Help seeking behavior and related factors in schizophrenia patients: a comparative study of two populations from eastern and western Turkey
H. Dilek Yalvac, Zeynep Kotan, Suheyla Unal
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Article No: 8   Article Type :  Brief Report
Objective: In this study, it is aimed to investigate and compare the properties of help-seeking behaviour of schizophrenia patients from two districts situated in eastern and western Turkey.

Method: Thirty one schizophrenia patients admitted to Tatvan State Hospital in 2006 and 41 schizophrenia patients admitted to Menemen State Hospital in 2007 were recruited in the study. All the patients were in remission. A semi-structured, short questionnaire type interview was carried out with the patients inquiring about their socio-demographic properties and the ways they explain and seek help for their illness.

Results: The populations from Tatvan and Menemen significantly differed in terms of educational and income levels. Mean education duration of patients was 4.3±4.2 years for Tatvan and 6.8±3.5 years for Menemen (p=0.008). Fourty five percent of patients from Tatvan were of low income level and 54% of patients from Menemen were of middle-income level (p=0.016). Seventy four percent of all patients seeked help from religious sources for their illness. The percentage of patients seeking for psychiatric help was 85 for Menemen and 32 for Tatvan (p<0.001). Patients with education level of secondary-school and higher seeked for psychiatric help more than the less educated patients (p=0.039). Seventy one percent of all patients were advised to consult a psychiatrist by their family members.

Discussion: This study revealed that a substantial proportion of schizophrenia patients from the two different districts were in seek of help from religious sources. Seeking for psychiatric help increased with increasing education level which indicates the importance of implementation and development of psycho-educational programs for both patients and their families.
Keywords : Help-seeking, illness experience, schizophrenia
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2015;28:154-161
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