The experiential impact of hospitalisation: parents' accounts of caring for young people with early psychosis

Gareth Hickman, Elizabeth Newton, Kelly Fenton, Jessica Thompson, Zoë V.R. Boden, Michael Larkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines the experiential impact of hospitalisation on the parents of young people with early psychosis. In-depth interviews were conducted with a small sample of parents, and the resulting transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five themes emerged from the data: Accepting and blaming, Feeling out of control, Hospitalisation as temporary containment, Feeling let down by services and Stigma. Aspects of the hospitalisation process were characterised by parents as generally negative, but a number of positive affirmations were also offered regarding the containing, supportive and crucial role of services. Parents' perceptions of hospitalisation as a difficult, and sometimes distressing, experience are exacerbated by the complexity of being the carer of a young person. Negotiating services and boundaries within the context of this relationship contributes to feelings of exclusion and disregard by professionals and services. The implications of this study resonate with the current government mental health strategy with regard to how services can engage and include carers in the mental health system, and equip and enable them to support their relatives with early psychosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalClinical child psychology and psychiatry
Issue number1
Early online date29 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

© Sage 2015. The final publication is available via Sage at


  • caregivers
  • hospitalization
  • mental health services
  • parents
  • psychotic disorders
  • social stigma


Dive into the research topics of 'The experiential impact of hospitalisation: parents' accounts of caring for young people with early psychosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this