An explanation of qualify of life in family carers of people with schizophrenia

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Social and Policy Sciences


This research aims to investigate the impact of caregiver burden on family carers of individuals with schizophrenia. Caring for a family member may negatively affect carers' physical and mental health, family relationship and employment sustainability. Carers need sufficient support to enable them to manage their caring responsibilities. Although the relationship between caregiver burden and carers' life quality has been widely researched, several limitations exist. Most research relates to carers of people with physical disabilities and rarely considers carers' social circumstances (such as different aspects of social support). Additionally, few studies have focussed on carers of people with mental health problems in Taiwan.

This project will explore factors associated with objective and subjective caregiver burdens of family carers of people with schizophrenia. Objective burden relates to practical problems carers may experience, such as difficulties in maintaining a social relationship, attending leisure and work activities. Subjective burden relates to the emotions of caregivers, such as distress, sadness or anxiety. It will also examine the extent to which caregiver burden influences the perceived need for community-based mental health resources. A sequential explanatory mixed-method study combining quantitative and qualitative research methods will be employed in the project. The correlation between carers' family functioning, social and professional support, and caregiving burden will be examined via quantitative methods. Qualitative interviews will then explore caring experience and whether care/support services contribute to carers' ability to meet their caring responsibilities.

Participants will be accessed through non-profit organisations in Taiwan. In addition, the research findings will be used to influence policy by establishing the needs of family carers of people with schizophrenia. The research results will benefit Taiwanese society in several ways: (a) policy suggestions based on carers' opinions will be reflected and promoted; (b) a set of seminars will be hosted to present the findings to people with schizophrenia and their carers, and professionals in the mental health field; (c) a practice guidance and a training programme will be developed for social workers, care workers, care managers, and advocates to improve professional knowledge on the assessment of carers' needs; (d) the findings will be presented at International conferences, and submitted to social work and social policy journals, such as the International Journal of Care and Caring.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2581264 Studentship ES/P000630/1 04/10/2021 03/10/2024 Yu-Ching Liu