Exploring the experience of relatives living with individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia in Oman: A qualitative study

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Abstract

What is known on the subject?: Relatives of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia experience financial, social, emotional and physical burden. There is a lack of studies on the experience and needs of caregivers of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia in the Arab world. What does this paper add to existing knowledge?: This is the first qualitative study to reflect the voice of parents, siblings and spouses living with schizophrenia in the Arab world. The study explored the needs of relatives of hospitalized patients. This study revealed some positive elements of caregiving experience, especially among siblings. The concept of stigma resistance may guide the establishment of stigma reduction programmes. Violence towards the relatives or vice versa is a sensitive issue that needs to be addressed and reported. What are the implications for practice?: Nurses should address parents, spouses and siblings’ specific needs and challenges to include them in their relatives’ treatment plan. Understanding the experience, feelings and needs of relatives living with schizophrenia would enable mental health nurses to provide a range of interventions to help reduce caregivers' burden and promote the positive gains from the caregiving experience. The study emphasizes the need for culturally adapted family interventions to effectively assist relatives in providing care and adjusting to the caregiving role. Abstract: Introduction Relatives of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia often experience positive and negative impacts. Much of the literature on family experience with schizophrenia comes from western culture, and less is known about Arabic speaking countries. There has been no previous attempt to qualitatively investigate the lived experience of relatives of hospitalized patients with schizophrenia in the Arab world. Aim To explore the experience and needs of Omani relatives of hospitalized patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Method Qualitative semi-structured interviews with twenty relatives of hospitalized patients from Oman. The interviews were analysed using framework analysis. Results Parents, spouses and siblings were confronted with a burden specific to the demand of different life situations, and their needs differ accordingly. The findings showed four themes: burden, stigma, violence and needs. Discussion This study provides insight into the experience of Omani relatives living with schizophrenia. Although the caregiving experience appears negative, some positive elements of caregiving experience were prominent among siblings. Furthermore, the violence phenomenon among individuals with schizophrenia needs to be addressed as a priority. Implications for practice Understanding the experience, feelings and needs of relatives living with schizophrenia would enable mental health nurses to provide a range of interventions to help reduce caregivers’ burden and promote the positive gains from the caregiving experience. The concept of stigma resistance in the Arab world may guide the establishment of stigma reduction programmes.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Early online date16 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2021