Author: Tang YL//Sevigny R//Mao PX//Jiang F//Cai Z.
Department of Psychiatry, Beijing Anding Hospital affiliated with Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, 10088, USA
Conference/Journal: Adm Policy Ment Health
Date published: 2006
Other: Word Count: 266
Adm Policy Ment Health. 2006 Aug 1;
Help-seeking Behaviors of Chinese Patients with Schizophrenia Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital.
Tang YL, Sevigny R, Mao PX, Jiang F, Cai Z.
Department of Psychiatry, Beijing Anding Hospital affiliated with Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, 10088, USA.
PURPOSE: To investigate the help-seeking behaviors and related factors of Chinese psychiatric inpatients with schizophrenia.
METHOD: Two hundred and two patients with schizophrenia (ICD-10) were enrolled in this study. A locally-developed, semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data, including data on illness and help-seeking histories from patients, informants, and medical records. RESULTS: Among 202 inpatients, 120 patients (59.4%) had sought help from at least one type of non-psychiatric facility (NPF), and 82 patients (40.6%) went to a psychiatric hospital directly. Among the NPFs they contacted, 66 patients (32.7%) tried traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) from licensed practitioners (including acupuncturists), 64 (31.7%) chose general hospitals (including 9 who went to emergency departments), and 52 (25.7%) sought help from qigong (breathing exercise) masters or other folk healing methods. The reasons for seeking treatment from NPFs varied; the most common ones included feeling shameful or stigmatized about going to psychiatric hospitals, inaccessibility to or unavailability of psychiatric hospitals, and fear of being incarcerated or receiving electric shock treatment.
CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of psychiatric inpatients in China seek help from non-psychiatric facilities and/or folk healing methods. Feeling shameful or stigmatized, inaccessibility to and/or unavailability of psychiatric services are among the most common barriers to seeking psychiatric treatment. Patients who sought psychiatric help directly are likely to be female, with a chronic onset of illness, a mixed syndrome of positive and negative symptoms, or a better economic status.