Family involvement to support cardiovascular self-management care for people with severe mental illness: a systematic review

Sara Zabeen, Delphine Phua, Leila Mohammadi, Sharon Lawn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: Family members play a pivotal role in supporting cardiovascular self-management-based care of community-living adults with severe mental illness (SMI). However, little is known about what strategies caregivers employ as part of their caring roles. Aim: This paper aims to explore what caregiving strategies work (or not), why and how by collating and synthesising existing evidence on this issue. Methods: A systematic search of peer-reviewed qualitative and mixed-method studies published between 2000 and 2019 was employed. This comprehensive process generated only nine papers for subsequent meta-synthesis of qualitative data. Results: Findings suggested that caregivers have a complex yet comprehensive role to play in initiating and perpetuating self-management-based cardiovascular care. The elements of recovery such as promoting hope, normality, autonomy and identity were flagged as critical underpinning factors that motivated the person with SMI to adopt a healthy lifestyle. However, it was evident that caregivers needed to walk alongside the person, at times, to help them reach their maximum potential in sustaining improved self-management behaviours. Conclusion: Caregivers sit in a favourable bridging position between healthcare systems and community-living individuals with SMI, to support their cardiovascular health. However, this powerful but invisible ‘workforce’ clearly needs further support involving finance, skill-development and acknowledgement.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Early online date14 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • cardiovascular health
  • Caregiver
  • family
  • recovery
  • self-management
  • severe mental illness
  • systematic review

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