Caring for a Family member With Schizophrenia: The Experience of Family Carers in Indonesia

Suryani S


Introduction: Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental illness which is characterized by cognitive impairment, difficulty in engaging in daily social activities and the challenges of securing and maintaining  employment. These conditions have the capacity to significantly impact on quality of life for family members. By ignoring this situation, family members continue to be overburdened with care responsibilities, and mental health professionals continue to be unable to address the needs of the family and the family member living with schizophrenia. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the experience of  Indonesian family members  in providing care to a family member with schizophrenia at home  is important as understanding this phenomenon can inform the provision of quality appropriate family-centered care.

Aim: To gain an understanding of the experiences of  Indonesian family carers in providing care to a family member with schizophrenia at home.

Method: This study was recently carried out in West Java, Indonesia. Nine primary caregivers were selected, and data were collected through two individual face-to-face in-depth interviews with each participant. Analysis of participant transcripts was undertaken using Colaizzi’s seven step approach to analysis.

Result: Six themes emerged  from the interviews: Losing a loved one, living with a family member experiencing paranoid thoughts, challenges in interpersonal relationships, living with hopeful expectations of recovery, the need for appropriate support from health professionals and the need for respite care for family members.

Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the need to focus not only on the person experiencing a mental illness but also the family as a whole in caring for their family member with schizophrenia. Further research needs to identify the specific nursing interventions that are effective in helping Indonesian families in caring for a family member with schizophrenia.

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family caregiver; experience; schizophrenia; phenomenologi

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