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The experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness in the Middle East: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative data

Alyafei, AH; Alqunaibet, T; Mansour, H; Ali, A; Billings, J; (2021) The experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness in the Middle East: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative data. PLoS One , 16 (7) , Article e0254351. 10.1371/journal.pone.0254351. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is a wealth of literature exploring the experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness (SMI) in western countries, however, this topic has been neglected in the Middle East, despite families being the main source of caregiving in this context. The purpose of this review was to conduct a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis to explore the experiences of family caregivers living in countries in the Middle East caring for a relative with severe mental illness. METHODS: A systematic review and meta-synthesis were conducted, to comprehensively gain a thorough and detailed overview of what is known about family caregivers' experiences from published qualitative research in the Middle East geographical area from inception to May 2021. The review protocol was pre-registered with PROSPERO (Ref: CRD42020165519). RESULTS: The review identified twelve qualitative studies that explored caregivers' experiences of caring for relatives with SMI in Middle East countries. Family caregivers' experiences were captured under seven overarching themes. The participants across all studies reported negative consequences of providing care, increased burden and emotional distress. Many experienced issues with family/marital relationships and stigmatizing attitudes and behaviours from their communities. Caregivers expressed the need for increased support which was perceived to have a critical role in improving family caregivers' experiences. CONCLUSIONS: The meta-synthesis revealed many challenges and issues that affect caregivers of people with SMI in the Middle East. Family caregivers experienced distress and burden, and reported significant impact on their psychological well-being. Their experiences highlight the urgent need to provide more support for family caregivers in Middle East countries.

Type: Article
Title: The experiences of family caregivers of people with severe mental illness in the Middle East: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative data
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254351
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254351
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Alyafei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131150
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