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Title: The impact of providing care to relatives with a severe mental illness : the caregivers’ experience
Authors: Fenech, Michelle
Scerri, Josianne
Keywords: Mentally ill -- Care -- Malta
Social group work -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014-04
Publisher: Malta Journal of Health Sciences
Citation: Malta Journal of Health Sciences. 2014, Vol.1(1), p. 19-23
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore the impact on Maltese family caregivers in providing care to a relative with a severe mental illness (SMI). Purposive sampling and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven caregivers (four females and three males). The interview data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four themes emerged from the analysis, namely Range of Emotions, Increased Responsibility, Toll on Physical Health and Change in Lifestyle. This study demonstrates that the caregivers experienced a range of negative emotional and physical responses. Changes in their lifestyle were made, as caregivers provided complete care to their ill relative, as well as ensured that they came to no harm. Female participants tended to self-blame, attributing behavioural problems in the ill relative to their actions. Parent caregivers experienced distress regarding care provision in the eventuality that they suffered from ill health or death. Although parents acknowledged the support provided by siblings, they strived to cope by themselves, as siblings were perceived to have responsibilities of their own. The role of mental health professionals in such a scenario includes the understanding of the unique perceptions of family caregivers, as well as targeting any dysfunctional perceptions. Furthermore, caregivers should be made aware of entities that provide support within the community setting. Sufficient resources also need to be provided to ensure effective community support to family caregivers.
Appears in Collections:MJHS, Volume 1, Issue 1
MJHS, Volume 1, Issue 1
Scholalry Works - FacHScMH
Scholarly Works - FacHScNur

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