Primary Caregivers of People with Severe Mental Illness Experience of Anti-Psychotic Medication: Findings from the Semi-Structured Interviews

  •  Abdalhadi Hasan    
  •  Hussein Tumah    


BACKGROUND: Management of schizophrenia is now shifted to the community setting and family caregivers are the primary caregivers. Managing medications is a complex responsibility of family caregivers caring for patients with mental illness. Medication compliance contributes to improve health outcomes and reduced hospitalization for the care service users; however, little is known about attitudes and perception of family caregivers.

METHODS: A purposeful sample of 21 family caregivers were included in the study. Semi-structured interview was employed to collect data from the participants between May and October 2015. Thematic analysis approach was used to identify the common pattern in the data.

RESULTS: Four main themes emerged from the study: insight into illness (poor understanding of illness), treatment factor (thinking about medication, poor guidance for medication compliance), resources and support (availability of medication and cost of medication), health care provider factors (communication gap and poor assessment with follow-up, social dysfunction (social isolation, disruption in life routine).

CONCLUSIONS: Responsibility for providing care for patients with mental illness are taken place in the community setting and cared by family caregivers. More information resources are required for this role, which requires specific medication management skills and knowledge.

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