What do carers of people with psychosis need from mental health services? Exploring the views of carers, service users and professionals

Ryan Askey, Janet Holmshaw, Catherine Gamble, Richard Gray

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70 Citations (Scopus)


The development of anti-psychotic medications and deinstitutionalization has shifted the primary focus of mental health treatment from hospital to the community. As a consequence, carers have become an integral part of the care system (Thornicroft and Tansella, 2005). Historically, interventions for families with people with psychosis have tended to focus on service user outcomes that attempt to reduce or prevent relapse (Askey et al., 2007). As a consequence, carers often feel ignored or marginalized by services (Shepherd et al., 1995; Beck and Minghella, 1998; Henwood, 1998). This problem has recently been recognized, and it has been highlighted that there is a need for more involvement with carers of clients with mental illness (DoH, 1999). However, there continues to be a lack of knowledge about carers' needs and how professionals specifically meet carers' needs (Chambers et al., 2001). This article presents the results of a study aimed at exploring the views and experiences of carers, service users and professionals with regard to what carers of people with psychosis need from mental health services. It will initially review the literature on carer burden and needs, as well as interventions such as family intervention and carers' assessments/care plans which have been developed to address carer needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-331
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

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