Quality of life in mentally ill older adults is an important area to target in psychiatric rehabilitation. Additionally, the ability for these individuals to live a more independent lifestyle and/or to feel fulfilled is a major contributor to their happiness. Therefore, mental health practitioners must have an understanding of how to help older adults diagnosed with a serious mental illness reach their optimal potential as enrollment continues to increase in mental health day programs. The intent of this study was to better understand mental health day program caregiver’s experience in working with this population and to provide a description of what a mental health day program was like for the mentally ill residents under their care. The first task was facilitated by semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Secondly, a set of more survey-based questions were added to the interview design in an attempt to set the contextual stage of the described experience. It was believed that combined data would provide a more in depth perspective and set the stage to better explore the caregiver experience. Moreover, this approach is consistent with the generic qualitative method, which allows survey data to be integrated with interview data; in this case to help produce the work context of the caregiver. The combined data would then include attitudes, values, opinions and perspective on what works, what does not work and what could work better in relation to their work with this population. Using a data-driven, inductive coding model advocated by Boyatzis (1998) for conducting thematic analysis, three stages were developed: Stage 1. Sampling and design; Stage 2. Developing themes and codes; and Stage 3. Validating the use of the code. The results of this analysis yielded a total of 33 codes and 299 coded segments (participant comments coded). As a result, three themes were derived from the 12 patterns: 1) Caregivers’ Attitude towards Mental Health Day Programming, 2) Value that Caregivers Found within Mental Health Day Programs and 3) Caregivers’ Thoughts, Opinions and Feelings of Necessary Programmatic Model and Services. The original intent of his study was to determine 1.) how residential caregivers perceive specific characteristics or services as being an essential part of a mental health day program based upon their experience in working with older adult residents who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, 2.) whether identified services describe a particular mental health day program model or approach (Clubhouse, Psychosocial Rehabilitation or Rehabilitation Skills Training, or Peer/Consumer-Run) that would be the best program fit for older adults diagnosed with a serious mental illness, and 3.) the personal care home caregivers’ perception of how these services are expected to: provide stimulation and a desire for older adults to learn or grow; create an opportunity for older adults to be a part of the program; and promote older adults in taking part or engaging program activities are addressed. However, it was soon apparent that this type of evaluative research was well beyond the scope of the dissertation. Consequently, a less evaluative and more general descriptive qualitative approach was undertaken wherein the focus was changed with the attempt to 1.) better understand mental health day program caregiver’s experience in working with this population, 2.) provide a description of what mental health day programming was like for the mentally ill residents under their care, and 3.) set the contextual stage of the described experience. To the extent that this objective was met was left to the eye of the beholder, but it was hoped that the results would set the stage and lay the groundwork for the next step of the more evaluative approach abandoned for the generic qualitative descriptive study that follows. Thus the original intent was included here given the adage that the best evaluation is always description (Patton, 2008).
|Commitee:||DOOGAN, MIKE, RIVERIA, DIANA|
|Department:||Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Gerontology, Social psychology, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Day program, Mental health, Psychosocial, Quality of life, Rehabilitation|
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