Poster Presentation

Friday, July 13, 2007
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Friday, July 13, 2007
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation III
The lived experience of hereditary psychiatric families: A phenomenological approach
Shuh-Jen Sheu, PhD1, Chen-Jee Hong, MD2, and Jane-Jane Chen, BS, RN2. (1) School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, (2) Psychiatric department, Taipei Veteran General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Learning Objective #1: understand the lived experiences of psychiatric hereditary families, regarding their feelings, thoughts, illness and caring dilemma.
Learning Objective #2: explore the issues of relationship between self and family, illness and care, as well as genetic or environment.

      Along with the discoveries about the human genetic code and innovations to manipulate genes, it will challenge both the psychiatric medical evolution and cause a great deal of family transmission. The phenomenological approaches applied in this study to serve the goal for understanding the psychiatric hereditary families’ lived experiences. The selection criterion for the participant is that there are above two members with the diagnosis of schizophrenia or affective disorders in a family and they are capable and willing to talk. The participants were individual- and family-interviewed from one to two times. We’d recruited 22 patients and 20 family members from 26 families in this study.   

      Major findings from data analysis revealed two constitutive patterns which characterized their worry status of the illness, family care and genetic fact in their daily life. The first pattern, “Multiple jeopardy and caring dilemma”, which includes four themes: 1) Cascading illness episodes, 2) Enduring hardship or keeping ostrich mentality, 3) Making the most out of the illness or running away from a stressful family, and 4) Uncertainty about the future and how to live out the rest of days. The second pattern, “Apprehension about the genetic impact”, comprises four themes: 1) Living under the shadow of becoming ill, 2) Blaming between families of wife and husband, 3) Psychological obstacles for making friends, finding a spouse and having offspring, and 4) Hopes on improving genetic medicine.  Following the results, the relationship between self and family, illness and care, as well as genetic or environmental problems and issues are discussed.