Monday, 7 July 2008
Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the burden experiences of the carers living with a schizophrenic family member in Taiwan.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand how to use a qualitative phenomenological research methodology to describe and explore the burden experiences of the carers.
A major concern of mental health professionals approaching the new millennium is how to improve the quality of services for clients and carers within community care systems. A qualitative phenomenological research methodology was used to describe and explore the burden experiences of the carers. The purpose of this study was to investigate and thus increase knowledge of the burden experiences of the carers who live with someone who has schizophrenia. Ten principal carers in Taiwan living with a family member who has schizophrenia were interviewed. The semi-structured one-to-one in-depth interviews were utilized. Narratives were analyzed through Colaizzi's seven steps method. Four themes and the concepts among these burden were: physical burden (sleep problems and psycho-physiological reactions), social burden(isolation, leisure curtailment, and financial difficulties), relationship burden(disruption of family life, family friction, and disturbances in social networks), and psychological and emotional impact burden (fear, worry, and sadness). Based on the findings, it is suggested that it be essential that support and care provision by community care services are required in order to meet the needs of people with schizophrenia and their families. The result of the study could be a reference for mental health professionals to improve the care for people with schizophrenia and their carers.