THE NEED FOR HELP OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN A UNIQUE SERVICE FOR FAMILIES AT THE BEER SHEVA MENTAL HEALTH CENTER

Anat Shalev, Ron Shor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Limited research attention has been given to the needs of family caregivers of persons with mental illness in psychiatric hospitals despite the stressors and difficulties they experience. In light of the recognition of the significance of helping family caregivers, a new model of consultation and support centers for family caregivers, called Meital, has been developed.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the needs of family caregivers who receive help in Meital, at the Beer Sheva Mental Health Center.

METHODS: Eighty-five family caregivers participated in the research. They completed a structured questionnaire constructed for this research two weeks after they started receiving services from Meital. The questionnaire included four areas of needs for help. These areas examined the extent of the need for help with respect to each of the items in the instrument.

RESULTS: The mean of the extent of need for help of the items in the 'information and knowledge' subscale was the highest. Average to high means of the items of the subscales were found in the subscales relating to 'difficulties stemming from the impact of the situation of the person with mental illness on the function of the family caregiver receiving help,' 'on the function of other family members' and 'difficulties coping with the person with mental illness.' The mean of the items of the subscale 'relationships with professionals and informal systems' was the lowest. An examination of the items within the subscales indicated that items relating to the 'impact of the situation of the person with mental illness on the family caregiver who receives help' were ranked higher than the items relating to the 'impact on the function of other family caregivers.' Items relating to 'relationships with professionals' were ranked higher than items relating to 'relationships with informal systems.'

CONCLUSIONS: This research emphasizes the importance of implementing the family-centered approach, the basis of the Meital Model, in psychiatric institutions. The focus of this approach is on the need for help of family caregivers beyond the help needed for them to function as a resource of help for the ill person. The findings also illuminate the importance of making information and knowledge accessible for family caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-752
Number of pages4
JournalHarefuah
Volume155
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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