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Journal: International journal of mental health systems

167

BACKGROUND: The shift from asylum to community care for mental health patients has burdened the providers of primary health care and, more than all, families. As a result, numerous studies [Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 31:345–348, 1995, J Health Socisl Behav 36:138–150, 1995] have focused on the burden of care experienced by family members living with individuals with severe mental disorders. This kind of provision, also extols a significant cost to the society at large in terms of significant direct and indirect costs. A cost that may be even higher in times of severe socio-economic crisis.Methodology: This study, firstly, aims to examine the burden that the family members experience by caring for individuals with schizophrenia and the identification of the parameters, in a micro and macro level, that affect family burden. Secondly, this study aims to investigate whether the welfare state will be fit to help vulnerable groups as the one studied, especially during economic crisis periods when austerity measures are being implemented into welfare systems. For data collection purposes this study employed the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire [Schizophr Bull 1998, 24(4):609–618]. The sample consisted of caregivers either living in rural or urban areas of the district of Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. These people were attending regular meetings with their allocated Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN) in Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC). RESULTS: Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was applied with the tension, the supervision, the worry, and the encouragement entering as dependent factors. In each case, participant’s age, gender, marital status, income, number of people living in the same house with the participant, degree of relationship between the caregiver and the person suffering from severe mental disorder, the age of the relative, and the gender of the relative, were entered as independent factors. Four ANCOVAs were performed, one for each dimension of the family burden. The results from this analysis produced only one significant main effect of the gender of the relative on supervision [F(1,118) = 4.40, p = .011, etap2 = .053] with male relatives suffering from schizophrenia requiring higher supervision than female ones as their relative caregivers responses indicate. CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, families under great stress due to the reasons derived from the weaknesses of the welfare system described throughout this paper would give up and reject the mentally ill individuals who would become outcasts socially. Therefore, health systems need to aim to the development of psychosocial provisions for both family caregivers and patients as to decrease the family burden rates and increase the possibility of smooth transition to the society.

Concepts: Family, Medicine, Mental health, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Mental illness, Family therapy

22

Since the economic recession began in 2008 anecdotal reports suggest that mental health services in England have experienced disinvestment, but published data to test this proposition are few.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Mental health, Massachusetts, Unemployment, Recession, Anecdotal evidence

13

BACKGROUND: Individuals, families and communities in Northern Sri Lanka have undergone three decades of war trauma, multiple displacements, and loss of family, kin, friends, homes, employment and other valued resources. The objective of the study was understanding common psychosocial problems faced by families and communities, and the associated risk and protective factors, so that practical and effective community based interventions can be recommended to rebuild strengths, adaptation, coping strategies and resilience. METHODS: This qualitative, ecological study is a psychosocial ethnography in post-war Northern Sri Lanka obtained through participant observation; case studies; key- informant interviews; and focus groups discussions with mental health and psychosocial community workers as well as literature survey of media and organizational reports. Qualitative analysis of the data used ethnography, case studies, phenomenonology, grounded theory, hermeneutics and symbolic interactionism techniques. Quantitative data on suicide was collected for Jaffna and Killinochchi districts. RESULTS: Complex mental health and psychosocial problems at the individual, family and community levels in a post-war context were found to impair recovery. These included unresolved grief; individual and collective trauma; insecurity, self-harm and suicides; poverty and unemployment; teenage and unwanted pregnancies; alcoholism; child abuse and neglect; gender based violence and vulnerability including domestic violence, widows and female headed-household, family conflict and separation; physical injuries and handicap; problems specific for children and elderly; abuse and/or neglect of elderly and disabled; anti-social and socially irresponsible behaviour; distrust, hopelessness, and powerlessness . Protective factors included families; female leadership and engagement; cultural and traditional beliefs, practices and rituals; and creative potential in narratives, drama and other arts. Risk factors that were impeding community rehabilitation and recovery included continuing military governance, depletion of social capital particularly lack of trust, hope and socio-economic opportunity structures for development that would engender a sense of collective efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: In view of the widespread trauma at the individual, family and collective levels, community based programmes to increase local awareness, knowledge and skills to deal with common mental health and psychosocial issues; training of community level workers and others in basic mental health and psychosocial problem solving are recommended to rebuild family and community agency and resilience. The use of cultural practices and school based programmes would rekindle community processes.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Focus group, Sociology, Qualitative research, Case study, Grounded theory, Participant observation, Quantitative research

8

Research on information systems for mental health in low and middle income countries (LMICs) is scarce. As a result, there is a lack of reliable information on mental health service needs, treatment coverage and the quality of services provided.

8

Recent research suggests that a basic anomaly in self-experience may be a core factor in patients with severe mental illnesses. Given the importance of sense of self, the traditional treatment of symptoms might not be the most effective for these groups of patients. This qualitative study examines how differences in social environmental conditions, organized as education or treatment, might affect personal development in patients with severe mental illness.

Concepts: Psychology, Medical terms, Patient, Sociology, Illness, Educational psychology, Mental disorder, Mental illness

5

Despite increasing recognition of the high burden of suicide deaths in low- and middle-income countries, there is wide variability in the type and quality of data collected and reported for suspected suicide deaths. Suicide data are filtered through reporting systems shaped by social, cultural, legal, and medical institutions. Lack of systematic reporting may underestimate public health needs or contribute to misallocation of resources to groups most at risk.

Concepts: Health economics, Medicine, Sociology, Suicide, Social network, Network theory, Network science, Surveillance

5

There are few accounts of evidence-based interventions for depression and other common mental disorders (CMDs) in primary care in low-income countries. The Friendship Bench Project is a collaborative care mental health intervention in primary care in Harare for CMDs which began as a pilot in 2006.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Mind, Mental disorder, Integral psychology

5

The need to address the treatment gap in mental health services in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is well recognized and particularly neglected among children and adolescents. Recent literature with adult populations suggests that evidence-based mental health treatments are effective, feasible, and cross-culturally modifiable for use in LMIC. This paper addresses a gap in the literature documenting pre-trial processes. We describe the process of selecting an intervention to meet the needs of a particular population and the process of cross-cultural adaptation.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical trial, Biology, Demography, Population, Mental health

4

The concept of recovery has gained increasing attention and many mental health systems have taken steps to move towards more recovery oriented practice and service structures. This article represents a description of current recovery-oriented programs in participating countries including recovery measurement tools. Although there is growing acceptance that recovery needs to be one of the key domains of quality in mental health care, the implementation and delivery of recovery oriented services and corresponding evaluation strategies as an integral part of mental health care have been lacking.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Health economics, Medicine, Healthcare, Mental health, The Key, Mental disorder

4

There is a paucity of data on how to deliver complex interventions that seek to reduce the treatment gap for mental disorders, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The need for well-documented protocols which clearly describe the development and the scale-up of programs and interventions is necessary if such interventions are to be replicated elsewhere. This article describes the use of a theory of change (ToC) model to develop a brief psychological intervention for common mental disorders and its' evaluation through a cluster randomized controlled trial in Zimbabwe.

Concepts: Psychology, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Randomized controlled trial, Mental health, Mental disorder, Psychiatry, Coloured