Repository logo

The experiences of caregiving and the coping strategies of informal caregivers of people with major neurocognitive disorders.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Caregivers of people with major neurocognitive disorders (MNCD) experience considerable burden, which might lead to psychological difficulties. As a result of their caregiving experiences, it is important for caregivers to develop positive coping skills. This study aimed to explore the experiences and coping strategies of informal caregivers of people living with major neurocognitive disorders. Further, this study was conducted to establish if there are any support programmes available for informal caregivers of individuals with severe neurocognitive impairments. A mixed methods research approach was adopted. Nine informal caregivers were sampled through a non-probability purposive technique. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and psychometric scales on caregiver depression, burden, and coping. Further, data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Psychometric scales were scored and interpreted based on their interpretive manual. The findings suggest that informal caregivers of persons with major neurocognitive disorders endorsed more negative than positive experiences. However, they seemed to cope with the caregiving situation. More active coping strategies, such as acceptance and building resilience, mediate the negative experiences. Informal caregivers reported the availability of respite and psychosocial interventions such as those offered by the Bessie Makatini Foundation. In conclusion, it was recommended that while addressing caregiver needs and creating support interventions, support programs like those conducted by the Bessie Makatini Foundation should consider the various family dynamics.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.