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Implementing specialist psychological support for caregivers in psychosis services: A preliminary report

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jane Smallwood, Suzanne Jolley, Jyotsna Makhijani, Sarah Grice, Emma O'Donoghue, Paula Bendon, Liz P. Greenaway, Juliana Onwumere

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychosis-Psychological social and integrative approaches
Early online date12 Dec 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2016


King's Authors


Background: Research demonstrates the importance of supporting
caregivers of people with psychosis, but routine implementation studies are
lacking. We evaluate a newly-developed caregiver support service, offering
individual and group psychoeducation, practical advice and emotional
support, working alongside usual community mental health provision for
people with established psychosis.
Aims: We aimed to provide analysis of preliminary data on the rate and
suitability of referrals, engagement, and helpfulness, to inform future
larger-scale implementation and evaluation.
Method: We conducted a mixed-methods audit during the service’s first ten
operational months (01/09/2013 to 30/06/2014). Caregivers gave
qualitative feedback and completed measures of the impact of caregiving
pre- and post-intervention.
Results: Referrals totalled 103 (10/month), with 45 (44%) initial meetings;
and 28 (27%) individual interventions (≥1 sessions, mode=3). Caregivers
were predominantly black British/African/Caribbean parents. Self-reported
needs and caregiving experiences were consistent with the literature. Two thirds
of caregivers were clinically distressed. Qualitative feedback showed
that caregivers valued the service. Outcomes suggest improved
experiences of caregiving following intervention.
Conclusions: Findings highlight the potential benefits and challenges of
routinely providing psychologically-focused caregiver support. Limitations
and future plans are discussed.

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