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Turbulent life: the experiences of the family members of patients suffering from depression

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Abstract

Accessible summary

  • Families of patients suffering from depression tolerate a great amount of stress during provision of care to the patients.
  • Penetration of the illness in family members, daily life's hardship, too much attention to the patients, delay in the acceptance of the illness and concern about the patient's current and future conditions result in turbulent life in the families.
  • If nurses educate families about how to gain financial and emotional support, the families’ life inflammation will reduce.

Abstract

Families of patients suffering from depression have an important role in provision of care to the patients, which also may impose a great amount of stress on them. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of the family members of patients suffering from depression on the impact of provision of care to the patients. A qualitative design using a content analysis approach was used to gather and analyse data. Unstructured interviews were conducted with 26 family members of patients suffering from depression chosen using purposeful sampling. During data analysis, ‘turbulent life’ was developed as the main theme along with five other categories including: ‘penetration of the illness in the family’, ‘daily life's hardship’, ‘too much attention to the patient’, ‘delay in the acceptation of the illness’ and ‘concern about the patient's current and future conditions’. Each category consisted of several subcategories. It is concluded that the psychological, physical and financial factors imposed on families result in ‘turbulent life’. Nurses can reduce the burden of providing care to patients suffering from depression through improving the knowledge of family members about how to communicate with patients and increase emotional supportive resources to the patients and their family members.

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