FAMILY CAREGIVER’S EXPERIENCES USING COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN MALAYSIA (Pengalaman Penjaga Keluarga menggunakan Perkhidmatan Kesihatan Mental Komuniti di Malaysia)

Mohd Suhaimi Mohamad, Sheau Tsuey Chong, Suzana Mohd Hoesni, Nasrudin Subhi, Norulhuda Sarnon, Salina Nen

Abstract


Many studies of family caregiving have found mixed findings in evaluating the effectiveness of
community services in reducing family caregiver stress. In addition, the study also showed that some
of the caregiver has limited experience in obtaining care. The purpose of this article was to describe
the experience of the use of community mental health services, including benefits and barriers, by
family caregivers of schizophrenic patients in Malaysia. Community mental health services included
assistance with caregiving and educational as well as emotional support by community mental health
professionals. In this qualitative descriptive study, a purposive sample of 24 family caregivers was
interviewed. Semi-structured interview technique was used to explore the caregivers' experiences with
community mental health services. Transcribed data were analysed using qualitative frameworkanalysis
techniques. Results indicated that family caregivers received benefits of personal respite,
sense of community, financial and emotional supports as well as gained practical knowledge and
believed that their family also benefited from the community services used. Barriers to service use
included lack of attention, accessibility issues and concerns over quality. All the findings in this study
provide direction for mental health workers in targeting interventions that will meet the caregivers’
needs and desires.


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