Daily life for young adults who care for a person with mental illness: a qualitative study
2012 (English)In: Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 1351-0126, E-ISSN 1365-2850, Vol. 19, no 7, 610-617 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Accessible summary The burden of caring for a person with mental illness has been transferred to families and close friends. Daily life for young informal carers is unpredictable and they need to stay alert and prepared for events beyond their control. Young informal carers are concerned young adults who support a family member or friend unconditionally. Supporting a friend is related to as a great a sense of individual responsibility as supporting a family member. Abstract This study describes the daily life and management strategies of young informal carers of family members or friends with mental illness. Twelve young adults (three men and nine women; 1625 years old) in Sweden were voluntarily recruited between February and May 2008. Data collected through eight individual semi-structured interviews and one focus group interview were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The findings revealed nine subthemes that were further grouped into three main themes: showing concern, providing support and using management strategies. Participants lived in constant readiness for something unexpected to happen to the person they cared for, and their role in the relationship could change quickly from family member or friend to guardian or supervisor. Supporting a friend was considered as large a personal responsibility as supporting a family member. Their management strategies were based on individual capacities and their ability to step aside should the situation become too demanding. These young informal carers need support in caring for the mentally ill. As the internet becomes increasingly fundamental to daily life, support could be provided most effectively through person-centred web sites.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing , 2012. Vol. 19, no 7, 610-617 p.
caring, caregivers, mental illness, social support, young adults
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81219DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01829.xISI: 000306856600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-81219DiVA: diva2:551057