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Title: 'Between a rock and a hard place' : family members' experiences of supporting a relative with bipolar disorder
Author: Baruch, Ella
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 6107
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Supporting a relative with bipolar disorder poses significant challenges for family members. Clinical guidelines emphasise the importance of addressing family members’ needs. This thesis explores family members’ experiences, and how they can be most effectively supported. Part I is a systematic review and meta-analysis of psychological interventions for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder. Nine studies comparing psychoeducational interventions to a control group met inclusion criteria. The review provides tentative evidence for the efficacy of psychoeducation in improving caregiver burden and knowledge. However, included studies were diverse and had methodological limitations, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Part 2 is a qualitative study of the challenges of supporting a relative with bipolar disorder, and the personal impact of providing support. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 family members; transcripts were analysed using the Framework approach. Family members faced challenges pertaining to the nature of the disorder, their relative’s responses to their attempts to help, and the limitations of professional support. Providing support had wide-ranging emotional and relational consequences, both positive and negative. The findings suggest the need for an individualised approach to supporting family members. Part 3 is a critical reflection on the research process. It addresses methodological and conceptual issues which arose when carrying out the empirical study. It also reflects on how the findings of the empirical study could inform thinking about the strengths and limitations of the research designs, interventions, and outcome variables evaluated within the literature review.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available