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Article   |    
Families' Perceptions of Burden of Care for Chronic Mentally Ill Relatives
Claire Griffin Francell; Victoria S. Conn; D. Patricia Gray
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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This research was supported by a grant from the Georgia Department of Human Resources. The authors acknowledge the contributions of Marjorie Chandley, M.A., Priscilla Casciolini, M.Ed., and Mary Francell, M.A., and express their gratitude to the families who volunteered their time to participate in the study.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Arlington, Virginia

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Georgia State University in Atlanta

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Eighty-six family caregivers participated in small group interviews about their experience of burden in caring for mentally ill relatives. Families experienced profound burdens as a result of their interactions with the mental health care system, particularly in negotiating crisis situations; acting as patient advocates and case managers; obtaining adequate community resources, continuity of care, and information; dealing with legal barriers; and communicating with mental health professionals. Recommended methods of reducing family burden and improving the care of the mentally ill who reside in the community are family education, inclusion of the family in treatment decisions, changes in current mental health laws, redirection in professional training, and development of mobile crisis teams.

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