Attributions of mental illness among young people seeking psychiatric treatment in Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
Individuals from different cultural backgrounds make different attributions of illness, health, diseases, symptoms and treatment. Attributions play an important role in formation of understanding concerning health. These understandings of health form a cognitive schema that influences the way patients make attributions. In Kenya, the youth attributions of mental illness had not been studied, hence this study was the first to report the findings related to the youth’s attributions on mental illnesses at the Kenyatta National Hospital. The objectives of the study were; 1) To investigate the attribution of mental illness held by youth in Kenya, 2) To find out the youth’s preferred type of treatment, and the predicaments that hinder effective psychotherapy related to the attributions. This aimed at improving the mental health care of patients and psychotherapy outcomes. Semi structured interviews were carried out with 10 young individuals aged 19 to 25, and had been diagnosed with a psychological disorder for the first time and were undergoing treatment. The amount of time used in the study was 250 hours. By use of a designed interview guide, In-depth individual interviews ranged from 30 to 45 minutes. Data was be transcribed verbatim and produced texts that were used to generate coding categories. Analysis was done by use of an Interpretative Phenomenological (IPA). The 10 clients interviewed attributed their causes of mental illness or psychological distress to be as a result of Bio-Psycho-Social factors such as parents’ separation or divorce, death of a loved one and medical conditions such as epilepsy. As a result, knowledge was gained that will assist those who help the youth in overcoming challenges to their self-development, social integration and successful transition to adulthood. Clients interviewed felt that there is a need to put their cultural beliefs, underlying social circumstances as well as expectations in assessment and treatment processes.
The following license files are associated with this item: