A qualitative study of the experience of caring for a person with bulimia nervosa. Part 2: Carers' needs and experiences of services and other support.
Winn S., Perkins S., Murray J., Murphy R., Schmidt U.
OBJECTIVE: Family carers of people with mental disorders have specific needs to safeguard their own mental health. The needs of carers of individuals with eating disorders have received little attention. A focus group with carers of people with anorexia nervosa identified a number of specific needs (Haigh & Treasure . European Eating Disorders Review, 11(2), 125-141). However, there has been no published research into the needs of carers of individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN). METHOD: Twenty carers of individuals with BN were interviewed using a semistructured interview schedule. Interviews were transcribed and the texts were analyzed using a content analysis approach to identify themes. RESULTS: Carers expressed the need for more information, practical advice, guidance, and the need to talk to others about their experiences. DISCUSSION: Further research is recommended to explore how the needs expressed by carers may best be translated into services that effectively meet the requirements of both patients and carers and reduce the risk to carers' mental health.