Hickman, Gareth Jonathan (2011)
Clin.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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Objective: This research examines the experiential impact of hospitalisation on families of young people hospitalised with early psychosis. The research aimed to address: What is the meaning and impact of psychiatric hospitalisation for the young person’s family? What was helpful and / or unhelpful for family members during this time? And, how do family members experience the hospitalisation process, from admission to discharge?
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants (parents) and the resulting transcripts were subjected to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
Results: Five phenomenological themes emerged from the data: “Accepting and blaming”, “Feeling out of control: ‘What shall I do?’”, “Hospitalisation as temporary containment”, “Feeling let down by services”, and “Stigma”.
Conclusions: The current research identifies families’ perceptions of hospitalisation as being an understandably difficult, and at times, distressing experience exacerbated by the complexity of being a carer of an adult-child. Negotiating services within the context of this relationship can contribute to feelings of exclusion and disregard by professionals and services. Recommendations arising from the present findings sit comfortably with current government mental health strategy regarding how services can face the challenges of engaging and including carers and equipping them to support their relatives with early psychosis.
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