higher prevalence of chronic disease risk behaviours (inadequate nutrition, inadequate physical activity, tobacco smoking, and harmful alcohol consumption) is experienced by this population. Family carers have the potential to support change in such behaviours among those they care for with a mental illness. This study aimed to explore family carers’: 1) experiences in addressing the chronic disease risk behaviours of their family members; 2) existing barriers to addressing such behaviours; and 3) perceptions of potential strategies to assist them to provide risk behaviour change support.
A qualitative study of four focus groups (n = 31), using a semi-structured interview schedule, was conducted with carers of people with a mental illness in New South Wales, Australia from January 2015 to February 2016. An inductive thematic analysis was employed to explore the experience of carers in addressing the chronic disease risk behaviours.
Two main themes were identified in family carers’ report of their experiences: firstly, that health behaviours were salient concerns for carers and that they were engaged in providing support, and secondly that they perceived a bidirectional relationship between health behaviours and mental well-being. Key barriers to addressing behaviours were: a need to attend to carers’ own well-being; defensiveness on behalf of the family member; and not residing with their family member; with other behaviour-specific barriers also identified. Discussion around strategies which would assist carers in providing support for health risk behaviours identified a need for improved communication and collaboration between carers and health services accessed by their family members.
Additional support from general and mental health services accessed by family members is desired to assist carers to address the barriers to providing behaviour change support. Carers have the potential to support and extend health service interventions aimed at improving the chronic disease risk behaviours of people with a mental illness but may require additional information, and collaboration from services. Further research is needed to explore these constructs in a large representative sample
The reality for many families where there is chronic illness, mental health problems, disability, alcohol or substance misuse is that children under the age of 18 are involved in caring. Many of these children - known as 'young carers' - will be providing regular and significant care, either episodically or over many years, often 'hidden' to health, social care and other welfare professionals and services. These children have most often been invisible in social policy and professional practice. What are the reasons why some countries recognize young carers as a priority for social policy while others (most) do not? What are the key factors that influence a country?s awareness and responses to these children? This article provides an original classification and analysis of country-level responses to young carers, drawing on published research, grey literature, policy documents and the authors? extensive engagement in policy and practice networks for young carers and their families in a wide range of countries. The analysis identifies two of the key factors that influence the extent and nature of these policy responses, focusing on the importance of a reliable in-country research base and the contribution of influential national NGOs and their networks.
An integrative review was conducted to evaluate and synthesize the current state of knowledge of family carers’ experiences of emergency psychiatric crises of an adult relative. A literature review was performed by searching key terms in EBSCO (CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Social Work Abstracts), and Proquest (MEDLINE, PsycINFO) citation databases; 3,350 citations were retrieved and screened for inclusion. Data synthesis of 25 articles meeting inclusion criteria revealed the following five themes: building to crisis; conflicted emotional experience; police apprehension; invisible experts; and “need to know.” Findings provide essential insight into family carers experiences and needs during crisis that is informative for emergency mental health response practices.
The current study aimed to measure the stress levels of family caregivers of individuals with mental illness and compare their stress levels according to the diagnosis and other sociodemographic characteristics. The sample comprised 310 family caregivers of individuals with mental illness in Jordan. Family caregivers completed a demographic checklist and the Arabic version of the Perceived Stress Scale 10-Item (PSS-10) questionnaire. A significant difference was found in PSS-10 levels among family caregivers according to gender, diagnosis of their family member, and time since diagnosis. Female caregivers reported significantly higher stress levels than male caregivers. Family members of individuals with schizophrenia reported the highest stress levels (p < 0.001). Results also indicated that there was a significant negative correlation between PSS-10 levels of family caregivers and time since diagnosis. Investigating stress levels in family members of individuals with mental illness may be helpful when designing interventions to reduce such stress. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 55(6), 30-35.].; Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.
Background: This study aimed to explore the psychological status and quality of life among primary caregivers of individuals suffering from various mental illnesses including early psychosis, chronic schizophrenia, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and dementia.; Methods: A total of 350 primary caregivers with relatives seeking treatment at a tertiary psychiatric hospital were recruited for this study. Socio-demographic data was obtained and the brief version of the World Health Organisation Quality of Life instrument was used to assess caregiver's quality of life (QOL). Psychological status among primary caregivers was assessed using the General Anxiety Disorder - 7 item (GAD-7) and Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 item (PHQ-9) scales. Family Interview Schedule (FIS) was used to assess the impact of caregiving relating to social problems, interpersonal strain among family members, work related problems and financial difficulties as a result of their relative's illness. The socio-demographic and clinical correlates of QOL, PHQ-9 and GAD-7 were examined using multiple linear and logistic regression analyses. Associations between QOL domains and psychological status was examined using multiple linear regression analyses.; Results: The mean age of the primary caregivers was 49.7 years (SD = 13.2), ranging from 21 to 82 years, with a preponderance of females (67.6%), aged 50-64 years old (45.7%). Majority were of Chinese ethnicity (57.5%), had secondary level education (43.1%), were married (65.2%), and employed (64.9%). 18.3% of primary caregivers had symptoms of depression (based on PHQ-9 cut-off point of 10 or greater) while 12.7% had symptoms of anxiety (based on GAD-7 cut-off point of 10 or greater). Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses revealed that primary caregivers aged between 35-49 years and 50-64 years, unemployed, living with others, providing care to those diagnosed with dementia and who had higher FIS scores were significantly more likely to report symptoms of depression whilst those who cared for their son/daughter were less likely to be associated with symptoms of depression. Primary caregivers who had lower education, were living with others, were single or divorced/separated, were unemployed and with higher FIS scores were associated with lower QOL domain scores. Those with symptoms of depression were significantly associated with low QOL across all four domains, whilst those with symptoms of anxiety were significantly associated with low QOL in the social relationships domain.; Conclusion: Psychological status of caregivers in the current study was associated with the various domains of QOL. In particular, caregivers' symptoms of depression were significantly associated with lower QOL across all four domains of QOL whereas symptoms of anxiety were associated with lower scores in the social relationships domain. The study suggests a need to provide caregivers with social support and psycho-education to improve the QOL as well as aid in developing healthy coping strategies.
Background/Objective: The Devaluation of Consumer Families Scale (DCFS) is commonly used to measure perceived stigma towards family members of people with mental illness. However, its factorial structure has never been confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). This study aimed to test the psychometric properties of the DCFS Taiwan version (DCFS-TW). Method: Family caregivers (N=511) completed the DCFS-TW (97 completed the DCFS again after 2 to 4 weeks) and other instruments. CFA, test-retest reliability, internal consistency, concurrent validity, and known-group validity were analyzed. Results: The three-factor structure of the DCFS-TW performed better than the one-factor structure. Test-retest reliability (r = .66) and internal consistency were satisfactory (α = .85); concurrent validity (absolute r = .20 to .58) was acceptable; known-group validity was supported by the significantly different DCFS-TW scores in clinical characteristics (had been vs. had not been hospitalized; had been vs. had not been compulsorily admitted). Conclusions: The DCFS-TW has decent psychometric properties and is suitable for health professionals to measure perceived stigma towards family members of people with mental illness. (English
Background: Although the quality of life (QoL) experienced by patients with schizophrenia has been recognized, few studies have assessed the relationship between the caregivers' QoL and patients' QoL.; Methods: The study included 253 stabilized outpatients with schizophrenia and their caregivers from 3 Mental Health Services in Bolivia (N = 83), Chile (N = 85) and Peru (N = 85). Caregivers' and patients' QoL were respectively assessed using two specific QoL questionnaires (S-CGQoL and S-QoL 18). We collected socio-demographic information and clinical data. Multiple linear regressions were performed to determine which variables were associated with patient's QoL. We tested the following hypothesis using structural equation modeling (SEM): caregivers' QoL may have an indirect effect on patients' QoL mediated by their influence of the severity of psychotic symptoms.; Results: In the multivariate analysis, the caregivers' QoL was not significantly associated with the patients' QoL, except for one QoL dimension about relationship with family (Beta = 0.23). Among patients' characteristics, being a woman and Aymara, having lower educational level, unemployment and severity of symptoms was significantly associated to a lower QoL. The SEM revealed a moderate significant association between caregivers' QoL and psychotic symptoms severity (path coefficient = -0.32) and a significant association between psychotic symptoms severity and patients QoL (path coefficient = -0.40). The indirect effect of caregivers' QoL on patients' QoL was significant (mediated effect coefficient = 0.13).; Conclusion: Improvement of caregiver's QoL may have a direct impact on the psychotic symptoms of patients and indirectly on patient's QoL, confirming the need for ongoing family interventions in these regions.;
Family interventions in chronic psychosis are well established through systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Such reviews report that family intervention might reduce relapse and improve compliance with medication and reduction in levels of expressed emotion (EE). However, most of the previous research has been conducted in caregivers with chronic schizophrenia, and the effects of family interventions in the early stages are largely unknown. Using a quasi-experimental nonequivalent comparison group design, we evaluated the effectiveness of a 7-session group intervention among 59 caregivers of patients with first episode psychosis. Outcome variables measured were carers’ EE and social support. Carers were recruited from inpatient psychiatry units of a tertiary mental health center in South India. Follow-up assessments were carried out after one and three months of intervention. Descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to the data. Carers in the intervention group reported reduction of EE and improvements in social support at a one-month follow-up assessment. However, these benefits were not sustained at the three-month follow-up. Overall, both groups showed significant changes in all outcome variables over the time period.
Psycho education to family members has been emerged as an important prerequisite to modern psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation, since through psycho education many problematic areas related to patient care and compliance with the treatment can be successfully addressed. Being an indispensable adjunct to modern psychiatric treatment it is more efficacious in targeting all areas of patient's illness and functionality quite suitably than any single therapy based approach. Effects of bipolar disorder can be far-reaching, both into the lives of patients and those around them. Severe cognitive, emotional and behavioural dysfunctioning related to illness lead to burden, expressed emotion, life stress, avoidance coping, decreased quality of life and lesser social support in family members of patients because of their inability in understanding the meaning of psychiatric and neurological symptoms. Primary caregiver plays multiple role in care of the ill persons, not only they take day-to-day care of the patient, supervise medications, take the patient to the hospital and look after the financial needs but also they have to bear with the behavioral disturbances in the patient. Experiencing considerable stress and burden they might develop an unhealthy coping style which may adversely affect the caregiving function and their own health. Interventions techniques have proven efficacy in reducing relapse rates and negative impact of symptoms on caregivers and can diminish negative attitudes and increase the willingness in the caregivers in providing care to patients. Through intervention caregivers are imparted knowledge about illness, its course, etiology, warning signs and various ways of managing the patient during distress and dysfunctioning. Psychoeducational training is a way of offering help for caregivers, representing a forum for knowledge sharing, and in which the primary focus is on psychological themes aimed at carers developing coping skills and strategies. It helps caregivers to become skilled in closer monitoring of disease treatment and symptoms which can have major implication in the evolution of the disease over the long term. The goals of these efforts are educational, prevention and to promote psychological health among caregivers as well as the patients.
Family members are often the primary caregiver for autistic adults and this responsibility may impact on the carer's wellbeing and quality of life. 109 family members of autistic adults completed an online survey assessing their wellbeing relating to their caring role for their autistic relative. Family members who were supporting an autistic relative with co-occurring mental health difficulties and who they reported as unprepared for the future, self-reported higher levels of worry, depression, anxiety and stress, and poorer quality of life. These findings emphasise the importance of support for family members of autistic adults, whether through external services to support their relative or individual mental health support for the carer.
Eating disorders (ED) has the highest mortality rate of psychiatric disorders and a high incidence of comorbidity. Because of the average age of onset, care typically befalls family members. However, despite the severity of the disorder and the burden placed on the family, research into the caregiving experience is still developing. Studies have shown caregivers of individuals with ED to experience high levels of distress, burden and expressed emotion. Recent theoretical models have underscored the importance of caregivers' responses as a maintenance factor for the ED, and family therapy has proved efficacious. However, the literature pertaining to the experience of family members living with or caring for an individual with an ED has not been systematically reviewed. This review aimed to synthesize qualitative studies relating to the caring experience and its impact, thereby gaining an understanding from the perspective of the individuals themselves. Relevant search terms were utilized to systematically search key databases. Twenty studies, with a total sample of 239 participants, met the inclusion criteria. Nine core themes emerged from the synthesis, forming the basis of an explanatory theory. The ED was found to have a pervasive impact upon family members, mediated by a number of factors. Cognitive appraisals affected the caregiving experience and responses to the individual. The experience of caregiving was continually reappraised leading to a process of adaptation. The majority of studies identified unmet carer needs. The implications of the findings are discussed with reference to existing theoretical models and in terms of clinical practice. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Key Practitioner Messages Carers experience a significant amount of guilt and distress once they have found out about their loved one's eating disorder., Across the studies, there were many themes of unmet need for carers., Siblings have often been overlooked by both clinicians and researchers., Interventions for people with eating disorders should also acknowledge carers and close family members.
The family caregivers of people with mental illness may internalize the public stereotypes into the affiliate stigma (i.e., the self-stigma of family members). This study aimed to compare the affiliate stigma across schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder, and to investigate potential factors associated with affiliate stigma. Each caregiver of family members with schizophrenia (n = 215), bipolar disorder (n = 85), and major depressive disorder (n = 159) completed the Affiliate Stigma Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Caregiver Burden Inventory, Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire, and Beck Anxiety Inventory. After controlling for potential confounders, the hierarchical regression models showed that caregivers of a family member with schizophrenia had a higher level of affiliate stigma than those of bipolar disorder (β = -0.109; p < 0.05) and major depressive disorder (β = -0.230; p < 0.001). Self-esteem, developmental burden, and emotional burden were significant factors for affiliate stigma. The affiliate stigma of caregivers is associated with their self-esteem, caregiver burden, and by the diagnosis.
Background A diagnosis of serious mental illness can impact on the whole family. Families informally provide significant amounts of care but are disproportionately at risk of carer burden when compared to those supporting people with other long-term conditions. Shared decision making (SDM) is an ethical model of health communication associated with positive health outcomes; however, there has been little research to evaluate how routinely family is invited to participate in SDM, or what this looks like in practice. Objective This UK study aimed to better understand how the family caregivers of those diagnosed with SMI are currently involved in decision making, particularly decisions about treatment options including prescribed medication. Objectives were to Explore the extent to which family members wish to be involved in decisions about prescribed medication, Determine how and when professionals engage family in these decisions, Identify barriers and facilitators associated with the engagement of family in decisions about treatment., Participants Open-ended questions were sent to professionals and family members to elicit written responses. Qualitative responses were analysed thematically. Results Themes included the definition of involvement and 'rules of engagement.' Staff members are gatekeepers for family involvement, and the process is not democratic. Family and staff ascribe practical, rather than recovery-oriented roles to family, with pre-occupation around notions of adherence. Conclusions Staff members need support, training and education to apply SDM. Time to exchange information is vital but practically difficult. Negotiated teams, comprising of staff, service users, family, peers as applicable, with ascribed roles and responsibilities could support SDM.
The article reviews the report "National Mental Health Development Unit 2010" highlighting the importance of involving carers particularly in crisis resolution and home treatment teams (CRHT), in managing medicines during a mental health crisis. The authors note the report's recommendation of developing training packages to help carers understand issues and enhance their understanding of mental health conditions and treatment options. They also recommend investigating the needs of young carers.
Objective: To describe measures used to evaluate the burden of caregiving experienced by caregivers of stroke patients and their clinimetric properties. Design: A review of the literature was conducted to examine burden scales with regard to concept, feasibility, internal consistency, validity, reliability and responsiveness. Results: The literature search resulted in 45 measures of caregiver outcomes, including 16 different measures of caregiver burden. About half of the scales were used only once and were not further described. Nearly all instruments measure the various dimensions of burden (competency, negative feelings, social relations, participation problems, physical and mental health and economic aspects), but not in the same proportions. Most measures showed good internal consistency, and validity was demonstrated for all measures except one. However, not much is known about the reliability and responsiveness of these measures. Conclusions: No measure has proven superiority above others. Future research should focus on comparisons between existing instruments and on their reliability and responsiveness.
This article draws on research with children who provide care for parents with serious mental health problems and signals ongoing research that uses photographic participation methods with these groups of vulnerable children. The intention of this article is to highlight the need to move away from popular and simplistic representations of children with caring responsibilities (young carers) as victims of their parents’ illnesses, as ‘little angels’ whose caring work is condoned through rewards or as (exploited) informal domestic workers whose childhoods are inevitably compromised by the caring activity they undertake. Recommendations are made for generating deeper understanding about the lives and needs of children who are affected by parental impairment that is congruent with the thrust of current UK policy, Every Child Matters and the 2004 Children Act.
Family carers of people with mental illness provide an immense contribution to society in caring for mental health consumers. However, carers can experience substantial burdens and poor health outcomes themselves. Recognition of their needs for education and support has led to the development of a range of family education programmes. Throughout Australia, the Mental Illness Fellowship Australia offers the Well Ways programme, a group-based, family-to-family, education programme that provides information and aims to increase carers' capacity to care effectively for themselves, their families, and the mental health consumers. This paper describes a qualitative evaluation of an emotional support service piloted in a Well Ways programme in rural Queensland, Australia. The pilot service comprised individual emotional support offered to family carers attending the weekly Well Ways group education programme. Six of eight family carers who received the emotional support engaged in semistructured interviews exploring their experience of receiving the support. Three themes emerged from their experience: dealing with difficult times, connecting through shared experience, and exploring different options. Family carers found the emotional support beneficial, and reported that it enhanced their capacity to manage their own well-being, as well as their caregiving roles.
This study examines the economic and psychological costs of care for family carers of people with dementia in Ireland. The analysis is based on an opportunistic survey of 98 carers of people with dementia. The article presents new findings on Irish carers' own perceptions of optimal care provision and the value of the care provided in monetary terms. Family carers in the survey provide an average of just under 12 hours of specified care each day to people with dementia. Many carers refer to the constant nature of care, with very high figures recorded for surveillance and supervision of the person with dementia. Irish caregivers spend considerably longer than they would wish caring for their relatives with dementia, allowing their mental health to suffer in the process. Carers would also like to be paid for the work that they do. Current arrangements for monetary compensation are, however, selective and therefore inadequate to meet the needs of most carers.
Background: The development of effective medication for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease led to an expansion in the use of memory clinics ther clinic-based services for the delivery and monitoring of the drugs. In contrast, there is an increased emphasis on providing home and community based service delivery for a range of illnesses including dementia.
Methods: This paper reports the findings of an evaluation study comparing a clinic-based and a community service. A convenience sample of 10 service users and carer dyads took part in in-depth qualitative interviews. Service users were diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia of Alzheimer's type. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and subsequently analyzed using template analysis.
Results: Service users and carers were satisfied with both services, with determinants of satisfaction differing between the two services. Issues relating to the location and spatial design of services, comfort, familiarity, communication with staff, and ease of use are highlighted as important determinants of satisfaction amongst service users and their carers.
Conclusion: This study has implications for person-centred care practices in service delivery and for the future design of mental health services for people with dementia.
Background: Recent government policy has highlighted the needs of family and friends who provide support to mental health service users. Carers of assertive outreach (AO) service users may be particularly in need of support. However, little is known about their experiences and how services can support them. Aim: To explore the experiences of carers of individuals receiving an AO service. Method: Ten participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Participants were positive about the service they and their relatives received from AO teams. They described the service as flexible and responsive to their needs and they had developed close collaborative relationships with AO workers. AO workers were considered by carers to be an extension of their family system. AO interventions helped their relatives to regain independence and enabled participants to feel less burdened by their caring role, thereby improving the carer's quality of life. Conclusions: The unique way in which AO teams engage and work alongside service users and their families is greatly valued by carers.
Objectives: Using data from a national sample of informal caregivers to older adults, we identify predictors of lack of choice and the consequences of lack of choice in taking on the caregiving role.
Methods: A national telephone survey with 1397 caregivers was carried out to assess whether respondents had a choice in taking on the caregiving role, their demographic characteristics, the nature and duration of their caregiving experience, and its impact on their physical and psychological well-being. We compare caregivers who felt they had no choice in taking on the caregiving role to those who did.
Results: In total, 44% of caregivers reported a lack of choice in taking on the caregiving role. Highly educated, older caregivers caring for a younger care recipient with emotional or behavioral problems were most likely to report that they had no choice in taking on the caregiving role. Lack of choice is associated with higher levels of emotional stress, physical strain, and negative health impacts, after controlling for multiple confounds including level of care provided, relationship type, primary health condition of the care recipient, and demographic characteristics.
Conclusion: Lack of choice is an independent risk factor for the negative effects of caregiving, and clinicians should be vigilant to lack of choice as a marker of caregiver distress.
In November 2009 important changes to the Direct Payments scheme were introduced. New regulations extend the scheme to people who lack the capacity to consent, and to people with mental health problems who are subject to mental health and certain criminal justice legislation. Guidance for councils on direct payments has been updated to reflect these changes. This leaflet sets out these changes and explains where to find more information.
Purpose. About 30% of the people with multiple sclerosis (MS) require some form of home care assistance and 80% of that assistance is provided by informal or unpaid care givers. This study focusses on the care givers for 530 more disabled people with MS, with the objective of learning more about informal care giving to people with greater dependency and need for assistance.
Method. The data presented in this study were collected in a national survey of 530 people who provided informal care to more disabled people with MS.
Results. Almost half of these care givers reported that they provided more than 20 h of care per week to the person with MS, with more than 9 in 10 shopping for groceries, doing indoor housework, preparing meals or providing transportation for the person with MS. More than 4 in 10 employed care givers reduced the amount of time worked in the previous 12 months because of their care giving responsibilities. Although more than half of the MS care givers in our study reported that care giving was demanding, time consuming or challenging, about 90% of these MS care givers were happy that they could help. About two in three of these MS care givers found that care giving was rewarding, with more than 8 in 10 proud of the care they provided.
Conclusions. More than a quarter of the informal care givers to people with MS thought they would benefit from treatment or counselling provided by mental health professionals. Not only it is necessary to provide access to mental health services for people with MS, but it is also important to assure that their informal care givers also have access to appropriate mental health care, given the scope of their care giving responsibilities.
Carers have an enormous amount of responsibility for the welfare and management of people with a mental illness in Britain, and many require help if they are to continue caring. Mental health nurses may be in a key position to offer support, but they are often unclear of what is required and how it should be delivered. Existing UK nurse-led psychosocial interventions for families often focus on the needs of the patient rather than the carer. This article describes a needs-led support service that has been designed for carers whose relatives are diagnosed with schizophrenia. It recognizes the importance of a collaborative partnership between carers and nurses. In 2000, 10 mental health nurses were trained to deliver this support to carers. An evaluation is currently underway. This article outlines the principles of the training programme and how it might enable nurses to meet the carers' needs.
The author, from the organisation Rethink, gives his personal views on the current state of the mental health services; what users and carers would like their experience of mental health services to be; and the key areas to tackle in order to improve services.
"Together for mental health" is our ambitious strategy aiming to improve the mental health of the people of Wales and setting out our vision for 21st century mental health services. It is our first mental health strategy to cover all ages and centres on the 6 high level outcomes set out below:
a. The mental health and well-being of the whole population is improved.
b. The impact of mental health problems and/or mental illness on individuals of all ages, their families and carers, communities and the economy more widely, is better recognised and reduced.
c. Inequalities, stigma and discrimination suffered by people experiencing mental health problems and mental illness are reduced.
d. Individuals have a better experience of the support and treatment they receive and have an increased feeling of input and control over related decisions.
e. Access to, and the quality of preventative measures, early intervention and treatment services are improved and more people recover as a result.
f. The values, attitudes and skills of those treating or supporting individuals of all ages with mental health problems or mental illness are improved.
This is the second annual report on the implementation of the Welsh Government mental health strategy.
This bulletin provides a picture of the wellbeing of people who received care and support, and carers who received support in the last 12 months, and where possible, provides a comparison to the rest of the respondents in the survey (those that had not received any care and support services). Due to the small number of respondents receiving help from care and support services, results are published at a Wales level only.
Summarises findings from the 2014-15 National Survey for Wales and responses to questions designed to measure the personal well-being of people who need care and support and carers who need support. Respondents were shown a list of services offered by care and support services in Wales and were asked whether they had received any help from these services in the last 12 months. 9 per cent of all respondents had received care and support for themselves) or had received help to care for or arrange care for another person.
Original document (pdf) on Welsh Government website.
Informal caring is of significant and increasing importance in the context of an ageing population, growing pressures on public finances, and increasing life expectancy at older ages. A growing body of research has examined the characteristics associated with informal care provision, as well as the impact of caring for the carer's physical and mental health, and their economic activity. However, only a relatively small body of literature has focused on the study of ‘repeat’ or continuous caring over time, and the factors associated with such trajectories. In 2001, for the first time, the United Kingdom census asked about provision of informal care, enabling identification of the prevalence of informal caregiving at a national level. This paper follows up informal carers from the 2001 Census in order to examine their characteristics and circumstances 10 years later using a nationally representative 1% sample of linked census data for England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study. The analysis classifies the range of possible combinations of caring and non-caring roles between 2001 and 2011, focusing on the characteristics of those who were providing care at one, or both, time points. Among other results, the analysis identified that, among those who were carers in 2001, caring again in, or continuing to care until, 2011 was associated with being female, aged between 45 and 54 years in 2011, looking after the home, and providing care for 50 hours or more per week in 2001. Such results contribute to our understanding of a particular group of informal carers and provide a more nuanced picture of informal care provision at different stages of the life course.
Contributors to this DVD talk from personal experience about the social impacts of living with a mental illness, including stigma and discrimination. Content includes the experiences of two carers and two people who have had experience of mental health problems. In addition, Professor Graham Thornicroft talks about the recent research evidence in nine key areas. Additional clips of other people's experiences also add to the evidence in these nine areas.
Often the needs of carers of people with dual diagnosis are ignored when they too may be doubly isolated and unsupported. Reports on a pilot two-day training workshop for carers in Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust, based on training provided for the trust's community and inpatient mental health staff. Discusses what both staff and carers found useful about the workshops.
This paper reports on a research study which explored the worries and problems of young carers in Edinburgh. Sixty-one young carers took part in the study, conducted between April and June 2002. Findings indicate that young carers identify significant worries and problems in relation to their well-being, and that these come over and above any 'normal' adolescent difficulties. It is suggested that these findings may have important implications for young carers' mental health, now and in the future, and contain important lessons for child and family social work in general.
Background: In the primary care setting, dementia is often diagnosed relatively late in the disease process. Case finding and proactive collaborative care may have beneficial effects on both patient and informal caregiver by clarifying the cause of cognitive decline and changed behaviour and by enabling support, care planning and access to services. We aim to improve the recognition and diagnosis of individuals with dementia in general practice. In addition to this diagnostic aim, the effects of case finding and subsequent care on the mental health of individuals with dementia and the mental health of their informal carers are explored.
Methods and design: Design: cluster randomised controlled trial with process evaluation.
Participants: 162 individuals ≥ 65 years, in 15 primary care practices, in whom GPs suspect cognitive impairment, but without a dementia diagnosis.
Intervention; case finding and collaborative care: 2 trained practice nurses (PNs) invite all patients with suspected cognitive impairment for a brief functional and cognitive screening. If the cognitive tests are supportive of cognitive impairment, individuals are referred to their GP for further evaluation. If dementia is diagnosed, a comprehensive geriatric assessment takes place to identify other relevant geriatric problems that need to be addressed. Furthermore, the team of GP and PN provide information and support.
Control: GPs provide care and diagnosis as usual.
Main study parameters: after 12 months both groups are compared on: 1) incident dementia (and MCI) diagnoses and 2) patient and caregiver quality of life (QoL-AD; EQ5D) and mental health (MH5; GHQ 12) and caregiver competence to care (SSCQ). The process evaluation concerns facilitating and impeding factors to the implementation of this intervention. These factors are assessed on the care provider level, the care recipient level and on the organisational level.
Discussion: This study will provide insight into the diagnostic yield and the clinical effects of case finding and collaborative care for individuals with suspected cognitive impairment, compared to usual care. A process evaluation will give insight into the feasibility of this intervention. The first results are expected in the course of 2013.
Trial registration: NTR3389
The aim of this report is to provide a scoping review of evaluation studies of interventions and serv ices to support carers of people with m ental health problem s, to discuss issues relating to the effectiveness and cost - effectiveness of interventions, and to provide insights into areas where there are gaps in knowledge. The report is accom panied by a second report, the Consultation Report, that docum ents a consultation exercise held with key stakeholders, including ‘key informant’ carers. A third report, the Overview Report, draws together the em erging them es and issues, and advises on what further researc h and development work should be funded in this area.
Objective: Two small studies have suggested that family carers of people with dementia may be a high-risk group for suicide. The objective of this study was to further explore the rate of suicidal ideation in a large sample of carers and identify psychosocial risk and protective factors.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 566 family carers. The survey included measures of suicidality, self-efficacy, physical health, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, optimism, burden, coping strategies, and social support.
Results: Sixteen percent of carers had contemplated suicide more than once in the previous year. There were univariate differences between suicidal and non-suicidal carers on self-efficacy, social support, coping, burden, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, optimism, reasons for living, and symptoms of dementia, as well as age and income management. In a multivariate model, age, depression, and reasons for living predicted suicidal ideation. In tests for mediation, satisfaction with social support and dysfunctional coping had indirect effects on suicidal ideation via depression.
Conclusion: Family carers of people with dementia have high rates of suicidal ideation, with depression a risk factor and increasing age and reasons for living as protective factors. Depression and reasons for living should be targeted in interventions to reduce suicide risk in dementia carers.
Little research has examined how, or if, involuntary commitment has impacted on the burden experienced by the family. This paper reports a qualitative study which explored how involuntary commitment under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2000 in Queensland, Australia impacted on families of people with mental illness. Family members of a person with a mental illness, under involuntary commitment at the time or in the previous 12 months, participated in focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to determine the themes. It was apparent from the views of the family that the use of the involuntary commitment was influenced greatly by the pressures experienced by the mental health services (MHS). The MHA did little to assist the family in gaining access to MHS. It was not until after the family made repeated attempts that they were taken seriously. Often the family had few options other than to use deceit and threats to obtain the necessary treatment required. In view of this, the inherit nature of what involuntary commitment implies for persons under it, such as refusing treatment and management difficulties, indicates the family with such an individual experience more hardship in trying to obtain assistance for that person. Thus, the MHA in Queensland has not met its goals of increasing access to MHS. Family members perceive that they were not being listened to and their concerns were not acted upon. The current culture of the MHS appears to serve, to a large degree, to estrange the family from the consumer making relationships difficult and time-consuming to repair. The mental health profession is urged to consider the culture within their workplace and move towards constructive involvement of the family.
Person centred care means listening to people to find out what is most important to them and without making assumptions. Care is holistic, and centres on the whole person: who they are, their life before, and how they currently feel. The emphasis is on what the person can, rather than cannot do. This video shows health and social care professionals working directly with individuals and their carers. There are no actors, and no prepared scripts. The film shows what a difference a person centred approach makes to individuals with many/complex needs. It links the Single Assessment Process (SAP), as the person centred health and social care framework, with other Department of Health policies e.g. long term conditions with its emphasis on case management. It outlines key principles of person centred care that are evolving, including holistic assessment, personalised care plans, sharing information, continuity and coordination, and self care/self management. A feature of the film is to hear the views of the individuals and carers themselves in 3 Case Studies with a Social Worker, Community Matron and a Community Mental Health Nurse.
The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 was introduced to protect individuals with incapacity and to support their families and carers in managing and safeguarding the individuals’ welfare and finances. The Executive commissioned a two-year project to monitor how the Act was working. The results were positive, but showed that some changes could be made to streamline procedures and enable more adults and their carers to benefit from the Act. This revised edition of the code of practice for continuing and welfare attorneys takes account of changes to the Act that were introduced in part 2 of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. This code is for anyone appointed as an attorney under the Act, that is, as continuing and/or welfare power of attorney. The code applies equally to a lay person and to a professional continuing attorney such as a solicitor or accountant. It contains the following sections: about the act; creating a power of attorney; exercising powers of attorney (continuing and welfare); Specific guidance on exercising welfare powers of attorney;Stopping being an attorney; and Pre-act attorneys and attorneys under the law of another country.
Details of service receipt by 132 people diagnosed with dementia and their carers were collected in South London (boroughs of Lewisham, Camberwell, Southwark and Croydon), a geographical area served by several health and social care providers. The data collected included the Caregiver Activity Survey, which details the informal care given. This paper reports the formal and informal services received by the people with dementia at entry to the study. The amount of time spent on specific caring tasks by all informal carers of people with dementia averaged seven hours per week, but was significantly higher for co-resident carers, even when controlling for the level of dependency of the person cared-for. The odds ratios of receipt of formal services are given, according to where people were living: in the community or residential care, with co-resident carers or alone.
Aim. This article reports on trends in health outcomes for family caregivers of hip-fractured patients and the effects of social support on these outcomes.
Background. Little is known about the impact of caregiving on the health outcomes of family caregivers of patients with hip fracture.
Method. For this prospective, correlational study, data were collected from 135 family caregivers of hip-fractured elders (2001–2005). Data on health-related quality of life and social support were collected from family caregivers at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after discharge of the older hip-fractured patient.
Findings. During the 12 months after the patients’ discharge, family caregivers’ scores improved significantly in role performance-related scales, including bodily pain, social function, role limitations due to emotional problems and role limitations due to physical problems. However, caregivers’ scores for general health and mental health were significantly lower at 12 months [59·91 (sd = 24·54) and 65·91 (sd = 14·36) respectively] than at 1 month after discharge [64·35 (sd = 23·29) and 67·94 (sd = 18·47) respectively]. The trends for most subscale scores for health-related quality of life were positively related to perceived availability of social support.
Conclusions. Caring for a hip-fractured older family member over a sustained period may enhance family caregivers’ role performance, but have a negative impact on their perceived general health and mental health. These results suggest that home care nurses should develop interventions early after discharge to assess and improve family caregivers’ health perception, mental health and social support.
As older workers move closer to retirement, they are more likely to take on caring roles. This may affect their health, retirement plans, and income security. Retired men and women experience the caring role differently, with men less likely to be adversely affected and more likely to accept services and to derive satisfaction from caring. Carers make an important contribution to the lives of the people they care for and to the community. Caring is a productive role that can be sustained into older age, as long as the carer's health and well-being are maintained. More research is needed on the relationship between retirement and caring, to explore the extent of caring and its impact on retirement plans, income, and the physical and mental health of retired carers. This information could then be built into retirement planning to better prepare older workers for this important role. Caring roles and retirement intersect in several ways. About 6 million Americans, 2.6 million Australians, and 6 million people in the United Kingdom are informal carers. People (especially men) are more likely to take on caring roles as they get older and leave the paid workforce. The need to care for a spouse or older relative can be an unanticipated outcome or a precipitator of retirement. Retirement may coincide with illness or disability of a parent or spouse, or may be forced by the demands of caring. Caring may bring about major changes to retirement plans. The financial impact of having been a carer during one's working life may also be felt most keenly on retirement, through the lack of opportunities for savings and retirement fund co-contributions.
This paper will inform mental health service users and carers on how a University in Wales established a service user and carer-led research group. * The group's primary aim will be to undertake its own service user and carer-led research projects. * Mental health service users have undergone empowerment and research training at a University in Wales. This is an important initiative because it is the first service user and carer-led research group in Wales. * This paper is co-authored by a mental health service user and includes transcripts of service users' stories written in their words. Abstract Service user and carer involvement in research has been gaining momentum in recent years. However, this involvement to date has primarily been as research respondents or 'subjects' in research studies. A group of mental health service users at a University in Wales underwent empowerment and research training to enable them to become active participants in the research process; this training was a necessary step to equip mental health service users with the skills to become independent researchers and to carry out service user-led research. We included transcripts from mental health service users on their views of the empowerment and research training received. We are not reporting, in this paper, on the findings from a research study rather it aims to inform readers how a service user and carer-led research group has been established in Wales. The group has two purposes: (1) to train service users in research methodologies, and thus for them to gain essential research skills; and (2) to undertake their own service user and carer-led research projects thereby implementing the research skills they have acquired from the training. The latter is a primary aim of the group; a future paper will report on its development.
The literature on carer burden, needs and interventions developed to address care needs of those caring for people with psychosis are reviewed. The findings of a study which explored the views and experiences of carers, service users and professionals with regard to what carers of people with psychosis need from mental health services are then reported.
Objective: To test the feasibility (for a potential randomised controlled trial) of a computer intervention for improving social interaction and promoting the mental health of rural carers.
Design: The study combined pre- and post-intervention measures with interviews to determine the feasibility of the intervention and the acceptability of the study design to participants. The intervention consisted of providing 14 rural carers with computers and a 4-week training program on basic computer skills, using email and the Internet.
Setting: The study was conducted in a rural community setting.
Participants: The carers were 12 women and two men, aged from 50 to 81 years, with an average of 65.5 years.
Main outcome measures: Measures of social isolation (UCLA Loneliness Scale), depression (Geriatric Depression Scale), carer burden (Zarit Burden Interview) and computer confidence were taken at baseline and at a 3-month follow-up. Interviews were completed at follow-up to discuss outcomes of the study. A focus group discussion was conducted with 11 participants to discuss the study and resolve computer issues.
Results: Most carers reported increased confidence in email and Internet use. There was improvement for most participants in depressive symptoms and social isolation, but little change in carer burden. Participants identified many social benefits associated with the computer intervention, such as intergenerational connection, community building, skills and confidence and preparation for the future.
Conclusion: The intervention was found to be practical and acceptable for a group of older carers. It was concluded that it would be feasible to conduct a large randomised controlled trial of the intervention.