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This grounded theory study explored the family caregiving process for relatives with first-episode psychosis related to schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The study was conducted during May 2013-March 2014 in lower northeastern region of Thailand using semi-structured interviews and observations, and involved 31 participants from 18 Thai families. The data were analyzed by using Strauss and Corbin’s constant comparative method until theoretical saturation was achieved.
The core category emerging from the data was Balancing family life, which consisted of three phases: 1) Communicating to gain support and understanding, 2) Capturing solution, and 3) Engaging in the family caregiving role. To keep balance in their family life, family members needed to encourage and support each other and gain understanding toward the illness on Phase I. They also consulted one another; got suggestions from older or senior person; or depended on the primary caregiver’s decision for capturing solutions for care for their relatives in Phase 2. Finally, in Phase 3 they developed their sense of caring; shared care responsibility; provided essential care and controlling illness symptoms once they engage in the family caregiving role. These rich findings provide insight into caregiving in the Thai family context, especially in how they interacted and helped each other in order to provide care for relatives with first episode psychosis. Understanding of this process can assist with the development of interventions to enhance family members’ abilities to take on the caregiver role and to provide effective care for their relatives with first-episode psychosis.
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