Perception of healthcare professionals and use of formal-informal resources by families with son with chronic mental/physical illness

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Hyde, Emily
Malone, Judy Ann
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Thesis (M.S.)
School of Nursing
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The purpose of this secondary analysis of Malone's (1993) study was to identify formal and informal resources used by families with an adult son with chronic mental or physical illness. It also explored the identified perceptions of health care providers by the families in this study. This study was guided by the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1993).The sample population was patients who were receiving outpatient care from Valley Mental Health Center and University Hospital Neurology Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, and families which met certain criteria. The data of 42 respondents of the original 68 in Malone's (1993) study were perused for trends and themes about the use of formal and informal resources and perceptions of health care professionals using the process of secondary analysis.Findings revealed that the outpatients and families used six formal resources and seven informal resources. Family resources accounted for 44 percent of the total utilization of informal resources by the respondents. Hospital/clinics accounted for 24.3 percent of the total formal resources used by the respondents. Findings also revealed that perceptions of health care professionals by the respondents was negative.With the increase of chronic illnesses, the recommendations and implications for nursing identify that patient education in the future will undoubtedly be the most vital and crucial component to an individual's success/failure to adjust to the chronic illness. With the additional knowledge base, prevention of unnecessary anxiety related to the chronic illness would promote a more positive environment for the patient. In addition, both the patient and family could make that smooth transition into the adaptation phase and function effectively with the chronic mental or physical illness.