Friday, December 12, 2008

Service users' siblings

Little is known about the impact of learning disabilities and mental illness on service users' siblings. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied 351 people over a 46-year period all of whom had at least one sibling with either a mental illness or a learning disability and compared them to 791 people with unaffected siblings. The researchers found that people who had siblings with mental illnesses were 63% more likely to report having a depressive episode during their lifetime. Siblings of people with learning disabilities were more likely to live in the same states as them but reported much less contact with their learning-disabled siblings and reported feeling less emotionally close to them. People with a brother with a mental illness had lower levels of psychological wellbeing than those in the comparison group but people with a sister with mental illness were not at increased risk of a mental-health problem.

No comments: