PRAXIS:  "The action and reflection of people upon their world in order to transform it."

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The Diagnosis of Schizophrenia and its Impact on the Primary Caregiver 

Caroline Wheeler, BHSc (Nursing), RCpN 

Reference: Wheeler, C., (1994). The Diagnosis of Schizophrenia and its Impact on the Primary Caregiver Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 9(3), 15-23


This qualitative study investigates how the diagnosis of schizophrenia in a young adult impacts on the primary caregiver in the family.  In this study all participants were mothers who had sons recently diagnosed with schizophrenia.  An extensive literature review revealed a lack of research in this area.  The research methodology in described.  Data analysis determined themes or patterns of experience amongst participants in this study.  From this small study it was seen that the impact on the participants was intensely traumatic and far reaching.  Six themes emerfed:  trauma/distress, fear, uncertainty, relief, disruption and powerlessness.  The results have major implications for nurses and other health professionals working in the Mental Health field.