Mental health nurses' experiences of schizophrenia rehabilitation in China and India: a preliminary study

Louise Higgins, Priya Dey-Ghatak, Gareth Davey
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 2007, 16 (1): 22-7
Nursing methods based on Western models may not be culturally relevant to patients from ethnic minority groups or other countries. In order to meet the needs of all patients, more research is needed to understand the cultural and social factors that influence nursing approaches. This paper reports preliminary open-ended discussions with mental health nurses in China and India in order to gain insights into the cultural and social issues that surround social rehabilitation of patients with schizophrenia. Rehabilitation methods included cognitive behavioural therapy, psychosocial methods, and employment/vocational training. Several cultural and social issues drive the rehabilitation process in both countries, including the use of traditional medicine and healers, emphasis on family involvement, stigma, gender inequality, and lack of resources. Participants in both countries were working hard to tackle some of these issues, but also expressed need for improved resources. The study provides an insight into the cultural and social factors that shape schizophrenia rehabilitation in China and India, and serves as a baseline for further research about nursing across cultures. The study also highlights the marked differences in attitudes, values, and behaviours across cultural groups that need to be considered by nursing professionals to ensure that services are culturally competent.

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