Are Studies into Severe Mental Illness Robust Enough?

Research Paper Title

Multidimensional impact of severe mental illness on family members: systematic review.

Background

The impact of severe mental illnesses (SMIs) is not limited to the person with the illness but extends to their family members and the community where the patient comes from.

In this review, the researchers systematically analyse the available evidence of impacts of SMI on family members, including parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses and children.

Methods

PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and Global Index Medicus were searched from the inception of each database up to 9 November 2019. They also did manual searches of grey literature.

The researchers included studies that assessed the impacts of SMI on any family member. They excluded studies in admitted clinics and acute wards to rule out the acute effect of hospitalisation.

Two reviewers extracted data independently using the Cochrane handbook guideline for systematic reviews and agreed on the final inclusion of identified studies.

The quality of the included studies was assessed using effective public health practice project quality assessment tool for quantitative studies. The review protocol was registered in the PROSPERO database.

Results

The researchers screened a total of 12,107 duplicate free articles and included 39 articles in the review.

The multidimensional impact of SMI included physical health problems (sleeplessness, headache and extreme tiredness.), psychological difficulties (depression and other psychological problems) and socioeconomic drift (less likely to marry and higher divorce rate and greater food insecurity).

Impacts on children included higher mortality, poor school performance and nutritional problems. However, the quality of one in five studies was considered weak.

Conclusions

The review indicated a high level of multidimensional impact across multiple generations.

The serious nature of the impact calls for interventions to address the multi-dimensional and multi-generational impact of SMI, particularly in low/middle-income countries.

Given the relatively high number of studies rated methodologically weak, more robust studies are indicated.

Reference

Fekadu, W., Mihiretu, A., Craig, T.K.J. & Fekadu, A. (2019) Multidimensional impact of severe mental illness on family members: systematic review. BMJ Open. 9(12):e032391. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032391.

Strategies used by Families to Cope with Chronic Mental Illnesses

Research Paper Title

Strategies used by families to cope with chronic mental illnesses: Psychometric properties of the family crisis oriented personal evaluation scale.

Background

This study was aimed at investigating the psychometric properties of the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scale (F-COPES) for Turkish society, which assesses the coping skills of caregivers of individuals with chronic mental illnesses.

Methods

The study was conducted with 153 family caregivers of patients with a chronic mental illness admitted to the inpatient and outpatient units of two university hospitals and İzmir Schizophrenia Solidarity Association.

For the language validity, the translation-back translation method was performed, for the content validity, expert opinions were obtained, for the construct validity, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed.

For the reliability analysis, Cronbach α reliability coefficient was calculated and the test-retest reliability analysis was performed.

Results

The content validity index of the scale was 0.96.

The Cronbach’s α reliability coefficient for the overall scale was .80. Factor loadings of the subscales ranged between 0.56 and 0.69 for the Acquiring Social Support subscale, between 0.43 and 0.74 for the Reframing subscale, between 0.53 and 0.74 for the Seeking Spiritual Support subscale.

The model fit indexes were as follows: χ2  = 176.369, df = 116, χ2 /df = 1.52, RMSEA = 0.059, CFI = 0.90, IFI = 0.91, GFI = 0.88.

Conclusions

The results of the present study show that the levels of psychometric properties of F-COPES in Turkish society are acceptable.

It is thought that it would be useful to use the F-COPES in the assessment of coping behaviours of individuals who give care to patients with a chronic mental illness and that it can be used as measurement tool in studies to be conducted with caregivers of patients with a chronic mental illness to assess their coping skills.

Reference

Sari, A. & Çetinkaya Duman, Z. (2019) Strategies used by families to cope with chronic mental illnesses: Psychometric properties of the family crisis oriented personal evaluation scale. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12457. [Epub ahead of print].