Families’ experiences with schizophrenia

Molefi, Stanley (2009-12)

Thesis (MA (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Families of people with schizophrenia often experience difficult challenges when it comes to dealing with this illness. Contemporary researchers suggest that families often take on the task of caring for their ill relatives with limited resources and support. Mental health professionals often fail to include the families in the treatment of their relatives. Although psychoeducation has been shown to be an important process that helps not only the families but relatives as well, mental health professionals commonly do not involve families in such activities. This study explored the experiences of families of people with schizophrenia and their subsequent contact with mental health professionals, as well as their understanding of schizophrenia as a mental disorder. To this end, a small sample of 10 families (four Xhosa speaking families as well as six Coloured families) was drawn in the Western Cape area on a convenience basis. In each case a family caregiver was interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Data were content analyzed. The findings of the study indicate that families find it difficult to deal with their ill relatives. Families often experience stigma-related incidents because of their relatives. They feel isolated and alone. Families often yearn to receive more information about the illness of their relatives. Also, the contact between mental health professionals and families was reported to be minimal at best. Family members reported that mental health professionals do not include them in the treatment process. Recommendations for further research and practice are made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die families van mense met skisofrenie kom moeilike uitdagings teë op hul pad met hierdie versteuring. Hedendaagse navorsers vind dat die families gereeld die verantwoordelikheid aanneem om na die siek familielid om te sien met beperkte hulpbronne en ondersteuning. Geestesgesondheidswerkers sluit dikwels nie die families in by die behandeling van hul familielede nie. Alhoewel psigo-opvoeding as 'n belangrike proses erken word, wat nie net die families nie, maar ook die siek familielid help, word dit nie in die praktyk toegepas deur geestesgesondheidwerkers nie. Hierdie studie verken die ervaringe van die families van mense met skisofrenie en hul daaropvolgende kontak met geestesgesondheid werkers, asook hul begrip van skisofrenie as ’n versteuring. Heirvoor is ’n klein steekproef (vier Xhosa-sprekende asook ses Kleurling families) geneem in die Wes-Kaap op ’n gerieflikheidsbasis. In elke geval is ’n semigestruktureerde onderhoud gevoer met ’n familie versorger. Die data is geanaliseer volgens inhoud. Die bevindinge van die studie dui aan dat families dit moeilik vind om hul siek familielede te hanteer. Families ervaar dikwels stigma as gevolg van hul siek familielede. Hulle voel geïsoleerd en alleen. Families smag dikwels daarna om inligting te bekom oor die versteuring van hul familielede. Verder is die kontak tussen families en geestesgesondheidswerkers minimaal ten beste van tye. Families rapporteer dat geestesgesondheid werkers hulle as families nie by die behandelingsproses insluit nie. Voorstelle vir verdure navorsing en die praktyk word gemaak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/2567
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