Learning Objective 1: describe the meaning of family caregiving in Taiwanese families of individuals with mental illness.
Learning Objective 2: discuss how health care providers assess meaning of family caregiving and its impact on family adaptation in Taiwanese families of individuals with mental illness.
The purpose of this cross-sectional study, guided by the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment, and Adaptation, was to examine the relationship between meaning of family caregiving and family adaptation (i.e., depressive symptoms of family members, family caregiver burden, and family functioning) in Taiwanese families of individuals with mental illness.
The sample of 84 families of individuals with psychiatric genetic conditions (i.e., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder) were recruited from two outpatient psychiatric clinics in Taiwan. Family members completed a packet of self-report measures developed to assess meaning of family caregiving, depressive symptoms, family caregiver burden, and family functioning. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, principal component analysis, and mixed linear modeling.
Findings of this study suggest that when family members interpret the caregiving experience more positively, they adapt better. These findings highlight the need to develop culturally sensitive interventions designed to help family members interpret the caregiving experience in a more positive manner, which in turn, can optimize individual and family adaptation.