Title

Psychoeducation for siblings of people with severe mental illness

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

School

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Comments

Originally published as:Sin, J., Jordan, C., Barley, E., Henderson, C., Norman, I., Whitehead, L. (2017). Psychoeducation for siblings of people with severe mental illness. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 38(3), 283 - 284. Original article available here

Abstract

Many people with severe mental illness (SMI) have siblings. In the United Kingdom, over 80% of the general population has at least one sibling (Smith, Fadden, & O'Shea, 2009 Smith, J., Fadden, G., & O'Shea, M. (2009). Interventions with siblings. In: Lobban, F. & Barrowclough, C., eds. A casebook of family interventions for psychosis. Chichester: Wiley and Sons, 185–200. [Google Scholar]). The sibling relationship often outlives other relationships, including marriages and parenthood (Sin, Moone, Harris, Scully, & Wellman, 2012 Sin, J., Moone, N., Harris, P., Scully, E., & Wellman, N. (2012). Understanding the experiences and service needs of siblings of individuals with first episode psychosis: A phenomenological study. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6, 53–59.[CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Siblings are often natural agents to promote service users' recovery but are also vulnerable to mental ill health due to the negative impact of psychosis within the family (Sin et al., 2012 Sin, J., Moone, N., Harris, P., Scully, E., & Wellman, N. (2012). Understanding the experiences and service needs of siblings of individuals with first episode psychosis: A phenomenological study. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6, 53–59.[CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Current research into siblings' experiences and needs suggest that they often do not regard themselves as carers and are rarely involved with statutory health or social services, unlike their parents who often act as the primary carers (Sin et al., 2012 Sin, J., Moone, N., Harris, P., Scully, E., & Wellman, N. (2012). Understanding the experiences and service needs of siblings of individuals with first episode psychosis: A phenomenological study. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6, 53–59.[CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]; Smith et al., 2009 Smith, J., Fadden, G., & O'Shea, M. (2009). Interventions with siblings. In: Lobban, F. & Barrowclough, C., eds. A casebook of family interventions for psychosis. Chichester: Wiley and Sons, 185–200. [Google Scholar]). Nonetheless, siblings' experiences of subjective and objective burden of caring may be similar to that of the primary carers (Magliano et al., 1999 Magliano, L., Fadden, G., Fiorillo, A., Malangone, C., Sorrentino, D., Robinson, A., & Maj, M. (1999). Family burden and coping strategies in schizophrenia: are key relatives really different to other relatives. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 99, 10–15.[CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Despite research evidence supporting the effectiveness of psychoeducation for service users with SMI and their family members, in reducing relapse and promoting compliance with treatment, siblings remain relatively invisible in clinical service settings as well as in research studies. Psychoeducational interventions targeting siblings and improving siblings' knowledge, coping with caring and overall wellbeing, could potentially provide a cost-effective option for supporting siblings with benefits for service users' outcomes. The provision of health care that is evidence based and clinically effective is central to health policy and nursing practice. Ongoing efforts to improve mental health services have identified the need for mental health nurses to include psychological treatments into their practice (e.g. Department of Health, 2006 Department of Health. (2006). End of the ‘prozac nation’: More counseling, more therapy, less medication to treat depression. Press Release. UK: Department of Health. [Google Scholar]).

DOI

10.1080/01612840.2017.1286195

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