Carer’s education groups for relatives with a first episode of psychosis: an evaluation of an eight-week education group, Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Volume 5, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages: 57–63
Genevieve Riley, Nathan Gregory, Jane Bellinger, Natalie Davies, Gabby Mabbott and Robina Sabourin
Together NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucester, UK,
Trustee Grippers Charity, Cirencester, UK
This study aimed to evaluate an eight-week carers group for people with first episode of psychosis receiving services from the Gloucestershire Recovery in Psychosis Early Intervention Team. Potential benefits for carers were assessed including changes in feelings of stress, isolation, recognition, and of being appreciated and valued.
Following completion of the group, all 12 carers participated in an independently facilitated focus group to evaluate the course. Transcripts were imported into the QSR NVivo 8 (QSR International, Doncaster, Victoria, Australia) software package for thematic analysis. An independent coding and correlational analysis of data was used to identify any common themes.
Results identified five key themes reported by carers: the emotional impacts of being a carer (loss, grief, guilt, shock, acceptance), the wider impacts of mental illness within a family (isolation, stigma), the caring role and how this affected relationships (improved relationships), the design of the group (barriers, course content, timing of invitations, moving forward) and the wider impacts of participation (carer education, importance of sharing real-life experiences, navigating the National Health Service).
Carers reported less isolation, improved confidence, greater understanding of psychosis, reduction in guilt and increased coping in their caring role after the group. Carers reported that they gained new knowledge, obtained support from staff and graduate carers, increased the recognition of their caring role and had improved relationships with their relative with mental illness.
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