Caregiver Perspectives on Social Support for Individuals Living with Psychotic Disorders in Tanzania



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In low-resource settings like Tanzania, individuals living with psychotic disorders must rely on their families for much of their financial and social support, thus leading family members to informally become their primary caregiver. Therefore, how relatives understand, think about, and implement their caregiving roles can have a profound impact on the recovery pathways for their relatives living with mental illness. This thesis will explore how relatives describe their support roles, including their strengths and areas where they state they need additional support. Twenty semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with relative caregivers of adults living with psychotic disorders in Tanzania. These transcripts were coded and analyzed thematically using content analysis to distinguish their perspective surrounding the relative's role and sentiments as a caregiver. Themes of instrumental support, emotional support, informational support and appraisal for the individual living with psychosis, along with caregiver expectations from the patient, providers and greater community were identified. Analyses revealed that: 1) financial and basic needs are critical, 2) acceptance and desire for improvement in relatives’ well-being, 3) there are information/ knowledge gaps for how to promote recovery via social support, and 4) caregivers bear more responsibility than communities for care but caregivers also expect more from affected individuals, providers and the community. Despite the constant and necessary provision of social support administered by these caregivers, the support of the caregivers themselves should also be recognized and in order to fully aid those who are living with mental illnesses.





Desjardins, Monica (2021). Caregiver Perspectives on Social Support for Individuals Living with Psychotic Disorders in Tanzania. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.