Social factors affecting relapse of severe mental illness: A qualitative analysis of healthcare team's perceptions
Keywords:mental illness, patient, healthcare team, relapse, qualitative research
Objective: Relapse is a challenge for patients with severe mental illness (SMI). The purpose of present study was to explain the health care team’s perception of social factors affecting SMI relapse.
Methods: In this qualitative content analysis study, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with 23 members of healthcare team. Content analysis was used to categorize the data.
Results: The social factors affecting the relapse of SMI could be classified in three categories of community-related factors, cultural factors, and family-related factors. The first category included low socioeconomic status, lack of community support for SMI patients, and insufficient awareness of community about SMI. The second category included false beliefs and misconceptions, and negative attitudes towards SMI. The third category also included dysfunctional family and non-supportive family.
Conclusion: In order to deal with cultural misconceptions that lead to the relapse of SMI, it is necessary to implement culture-based interventions to correctly confront negative attitudes and stigmatized beliefs and fight against cultural taboos that govern the phenomenon of SMI relapse in Iran. It seems that the implementation of family-centered interventions for the family of patients with SMI can reduce the burden of family-related factors in disease relapse.
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