| Published: January 31, 2020
A qualitative study of caregivers’ experience with non psychiatric health professionals in help seeking for first episode of psychosis
Background: First episode of Psychosis in a young individual, if untreated for long time, leads to long term poor outcomes. Poor mental health literacy in non Psychiatric health professionals is one of the main barriers to help seeking & treatment in low and middle income countries. There is lack of qualitative studies exploring health professionals’ response to patients presenting with Psychosis. Hence we decided to evaluate the experiences of caregivers of persons with first episode of psychosis when they presented to other health professionals in a qualitative way. Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate caregivers’ experiences in help seeking with other health professionals, with a qualitative approach in patients with first episode psychosis. Material & Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with sixty one caregivers of people with first episode Psychosis in relation to other health professionals’ response to their help seeking. Statistics: Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted. Results: Sixty one caregivers were interviewed for the study after excluding eleven caregivers for different reasons. Half of respondents (n = 32) themselves contacted health professionals who did not then initially recognize psychosis. The reactions of health professionals were as follows –asking the patient to relax, describing this as a part of generalized weakness, prescribing sleeping pills (most of the time alprazolam), multivitamin tablets. There were exceptions in 3 of the patients who were referred to psychiatrists after convincing the family member about mental illness. Discussion: The vague nature of many early psychotic experiences creates difficulties, especially for those without specialist training, in distinguishing illness. Stigma, significant unawareness of treatment methods and biological causes of psychiatric disorders in medical professionals appear important hurdles in reducing DUP. The medical students in their clinical studies in final year need to study mandatorily about depression and psychosis and about instituting the primary levels of treatment.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2020 S Kalmane, K S Pavitra & K R Sridhara
Received: December 27, 2019; Revision Received: January 19, 2020; Accepted: January 31, 2020
Published in Volume 08, Issue 1, January-March, 2020