Emotions, Ideas and Experiences of Caregivers of Patients With Schizophrenia About "Family to Family Support Program"

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"Family to Family Support Program" is a significant intervention program to assist families by informing them about treatment procedures and coping strategies, increasing their functionality, helping them to overcome the challenges of the disease. This study was particularly designed to investigate the emotions, thoughts, and experiences of caregivers of schizophrenia patients who participated in "Family to Family Support Program." The study was conducted with one of the qualitative research methods, phenomenological method. The study sample included caregivers who care for schizophrenia patients and participated in the "Family to Family Support Program". Twenty caregivers were included in the sample. The study was carried out in İzmir Schizophrenia Support Association. The study data were collected with four open ended questions. The average age of the participants was 56,77 ± 72,89, 10 male caregivers and 10 female caregivers, 9 caregivers were fathers, 6 caregivers were mothers, and 5 of them were siblings. The thematic analysis indicated that the emotions, thoughts and experiences of caregivers can be categorized in four groups: "I learned to deal with my problems", "I am conscious in my interaction with the patient and I know and I am not alone", "I feel much better", and "Schizophrenia is not the end of the road, knowledge sorts things out." Caregivers who participated in "Family to Family Support Program" expressed their satisfaction that they were benefited from the program, their coping skills were improved, they experienced less challenges when providing care, they understood the disease better, and it felt comfortable.

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