Needs of Caregivers of People with Mental Illness- Rehabilitation Perspective
Introduction: Chronic nature of major mental illnesses can have a devastating impact on persons with mental illness (PWMI) and the caregivers. Rehabilitation is a long lasting phase of psychiatric treatment. The study focus on rehabilitation needs of the caregivers of PWMI attending psychiatric outpatient department at a tertiary care hospital.
Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. A purposive sample of 100 caregivers of persons with mental illness was interviewed to assess rehabilitation needs. Information on socio-demographic profile and rehabilitation needs was ascertained by using a self-administered pre-tested questionnaire. Appropriate descriptive statistics was applied to formulate the results.
Results: Findings revealed that medical needs (10.04±2.61), self-care (10.11±2.48) and stress management needs (10.20±4.72) were more compared to others needs. Few caregivers reported the incidences of facing stigma at workplace and society (9.74±2.49) because of their ward’s mental illness. Further, it also revealed that needs related to peer/community support, development of right attitude towards the care of the PWMI and management for worries and apprehension due to the condition of PWMI are quite frequently reported rehabilitation needs by the caregivers.
Conclusion: A successful rehabilitation services always should be need based. Types and severity of disability of the PWMI will also play an important role in designing a structured rehabilitation programme. This study warrants further study based on large sample size to design successful rehabilitation services for persons with mental illness.
Keywords- Mental illness, rehabilitation, needs, caregiver
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