Understanding caregivers' experiences of supporting suicidal relatives with psychosis or bipolar disorder: a qualitative analysis of an online-peer support forum

Paul Marshall

Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Lancaster University

Over recent decades, significant research attention has focused on understanding the experiences of those who support or care for people with psychosis or bipolar disorder. Over the same period, research has consistently shown that those experiencing bipolar disorder, psychosis, and related diagnoses such as schizophrenia, are at a much greater risk of suicidal ideation, attempting suicide, or dying by suicide than the general population. Despite this, few studies to date have investigated caregivers' experiences of providing support to people with psychosis or bipolar disorder during periods of increased suicide risk.

A qualitative thematic analysis of data derived from an online peer support forum was undertaken to address this previously understudied topic. The forum was established by researchers at Lancaster University as part of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate an intervention for relatives of people with psychosis and bipolar disorder - the Relatives Education and Coping Toolkit. This seminar will present the initial findings of this analysis in addition to reviewing some of the challenges and advantages of using online forum data in qualitative research. There will also be an opportunity to discuss how corpus methods could be applied to further investigate this dataset.

Thursday 6th February 2020

Charles Carter A15