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This article describes a study recently carried out in Hong Kong. The aim of the study was to gain an understanding of the experiences of Chinese family carers in giving care to a relative with serious mental illness at home. Eight primary carers were selected, and data were collected through audiotaped, semistructured interviews in Cantonese. Five main categories emerged from the data: emotional impact, coping and adaptation, psychosocial effects, social support needs, and perceptions of mental illness and mental health services. Conclusions highlight the need for family-oriented mental health services to be developed and for further research to identify the specific nursing interventions that are effective in helping to sustain family caregiving in Chinese families.
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© 1998 W.B. Saunders Company. Published by Elsevier Inc.