Involving the Family in the Care and Treatment of Women with Postpartum Psychosis: Swedish Psychiatrists' Experiences

School of Life Science, University of Skövde, P.O. Box 408, 541 28 Skövde, Sweden
Psychiatry journal 01/2013; 2013(5):897084. DOI: 10.1155/2013/897084
Source: PubMed


The aim of the study was to describe Swedish psychiatrists’ experiences of involving the family in the treatment of women with postpartum psychosis. A qualitative design was used, and semistructured qualitative research interviews were conducted with nine psychiatrists from the south of Sweden. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Four categories were found:
the family as a resource
the family as coworkers
preparing the family for the future
, and
the family as a burden
. The result showed that the psychiatrists considered the family to be a resource to which they devoted a great deal of care and effort. It was particularly important to involve the partner, informing about the course of the illness and the steps that need to be taken in the event of a relapse and reducing any guilt feelings. The psychiatrists instilled confidence and hope for a future of health and further child bearing. The family members’ limited understanding of the treatment may impede the involvement of the family. Conclusion of the study was that the goal for family involvement was to facilitate the women’s care and treatment. Further studies are needed to provide suggestions on how to develop family involvement in the care of women suffering from postpartum psychosis.

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