Individual and family adaptation to severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in Taiwanese families Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Hsiao, Chiu-Yueh
    • Affiliation: School of Nursing
  • Mental illness affects not only the individual family members but also the entire family system. Caring for a family member with mental illness can be a demanding, stress-filled experience. The purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to examine individual and family adaptation (i.e., family caregiver burden, depressive symptoms of family caregivers, and family functioning), with potential predictors being pile-up of demands (i.e., family caregiver's awareness of patient suicidality, family history of mental illness, chronicity of mental illness, and stressful life events), social support, and meaning of family caregiving, in Taiwanese families of persons with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). In addition, this study assessed the mediating effects of social support and meaning of family caregiving on the relationship between pile-up of demands and family adaptation. The Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment, and Adaptation served as the guiding conceptual framework for this study. A convenience sample of 157 individuals from 84 Taiwanese families was recruited from two psychiatric outpatient clinics in Taiwan. Data collection was done by mail. Family members completed a packet of self-report questionnaires. Data analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, principal component analysis, and mixed linear modeling. Findings from this study suggest that family members with a greater pile-up of demands, lower social support, and a less positive interpretation of family caregiving experienced more caregiver burden and lower levels of family functioning. Family members with a greater pile-up of demands and lower social support also experienced higher levels of depressive symptoms. When family members interpreted the caregiving experience more positively, they seemed to adapt better. Social support and meaning of family caregiving partially mediated the relationship between pile-up of demands and family adaptation. This study sheds light on what strengths and resources Taiwanese families need to adapt to caring for individuals with SPMI. Health care professionals need to collaborate with family members to develop culturally sensitive interventions designed to decrease ongoing demands and amplify individual, family, and community strengths and resources. They also need to help caregivers interpret the caregiving experience in a more positive manner, which in turn, can optimize individual and family adaptation.
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  • In Copyright
  • Van Riper, Marcia
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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