Strengths of families to limit relapse in mentally ill family members
Background: Relapse prevention in mental health care is important. Utilising the strengths of families can be a valuable approach in relapse prevention. Studies on family strengths have been conducted but little has been done on the strengths of family members to help limit relapse in mental health care users. The purpose of this research was to explore and describe the strengths of family members in assisting mental health care users to limit relapses.
Methods: A phenomenological design was followed. Purposive sampling was used and 15 family members of mental health care users who have not relapsed in the previous two years participated. Individual unstructured interviews were conducted. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Results: Four main themes were identified, namely accepting the condition of the mental health care users, having faith, involving the mentally ill family members in daily activities and being aware of what aggravates the mentally ill family members.
Conclusions: Family members go through a process of acceptance and receive educational information and assistance from health professionals. In this process families discover and apply their strengths to limit relapses of mentally ill family members. It is important that family members caring for mentally ill family members are involved in their treatment from the onset, and that they are guided through a process of acceptance.
Keywords: Families mental health care users, Mentally ill family members, Resilience, Relapse, Strengths
The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.
Licensing and publication rights
Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose. AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.
The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the applicable journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.
Previously published work may have been published under a different licence. We advise the community that if they would like to reuse the work to consult the applicable licence at article level.
Note: If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.