Authors: Warrick R. Arblaster , Andrew Armstrong , Catherine Bleasdale , Elizabeth M. Crowther , Rachael Cousins , Robert Cummins , Helen Herrman , John Owen
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, family sensitive/inclusive practice, Family / carer issues, Maps for participation in services, carer education
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The current research had two components with corresponding aims. The difference between two carer specific psycho-educational programs and their effect on the quality of life of participants was examined as measured pre, post and post post program participation, using a quality of life measure with seven domains: material well-being; health; productivity; intimacy; safety; place in community; and emotional well-being. One hundred and twenty-three participated in the programs and 114 formed a non-carer group. No significant differences were found between the effect of quality of life on participants between the two program groups. However, the findings highlight the reduced subjective quality of life of carers of people with mental illness, significantly in the domains of health and emotional well-being. A qualitative approach was used to consult with public mental health clinicians (85), and family members/carers (100) in a series of group specific forums statewide. The data were collapsed with four major combined themes of: better care for carers; need to address stigma and isolation; more appropriate and resourced professional support; and the need for carer education. The findings provide an evidence base to further develop a mutual support and self help model for carers, including a strong education component, and recognises the importance of family sensitive/inclusive practice.