n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Experiences of families of psychiatric state patients during leave of absence in Lepelle Nkumpi Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa : mental health

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The purpose of the study was to explore the experiences of families with psychiatric state patients during leave of absence (LOA). A qualitative, phenomenological, descriptive and contextual design was used. The population comprised of all psychiatric state patients on LOA in Lepelle Nkumpi Capricorn district, Limpopo Province, South Africa. A phenomenological design was used to explore and describe the experiences of families towards psychiatric state patients on LOA. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to select ten families. Data were collected from ten families by using semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Data were audio recorded and field notes taken. Data were analysed qualitatively by using Tech's open coding method. The results of the study showed that state patients on LOA refuse to take prescribed medications and as a result they develop uncontrolled disruptive behaviours such as aggression. They experienced fear and insecurity and they isolated themselves and did not trust anybody. The state patients felt that they are not supported by their family members and the community and they tend to isolate themselves. Recommendations include nursing practice that nurses must take the responsibility of identifying and assessing the needs of families of psychiatric state patients before LOA can be granted and even after LOA has been granted. The nursing curricular should include community care of state patients, further research should be conducted on larger groups of state patients to validate the research findings and the Department of Health should increase the budget for mental health care.

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