n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Experiences of caregivers of individuals suffering from schizophrenia in rural areas of the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


The article reports on a research study done at a rural area in Mpumalanga Province. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was followed to investigate the experiences of caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with a purposefully selected sample of twelve caregivers. The Tesch (1990) constant comparative method to analyse content of qualitative data was used for the analysis. Five main categories emerged from the data analysis: emotions; physical burden; lifestyle changes; inadequate support and relationship burden. Themes were extracted from the categories. The results of the study showed that caring for individuals with schizophrenia can put considerable burdens and restrictions on the caregivers. The emotional distress that occurred as a consequence of caring for schizophrenics was compounded by other psychosocial burdens such as, poverty, patients' poor self-care, non-compliance with medication, psychotic episodes, and lack of support by family and community members. Recommendations were made regarding the improvement of health care services to the caregivers and family members with schizophrenia.

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