Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 413-419

Perspectives about Illness, Attitudes, and Caregiving Experiences among Siblings of Persons with Schizophrenia: A Qualitative Analysis

1 Department of Sociology and Social Work, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Hosur Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anekal C Amaresha
Assistant Professor of Social Work, 9th Floor, Central Block, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_318_19

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Background: Siblings of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia (SPS) are one among the major sources of support for persons with schizophrenia. There is a dearth of psychosocial literature on SPS in India. This qualitative study explored the perspectives about the illness, attitudes, and caregiving experiences of SPS. Materials and Methods: Qualitative audio-recorded interviews were conducted with 15 SPS, purposively selected from a tertiary mental health hospital of Southern India. A general inductive approach was adopted to analyze the qualitative data. Results: Four broad themes were identified from qualitative data analysis. (1) SPS described several explanatory models of mental illness in terms of causal attributions and treatment care. (2) They had expressed emotion toward their ill siblings, such as criticality, hostility, and emotional over-involvement. (3) They experienced objective and subjective burden while caring for their ill sibling. In spite of all these, (4) they were part of their ill siblings' care in terms of ensuring regular follow-ups and drug adherence and supported their livelihood. They coped up with adaptive as well as maladaptive strategies. Conclusion: SPS provide significant support to their affected siblings. However, they do have non-biomedical models of mental illness and negative attitudes toward patients and experience burden. Hence, psychosocial interventions may help SPS while caregiving for their affected siblings.

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