Ways of coping of Chinese caregivers for family members with schizophrenia in two metropolitan cities: Guangzhou and Hong Kong, China

Paul C.W. Lam, Petrus Y N NG*, Jiayan PAN, Daniel YOUNG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In Chinese societies, family caregivers play an important role in the recovery of persons with serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia. While family caregivers are often invaluable sources of caregiving in the community, a majority of them lack adequate knowledge and support skills to cope with the tasks involved. Aims: This study compares the coping strategies and psychological health of caregivers for family members with schizophrenia in two Chinese cities, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Method: A total of 109 caregivers, including 39 from Hong Kong and 70 from Guangzhou, were recruited from non-governmental mental health organizations in the two cities. They were assessed by the Chinese version of the Ways of Coping Questionnaire and the General Health Questionnaire. Results: While there was no significant difference in the psychological distress of the family caregivers in the two locations, the Guangzhou caregivers adopt significantly more of the eight coping strategies, namely, confronting coping, distancing, self-control, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, escape-avoidance, planful problem solving and positive reappraisal, than their counterparts in Hong Kong. Significant correlations were also found between psychological distress and coping strategies of caregivers in the two cities. Conclusion: There were significant differences in the coping strategies of family caregivers for people with schizophrenia in the two Chinese cities. Further studies are warranted to investigate factors affecting their coping strategies and their effects on psychological health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-599
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume61
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese caregivers
  • Coping with caregiving
  • severe mental illness

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