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Caring for a family member with intellectual disability and epilepsy: Practical, social and emotional perspectives

Thompson, Rose, Kerr, Michael Patrick, Glynn, Mike and Linehan, Christine 2014. Caring for a family member with intellectual disability and epilepsy: Practical, social and emotional perspectives. Seizure 23 (10) , pp. 856-863. 10.1016/j.seizure.2014.07.005

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PURPOSE: To examine the caregiving impact of those who support a family member with intellectual disability and epilepsy. METHODS: An online, qualitative international survey was conducted via the auspices of the International Bureau of Epilepsy with various stakeholders who support individuals who have intellectual disability and epilepsy. Qualitative comments were analyzed from respondents who identified themselves as family members (n=48; 36%) who referred specifically to the impact of supporting a family member with these combined disabilities. RESULTS: Four main domains, which were comprised of ten themes, were derived from the qualitative data using Braun and Clarke's qualitative framework. These domains comprised (1) practical concerns, (2) disrupted family dynamics, (3) emotional burden and (4) positive experiences. In combination these themes illustrate the pervasive impact on family life for those supporting an individual with complex needs. Financial concerns, coordination and responsibility of care, diverted attention from other family members and social isolation all contributed a significant burden of care for family members. Positive aspects were, however, also cited including the closeness of the family unit and a fostering of altruistic behavior. CONCLUSION: The study provides an insight into an under-researched area. The burden of caring for a family member across the lifespan has a largely negative and pervasive impact. Targeted service provision could contribute to an amelioration of the challenges faced by these families.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1059-1311
Date of Acceptance: 14 July 2014
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 09:04

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