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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 171-176

Awareness about mental illness among the family members of persons with mental illness in a selected District of Assam

Department of Psychiatric Nursing, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Nurnahar Ahmed
Department of Psychiatric Nursing, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur - 784 001, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.209199

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Background/Objectives: Knowledge about mental illness is essential for family members to provide effective care at home to the person with mental illness. Existing literature has shown that family members either have poor knowledge or aware about some facts but not adequate for effective patient management. Moreover, many of the time, attitude toward mental illness is seen to be negative. The present study aimed to assess the knowledge of family members of persons with mental illness about mental illness and to find the demographic associates. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted at the outpatient department (OPD) of a Tertiary Care Mental Health Institute in North-East India. Total 111 family members of patients diagnosed as psychosis (F20-F39; as per the International Classification of Diseases-10 diagnostic criteria) attending OPD for follow-up were selected purposively for the study. Structured sociodemographic pro forma and the Knowledge of Mental illness Questionnaire were used to collect data about knowledge of mental illness among the family members. Results: Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and Pearson's correlation by using SPSS version 16.0. Family members' knowledge about mental illness was found to be inadequate in some areas. Knowledge about mental illness was found significantly correlated with family members' age (r = 0.254, P = 0.007) and caregiving duration (P = 0.268, P = 0.004). Family members' gender and relationship with patients were found to be significantly associated with knowledge of mental illness. Conclusion: The present study finding suggests for the need of intervention to enhance knowledge of family members about mental illness for better patient management.

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