The purpose of this paper is to investigate the families’ and professional caregivers’ experience of mental health services for patients in the migrant population with intellectual disability (ID).
To highlight this rarely studied topic, the authors chose a qualitative approach, using a semi-structured interview guide. The authors performed a search for relevant articles. Three families of former patients of a specialized psychiatric inpatient unit and 12 professional caregivers were interviewed. The interviews were taped, transcribed and analyzed using a thematic analysis.
In total, 17 themes from the families’ answers and 14 themes from the caregivers’ answers were grouped into four main themes each. Two main themes were identical for both groups: perspectives on mental illness and “the Norwegian system.” Additionally, the families were concerned about the impact on the patient and family and coping strategies. The caregivers highlighted patient–caregiver interaction and family–caregiver interaction.
Further research should include the patients’ opinions based on the findings of this study. Also, studies including larger samples from both specialist services and community services are needed to develop evidence-based services for these patients.
Proposed adaptations to enable assessment and treatment of mental illness in migrants with ID should be adapted to cultural preferences. The following adaptations are proposed: inclusion of the entire family, awareness of cultural dimensions, information about the health care system, education in mental illness, the use of interpreters and adequate time spent with the families.
Mental health services for this group are an understudied topic. Clinical experience indicates that professionals struggle when providing services for such patients.
Hellerud, J. and Bakken, T. (2019), "Family and caregivers’ experience of mental illness in migrants with intellectual disability – reflections on practice", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 76-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-06-2018-0029Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited