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The impact of disease on the lives of family members [Abstract]

Golics, Catherine Jane, Basra, M. K. A., Salek, Mir-saeed and Finlay, Andrew Yule 2011. The impact of disease on the lives of family members [Abstract]. Acta Dermato-Venereologica 91 (2) , pp. 219-220.

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There is evidence that family members of patients with chronic conditions experience impaired Quality of Life (QoL) themselves and there is a link between the QoL of patients and that of their family members. Family Quality of Life is an area which has been largely overlooked and the majority of previous research has been focused on dermatology, oncology and patients with physical and mental disabilities. To date, no study has been carried out to investigate the impact of disease on family members of patients across a wide range of medical specialties. The aim of the study was to explore the impact of disease on family members of patients across a wide range of specialties. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with family members of patients from 25 different specialties, including dermatology. After obtaining informed consent, family members were invited to talk in detail about different ways that their own lives had been affected by having an unwell relative. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. 117 relatives of patients suffering from over 80 chronic medical and surgical conditions were interviewed. Many of the themes mentioned by relatives were common throughout the study, but the extent of the impact was often much greater than reported previously. This was especially evident in the area of emotional impact, where family members talked about the difficulties of hiding their emotions in order to provide support for the patient. Important themes mentioned were problems with time planning and organisation, financial impact, family relationships, effect on sleep and the health of the family member, and the great impact on the social life, hobbies and daily activities of the family. Many of the relatives also said that they had never been given the chance to talk about these topics before. The impact of disease on family members of patients is widespread and profound. Consideration of this aspect of QoL will potentially allow for more appropriate care of patients and their families.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Additional Information: Abstracts from: 14th Congress of the European Society for Dermatology and Psychiatry. Zaragoza, Spain. March 17-19, 2007.
ISSN: 0001-5555
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Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 20:50

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