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13-05-2019 | Review Paper Open Access

Experiences of Having a Parent with Serious Mental Illness: An Interpretive Meta-Synthesis of Qualitative Literature

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Auteurs:
Anna Källquist, Martin Salzmann-Erikson
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals: Not applicable.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

Previous research found that burdens are put on relatives to patients with serious mental illness. A majority of the studies have described the situation of being a husband/wife or parent of someone who is mentally ill. However, little is known about the perspective of childhood experiences and the effect on adult life from having a parent with mental illness. Hence, the purpose of this review was to investigate experiences of having a parent with serious mental illness.

Methods

We used a qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis. Five relevant databases were chosen: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. We found 4302 studies in our initial search. Fourteen met the inclusion criteria and the quality assessment.

Results

The findings are presented in four themes: (1) Growing up in a dysfunctional home environment; (2) The child’s feelings and thoughts; (3) The need of support; and (4) The lingering effects in adult life.

Conclusions

We found that experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional home can result in relational issues later in life and that the need for support can persist into adult life. This has implications for clinical practice when encountering these patients.

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