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Identifying the understanding of mental illness of mental health care users of mixed ancestry group attending a community mental health clinic

The purpose of this study was to elicit how mental health care users from a mixed ancestry group, otherwise called “Coloureds” at a Mental Health Clinic in an urban South African context, understood mental illness. “Coloured” peoples perceptions about mental illness in not well documented as few studies have addressed the needs of this population group in South Africa.
The purpose was addressed within a closed questionnaire schedule using the Illness Perception Questionnaire - Mental Health, which was administered over a two month period, from 3rd June 2011 to 29th July 2011, using a non experimental, prospective, descriptive research design survey method. Data were collected by means of a self administered questionnaire and analysed by means of descriptive statistics.
According to the statistician no confidence level was necessary as the instrument used was already tested to be valid and reliable. Since the study was descriptive, no comparative statistics were necessary.The analysed data revealed evidence of poor identification of mental illnesses. This could be a contributory factor to the inadequate adherence to treatment strategies and high re-hospitalization rates in this community. There was also a lack of collaboration between health workers and mental health care users and inadequate imparting of mental illness information by the mental health care practitioners. The positive results that have become evident in this study of good community support, good personal control of illness, a belief in the importance of taking medication and low stress levels, may be utilized effectively to empower this community with knowledge about mental illness. This may allow this community to assume responsibility and be supportive in the efforts to destigmatise mental illness and to ensure that community mental health care services move efficiently and effectively.
Date24 April 2013
CreatorsRamanlal, Arunaben
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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