UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The experiences of families of psychiatric patients during hospitalization : qualitative study Rose, Linda Elizabeth


This study examined the problem of the lack of understanding of the family's reaction to the psychiatric hospitalization of a family member. A review of the literature indicated that little has been done to increase our knowledge of the family's perception of this event in their lives. It further indicated that these families have needs and concerns resulting from the experience of the psychiatric illness and hospitalization. These needs and concerns were not being addressed by health care workers. This qualitative study utilized the phenomenological approach. Data were obtained from seven families of patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time. Two unstructured interviews were conducted with each family during the course of the patient's hospitalization. The content of the interviews included discussion of all aspects of the hospitalization with the families directing the emphasis toward the aspects that were important to them. The data were analysed using the method of constant comparative analysis. Major categories were developed which reflected the meaning of the hospitalization experience for the families. The categories included acknowledging the hospital as a solution to the problem, reframing past events to make sense of the present, assimilating the experience into their every-day lives, and questioning the future in relation to the present experience of the illness and the hospitalization. The themes were not found to be discrete, sequential activities but were described as inter-dependent and circular in nature. The data were discussed in relation to the literature reviewed, with comparisons being drawn between those previous studies and the current one. The implications for nursing practice, education, and research were discussed.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.