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Experience of caregiving: relatives of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis

  • Lakshika Tennakoon (a1), Dominic Fannon (a1), Victor Doku (a1), Seamus O'Ceallaigh (a1), William Soni (a1), Mar Santamaria (a1), Elizabeth Kuipers (a2) and Tonmoy Sharma (a3)...

Abstract

Background

There has been relatively little research on caregivers of people experiencing their first episode of psychosis.

Aims

To investigate dimensions of caregiving and morbidity in caregivers of people with first-episode psychosis.

Method

Caregivers of 40 people with first-episode psychosis were interviewed at home about their experience of caregiving, coping strategies and distress.

Results

Caregivers used emotional and practical strategies to cope with participants' negative symptoms and difficult behaviours and experienced more worry about these problems. They increased supervision when the participants displayed difficult behaviours. Twelve per cent of caregivers were suffering from psychiatric morbidity as defined by the General Health Questionnaire. Those living with the participant had more frequent visits to their general practitioner.

Conclusions

At first-episode psychosis, caregivers are already having to cope with a wide range of problems and are developing coping strategies. Caregivers worried most about difficult behaviours and negative symptoms in participants.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Tonmoy Sharma, Section of Cognitive Psychopharmacology, Institute of Psychiatry De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: +44(0)20 7848 0342; Fax: +44(0)20 7848 0646; e-mail: t.sharma@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

Research supported by Grosvenor House Group Estates, Eastwood Care Homes plc and Psychmed Ltd.

Footnotes

References

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Experience of caregiving: relatives of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis

  • Lakshika Tennakoon (a1), Dominic Fannon (a1), Victor Doku (a1), Seamus O'Ceallaigh (a1), William Soni (a1), Mar Santamaria (a1), Elizabeth Kuipers (a2) and Tonmoy Sharma (a3)...
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