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Attending a long-term support group for carers of adults with psychosis: a carer's perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article numberDOI:
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Intensive Care
Issue number2
Published1 Sep 2017

King's Authors


Caring for a relative with a long standing psychotic disorder impacts negatively on the social networks and support pathways of informal carers. Group-based support for carers can play an important role in improving their understanding of the illness and levels of wellbeing. However, the literature on group programmes has mainly focused on groups that run for a fixed number of sessions or for carers of younger people who have experienced a first episode of psychosis. The current study seeks to investigate subjective accounts of participants attending an open ended support group for carers of adults with refractory psychosis, who have been inpatients on a specialist ward. Ten carers participated in a focus group interview and reflected on their aims and expectations of the support group, as well as areas of the group that worked well and less well for them. The audio recorded interview was subjected to thematic analysis, which yielded four key themes: gathering expert information; support exchange; shared stories; and sense of duty. Carers identified important support and information needs which are met from attending an open ended support group. Clinical and research implications are discussed including the need to investigate the importance of how carer information and emotional support needs can change over the course of an illness, and thus impact on the needs and relevance of the group.

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