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Everyday life experiences among relatives of persons with mental disabilities represented in basic documents governing the Swedish psychiatric reform
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2012 (English)In: US-China Education Review B, ISSN 2161-6248, Vol. 2, no 10, 849-857 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mental disability is one of the most serious health problems facing Europe today. The reform of psychiatric care inSweden has passed much of the rehabilitation and daily care of these people on to their families/relatives. The aim of this article is to analyze how the psychiatric reform in Sweden has affected everyday life experiences among close relatives of persons with mental disabilities. It is an explorative and descriptive study using inductive qualitative content analysis of 18 individual interviews with close relatives. In order to deepen the understanding of the relatives’ situation and the consequences of the psychiatry reform, the relatives’ statements are put in a dialogue with how problems are represented in documents that form the basis of the psychiatry reform. The results indicate that the reform of psychiatric care in Sweden has put the solution of problems on the relatives, but for the relatives, there is still no consensus among the different care providers, county council, and municipal and national social services that are involved in treatment. The results further indicate that the relatives feel guilty about not providing enough support for the persons with mental disabilities, and they expressed a need for personal support and a need for better information, consistency throughout the caring process and professional therapy for themselves as well. Children of parents with mental disabilities express a need for assistance, opportunities for participation in care, and information about their parents’ illness. Even though there are a lot of bad experiences, all relatives could also relate to positive experiences, i.e., open dialogues, relevant information, timely care, and support given by some hospital staff. We recommend that relatives’ experiences should be taken seriously in further reforms of the psychiatric care and that relatives meet in different kinds of supportive networks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CA, USA: David Publishing Company , 2012. Vol. 2, no 10, 849-857 p.
Keyword [en]
mental disability; psychiatric care; qualitative content analysis; family involvement in care; relatives’ experiences
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-62823OAI: diva2:578674
Available from: 2012-12-19 Created: 2012-12-18 Last updated: 2012-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Wilhelmsson, Anna-BrittaBerge, Britt-Marie
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