Characteristics and experiences of family caregivers in the mental health setting




Chronic Illness, Mental Health, Mental Disorders, Caregivers, Nursing Care


Objective. To describe the characteristics and experiences of family caregivers of persons with mental disorders in a highly complex institution. Materials and methods. Mixed method, explanatory study, with an initial quantitative and then qualitative sequence. The quantitative phase was carried out using validated instruments: characterization sheet of the person with chronic illness-family caregiver dyad; the Nkongho Caregiving Ability Inventory (CAI), and the Zarit burden scale. The qualitative phase was conducted with a hermeneutic phenomenological approach; the information was collected through in-depth interviews to understand the needs of the caregivers. Results. The caregivers were mostly women, mainly mothers and daughters, home-occupied and self-employed, with basic primary education, low socioeconomic level and low caregiving skill level; a significant number of caregivers perceived some degree of overload. The themes identified in the analysis of the interviews were: feeling fear before the disease; the experience of caregiver fatigue; losing one’s job: another cost of the disease; fear of delegating care; love: a support for the caregiver; needing support to care. Conclusions. The caregiver experiences a complex situation associated with the high demand for care, and conditions under which mental health impairment progresses.



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Original Article

How to Cite

Cantillo-Medina CP, Perdomo-Romero AY, Ramírez-Perdomo CA. Characteristics and experiences of family caregivers in the mental health setting. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2022 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 May 28];39(2):185-92. Available from:

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