Everyday life of relatives of persons suffering from severe depression: Experiences of health, burden, sense of coherence and encounters with psychiatric specialist health services
Aim: The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate and describe everyday life among relatives of inpatients with severe depression and their encounter with the psychiatric specialist health services (PSHS).
Methods: A descriptive design with a qualitative and quantitative approach was used. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire responded to by 68 relatives and analysed with descriptive statistics (I, III). Individual interviews with 24 relatives were carried out and analysed with phenomenography (II, IV).
Main findings: The everyday life of relatives to persons suffering from severe depression was affected. They reported burden and influence on their own health to a various degree (I). The relatives experienced that they were, â€śLiving on the other personâ€™s termsâ€ť. Relatives described ambivalent relationships, as they had to adjust their daily life in attempting to manage the situation (II). When the relatives encountered the PSHS, it may have been a long time of worries and struggles for help. They wanted to be a resource and a participant, and to be confident with the health care (IV). The need for support from the PSHS was greater than what they received. Relatives who reported receiving less information had higher burden scores than the others (III).
Conclusions: Everyday life of relatives of persons suffering from severe depression is demanding. To be acknowledged as a resource in the treatment and care for the person suffering from depression is important. The mental health nurses being present at the wards 24 hours a day, are in a unique position to support the relatives.
Depression is one of ten global diseases entailing the greatest loss of life quality and years of life, which also gives consequences for the relatives. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate and describe everyday life among relatives of inpatients with severe depression and their encounter with the psychiatric specialist health service (PSHS). The relatives experienced objective and subjective burden, and their own health was affected. Everyday life needed to be adjusted in line with the severity of the next-of-kinâ€™s depression. When the relatives encountered the PSHS a long time of worries and struggles had passed from the onset of the depression until the next-ofâ€“kin was hospitalized. To be acknowledged as a resource, invited to collaborate and to share their knowledge was of great importance to the relatives. Addtionally, to receive information concerning the treatment and care was crucial. The mental health nurses are in a unique position to support the relatives.