Authors: Cathy Bentley, Linda L. Viney & Lindsay Oades, NSW
Event: 2003 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Evaluation and Evidence Based Practice
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The shift from institutional to community-based care has meant families are now primary caregivers of people with a mental illness. Carers work within a treatment system that does not respond to their needs (Biegel & Schultz, 1999) because the mental health system is based on the medical model, which is consumer rather than carer oriented. Services that address carers' needs would alleviate caregiver burden, therefore helping families provide quality support to their ill relative. Carers are important stakeholders in the mental health system and their knowledge and expertise should be used. This study will investigate standards carers use to evaluate mental health services. Carers will participate in focus group discussions and interviews focusing on carers’ expectations of services. Themes generated from discussions will be used to construct a model of a carers’ mental health service. The model will be built within a personal construct framework, which emphasizes meanings and interpretations of carers’ experiences and evaluations of services (Kelly, 1991). Themes identifying what carers believe constitutes a carers’ mental health service are expected and their role in evaluation will be discussed.