Support group of family members of persons with severe mental illness: rebalancing identity in everyday life
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Objective: To understand the value and dynamics of therapeutic intervention, used by, the support group for family members of persons with severe mental disease in Psychiatric Centre Hospital of Lisbon. Method: Qualitative study based on the Grounded Theory. Participants: 24 family members. Data collection procedure: 12 audio-recorded meetings with the support group members, 2 formal and 2 informal interviews with the healthcare team, a survey (answered by the 24 family members of persons with mental disease) and field notes. Results: The condition which makes the relatives join in a group is the alliance in adversity due to the mental illness. The Strategies developed by the family members aiming at managing the day-to-day uncertainty, and include to share learnings for dealing with the patient and care of the self as well as to use the group as a cornerstone. The consequences are the patient’s relatives identity rebalance. To promote the care of both the self and the patient helps to transform the family caregiver’s identity so as to achieve its rebalance identity. Conclusion: The group proved to be a place to share emotions and
learnings, and its dynamic is critical to improve the home healthcare to both the persons with mental disease and their relatives.