The experience of caregiving for severe mental illness: A comparison between anorexia nervosa and psychosis

  • Treasure J
  • Murphy T
  • Szmukler G
 et al. 
  • 79


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 171


    Citations of this article.


Background: The aim of this study was to examine the experience of care giving for people with anorexia nervosa and to compare it with the experiences of those people who care for a person with a psychotic illness. Method: Carers (parents, siblings and husbands) of people with eating disorders who had experienced an episode of inpatient care for anorexia nervosa (n=71) were given the General Health Questionnaire and the Experience of Caregiving Inventory. A sample of carers (N=68) of people with a psychotic illness from the community were used as a comparison group. A subgroup of the carers (n=20) of people with anorexia nervosa were asked to write about their experiences. Results: The clinical samples had a similar duration of illness, but the patients with anorexia nervosa were significantly younger and a larger proportion were living at home. The general health scores were significantly higher in the carers of anorexia nervosa and they experienced higher levels of difficulties in most areas of caregiving. A variety of variables from the Caregiving Inventory contributed to the level of psychological distress, accounting for 36% of the variance. The themes of guilt and shame were additional dimensions that were addressed in the letters. Conclusions: Carers of people with anorexia nervosa are challenged by the difficulties their role produces

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free