Original Research - Special Collection: Contemporary Issues in Nursing

Experiences of family members caring for a sibling with mental illness in Giyani, Limpopo

Tintswalo Vukeya, Annie Temane, Marie Poggenpoel
Curationis | Vol 45, No 1 | a2347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v45i1.2347 | © 2022 Tintswalo Vukeya, Annie Temane, Marie Poggenpoel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2022 | Published: 08 November 2022

About the author(s)

Tintswalo Vukeya, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
Annie Temane, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
Marie Poggenpoel, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Mental illness is a serious condition affecting the diagnosed individual and all family members. Family members caring for a sibling with mental illness encounter severe challenges, which, if unresolved, becomes a burden they carry for the rest of their lives.

Objectives: The purpose of the study was to describe family members’ experiences caring for a sibling with mental illness in Giyani.

Method: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design was used. Eight family members caring for a sibling with mental illness were purposively sampled. Data were collected through in-depth phenomenological interviews, and data were analysed using thematic coding, and an external coder was consulted.

Results: The study’s findings revealed that family members caring for a sibling with mental illness experienced significant challenges. The three themes that emerged after data analysis were the following: caring for a sibling with mental illness was an overwhelming experience; family members experience emotional instability as a result of caring for their sibling with mental illness and family members need support in caring for their sibling with mental illness.

Conclusion: The findings indicated that family members need support in caring for a sibling with mental illness. Family members would cope better with support from extended family, healthcare professionals in mental health and the community; this will reduce the burden of caring for a sibling with mental for family members. Furthermore, the availability of resources can assist in facilitating family members’ mental health.

Contribution: This study could make an impact in psychiatric nursing practice, nursing education in promotion of support for family members for a sibling with mental illness.


Keywords

caring; experience; family member; mental illness; sibling

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