Relatives of patients with severe mental disorders: unique traits and experiences of primary, nonprimary, and lone caregivers.
Harvey K., Burns T.
The authors examined caregivers' characteristics and experiences. Previously suggested principles for identifying the primary caregiver in 22 multiple-caregiver families were assessed, but none reliably distinguished the primary caregiver. The authors then compared primary (n = 22), nonprimary (n = 22), and lone caregivers' (n = 43) appraisals of caregiving and psychological distress. Lone and primary caregivers' experiences were similar, but nonprimary caregivers' experiences were less adverse. Despite these findings, greater psychological distress in primary caregivers indicated greater psychological distress in nonprimary caregivers.