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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 327-332

Explanatory model of mental illness and treatment-seeking behavior among caregivers of patients with mental illness: Evidence from Eastern India

1 State Health Resource Centre, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha, India
3 Médecins Sans Frontières, Jordan
4 Department of Social Work, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Abhijit Pathak
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_24_20

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Background: Mental illness does not have a homogeneous definition since its explanation varies across the culture. Caregivers are playing a vital role in the decision-making process of patient treatment. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the explanatory models (EMs) about mental illnesses and treatment-seeking behavior (TSB) prevalent among the patients' caregivers in Jharkhand, India. Methods: The present study was conducted among the patients' caregivers from the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, India. Two-hundred and forty respondents were selected through a convenient sampling method. A sociodemographic detail sheet used for recording the sociodemographic profile of the respondents and semi-structure interview schedule sheet was used to record the EMs and TSB of the respondents. Results: Most caregivers understand mental illness as a brain dysfunction (50.4%) but unaware of the causation of it (48.3%). Whereas 82.1% of patients' caregivers prefer medical facilities for the treatment; at the same time, 57.5% prefer faith healers or religios practice to cure. Conclusion: It can be inferred from the results that half of the respondents still have other kinds of EMs on the causation of mental illness. Although the high frequency of seeking medical facilities has come in the result, different modes of treatment seeking which are done parallelly by caregivers such as faith and traditional healing cannot be ignored. Therefore, there is a need to raise the mental health literacy in this region in addition to the medical and psychiatric care facilities.

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