Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 153-156

Group meetings of caretakers of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorders

Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
T M Ismail Shihabuddeen
Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College, Kankanady, Mangalore, Karnataka 575002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.55939

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Background: In India, there is a paucity of trained professionals to execute psychosocial interventions. Families are thus assigned the role of primary caretakers of individuals with chronic mental illness. Aim: To assess the perceived benefits and difficulties of group meetings among caregivers of persons with schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorders, and to evaluate the utilization pattern of general hospital psychiatric unit (GHPU) services by caregivers who regularly attend such group meetings. Methods: Persons with schizophrenia and those with bipolar mood disorders with associated psychosocial problems and on maintenance medication were identified at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit of the Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College. Significant caregivers of the identified patients were informed about the group meeting. Group meetings were conducted for about 45 minutes once a month for caregivers of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorders. Data regarding the psychosocial aspects of caregivers were collected before entry to the meeting and after 17 months of their participation. Participants who attended the meetings irregularly were excluded from the study. Results: The group meetings led to effective monitoring of the functioning of individuals, a reduction in the subjective family burden and family distress, a better support system with adequate coping skills and good compliance with treatment programmes. Conclusion: Conducting regular group meetings for a homogeneous population at a GHPU is feasible and beneficial.



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