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Beliefs about schizophrenia and its treatment in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Swami, Viren and Furnham, Adrian and Kannan, Kumaraswami and Sinniah, Dhachayani (2008) Beliefs about schizophrenia and its treatment in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 54 (2). pp. 164-179. ISSN 0020-7640

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764007084665


Background: Lay beliefs about schizophrenia have been extensively studied in cross-cultural settings, but research on ethnic differences are currently lacking. Aims: This study examined beliefs about the manifestations, causes and cures of schizophrenia in a multi-ethnic sample from Malaysia. Methods: In this study, 561 Malay, Chinese and Kadazan-Dusun participants rated 72 statements about schizophrenia on a 7-point scale. Results: Results showed that Malaysians tended to favour social-environmental explanations for schizophrenia. There were also ethnic and sex differences in these results. Specifically, Malay participants more strongly agreed that schizophrenia has a social cause, that treatment should affect changes at a societal level, that schizophrenic behaviour is sinful and that mental hospitals do not provide effective treatments. Conclusions: Lay beliefs about schizophrenia may serve different functions for different ethno-cultural groups, which have an influence on help-seeking behaviour Copyright 2008 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Culture, lay beliefs, Malaysia, schizophrenia
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:5555
Deposited On:29 Sep 2008 17:53
Last Modified:05 Nov 2009 12:23

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