Family centred care: views of mentally ill patients' relatives on hospital management of these patients.

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Banda, Helen Phiri.
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The study looked at views of mentally ill patients' relatives on hospital management of these patients. A review of literature on involvement of the family in nursing care has been included. The instrument used to obtain information from fifty relatives was a structured interview schedule. The respondents were randomly chosen during their visits. The interview gathered data about number of times that the patients had been admitted in Chainama Hospital, family's knowledge about the patients' illness and how often the family visited the patient. Relatives were asked if it was the duty of the hospital personnel alone to care for the hospitalised patients. It was discovered that more than fifty percent of the relatives did not know what the patients suffered from. This ignorance therefore increased the family's anxiety. Most relatives visited the patients every day and this was done because they loved the patients. Most relatives felt that they had a major role to play in the management of the patients. They said that they knew the patients better. Some respondents were even willing to spend 24 hours with the patient so that together with the hospital personnel they could monitor the patient's progress. The findings of the study could mean that the families of mentally ill patients are ready to fully participate in the nursing management of mental patients. They realize that they must work hand in hand with the hospital personnel. This then implies that the hospital personnel have denied the patients' relatives the direction and encouragement to actively assist in the nursing management of these patients.
Mentally ill --Hospital care --Zambia. , Mentally ill --Rehabilitation.