Physical health and mental illness: listening to the voice of carers

Happell, Brenda, Wilson, Karen, Platania-Phung, Chris, and Stanton, Robert (2017) Physical health and mental illness: listening to the voice of carers. Journal of Mental Health, 26 (2). pp. 127-133.

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Background: Shortened life expectancy of people with mental illness is now widely known and the focus of research and policy activity. To date, research has primarily reflected perspectives of health professionals with limited attention to the views and opinions of those most closely affected. The voice of carers is particularly minimal, despite policy stipulating carer participation is required for mental health services.

Aim: To present views and opinions of carers regarding physical health of the people they care for.

Methods: Qualitative exploratory. Two focus groups and one individual interview were conducted with 13 people identifying as carers of a person with mental illness. Research was conducted in the Australian Capital Territory. Data analysis was based on the thematic framework of Braun and Clarke.

Results: Two main themes were interaction between physical and mental health; and, carers’ own physical and mental health. Participants described the impact of mental illness and its treatments on physical health, including their own.

Conclusions: Carers are acknowledged as crucial for the delivery of high quality mental health services. Therefore they have an important role to play in addressing the poor physical health of people with mental illness. Hearing their views and opinions is essential.

Item ID: 62144
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1360-0567
Keywords: carers, medication, mental health, mental illness, physical health, policy
Copyright Information: © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 21:42
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 100%
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