The aim of this qualitative descriptive study was to gain an in depth understanding and knowledge regarding how Omani families care for a member with mental illness including how they supported the later in self-care activities. Data was collected from participants using a purposive sample consisting of ten family caregivers whose member was in Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat. Each caregiver participated in one semi-structured interview. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The findings included two major themes: The first theme was “caring and empowering with empathy, love, and understanding.” The second theme was “self-denial and giving without limitations.” In conclusion, Omani family caregivers for a mentally ill family member provided optimum level of care to help and empower their family members to manage the mental illness. However, in so doing, those caregivers denied and neglected themselves for taking care of their mentally ill members. Several appropriate clinical interventions and policies are needed to support those family caregivers, to create a situation recently referred to as becoming “care partners.”


family caregivers, qualitative content analysis, mental illness, Oman, self-care management

Author Bio(s)

Khaldoun Aldiabat (ORCID# 0000-0002-4417-6337) is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Cape Breton University-Canada. Please direct correspondence to khaldoun_aldiabat@cbu.ca.

Enam A. Alsrayheen Ph.D., MAHSR (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2168-948x) is with Research, Innovation, and Discovery, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, NS, Canada.

Muna Alshammari RN Ph.D. is with the College of Nursing, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, Kuwait.

Carole-Lynne Le Navenec RN, Ph.D. is Associate Professor Emerita of Nursing with the University of Calgary.

Odette Griscti RN, Ph.D. is with the School of Nursing, Cape Breton University.


This project was funded from The Deanship of Research- Sultan Qaboos University-Oman

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