De-institutionalisation of people with mental illness and intellectual disability : the family perspective

Kock, Elizabeth (2009-12)

Thesis (MPhil (Sociology and Social Anthropology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa has transformed its mental health service provision from in-hospital care to community-based rehabilitation. Although the idea is sound, the process places the caregiving families under an immense pressure. The aim of this study was to explore the impact that the de-institutionalisation process has had on the families as they care for their child with intellectual disability. The study was conducted by means of qualitative, unstructured interviews with families that have had a child de-institutionalised from Alexandra Hospital in the Western Cape. All of the patients were diagnosed with a dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental illness. Even though the patients were in group-homes or attended a day care centre, final responsibility for the patients lay with the parents. Three main themes emerged from the interviews that describe the impact of deinstitutionalisation, viz. the characteristics of the family member with intellectual disability (aggressive, abusive and self-destructive behaviour of the patient), the effect that these characteristics had on the family (marital stress and health risks to the care giver), and community and resource factors. The study placed the family central to its environment and discussed the impact deinstitutionalisation had on its environment as a whole. It was concluded that the burden that de-institutionalisation places on the families far exceeded their ability to cope with these circumstances. This status quo could be improved if adequate resources and skills are given to families prior to de-institutional

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In Suid-Afrika is geestesgesondheidsorg van hospitaliserende na gemeenskapsgebaseerde rehabilitasie, omskep. Terwyl hierdie stap wel as lewensvatbaar mag voorkom, plaas die proses ‘n hewige las op die sorggewende gesin. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die omvang van die impak hiervan op ‘n gesin met ’n lid met intellektuele gestremdheid en psiegiatriese siekte, te bepaal – nadat so ‘n pasient uit die inrigting ontslaan is. Die ondersoek is uitgevoer by wyse van kwalitatiewe, ongestruktureerde onderhoude met gesinne wie se lede met die diagnose uitgeplaas is deur die Alexandra Hospitaal in die Wes-Kaap. Elkeen van die pasïente is gediagnoseer met ernstige intellektuele gestremdheid, asook bykomende gedragsafwykings. Ten spyte van die feit dat die betrokke pasïente deur groepshuise of dagsorg eenhede versorg word, bly hulle hul ouers se verantwoordelikheid. Drie temas het ontstaan wat die impak van ontslag uit die inrigting omskryf, te wete die karaktertrekke van die gestremde gesinslid (aggressie, misbruikende en vernielsugtige gedrag van die pasïent), die effek van hierdie karaktertrekke op die gesin (stres op die huwelik en potensiële gesondheidsrisiko wat dit vir die versorger inhou), en die gemeenskap en ondersteunende faktore. Tydens die ondersoek is die gesin sentraal geplaas ten opsigte van die omgewing. Die impak van ontslag van die gediagnoseerde pasïent uit die inrigting op die omgewing as geheel, word bespreek. Daar is tot die slotsom gekom dat die vermoë van die gesin wat die las moet dra as gevolg van die ontslag, ver oorspan word. Hierdie toedrag van sake sou egter verlig kon word indien toereikende hulpbronne en vaardighede aan sulke gesinne beskikbaar gestel word alvorens so ‘n pasïent ontslaan is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/2231
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