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Experiences of adults providing care to a partner or relative with depression: A meta-ethnographic synthesis

Priestley, Jemma and McPherson, Susan (2016) 'Experiences of adults providing care to a partner or relative with depression: A meta-ethnographic synthesis.' Journal of Affective Disorders, 192. 41 - 49. ISSN 0165-0327

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Abstract

Background International interest in the informal carer role has grown in part because of the relationship between caring and caregiver burden. It has been suggested that living with someone with depression is comparable to that of other serious mental health problems, such as schizophrenia or dementia. Methods This meta-ethnography included 15 studies exploring experiences of living with a relative or partner with depression. Studies were heterogeneous regarding types of relationship with the depressed individual. Results The synthesis revealed a cyclical, psychosocial process that family caregivers undergo whilst providing care to a person with depression. The process consists of four phases: making sense of depression; changes in family dynamics; overcoming challenges; and moving forward. The findings illustrate that care giving is not a static process and that the needs of the depressed person are constantly changing. Limitations Some of the studies presented in the review represent caregivers recruited via support groups and so the person cared for may not have had professional diagnoses of depression. Conclusions This synthesis indicated the need for professional support to be available to caregivers for their own mental health needs. The model put forward suggests that different types of support may be useful for caregivers at different stages of the process including couples or systemic therapy at the initial stages of management, addressing stigma to help those overcoming challenges of caring for their partner or relative and self-compassionate approaches for caregivers who may need support to look after themselves, avoid feelings of guilt and move forward towards acceptance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Caregiver burden; Meta-ethnography; Couples therapy; Stigma
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental Health
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2015 12:54
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15681

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