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Attributions and private theories of mental illness among young adults seeking psychiatric treatment in Nairobi: an interpretive phenomenological analysis

Overview of attention for article published in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, June 2018
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Title
Attributions and private theories of mental illness among young adults seeking psychiatric treatment in Nairobi: an interpretive phenomenological analysis
Published in
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, June 2018
DOI 10.1186/s13034-018-0229-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Judy Wanjiru Mbuthia, Manasi Kumar, Fredrik Falkenström, Mary Wangari Kuria, Caleb Joseph Othieno

Abstract

Mental illness affects every segment of population including young adults. The beliefs held by young patients regarding the causes of mental illness impact their treatment-seeking behaviour. It is pertinent to know the commonly held attributions around mental illness so as to effectively provide psychological care, especially in a resource constrained context such as Kenya. This helps in targeting services around issues such as stigma and extending youth-friendly services. Guided by the private theories interview (PTI-P) and attributional framework, individual semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten young adults of ages 18-25 years about their mental health condition for which they were undergoing treatment. Each interview took 30-45 min. We mapped four attributions (locus of control, stability, controllability and stigma) on PTI-P questions. Data was transcribed verbatim to produce transcripts coded using interpretive phenomenological analysis. These codes were then broken down into categories that could be used to understand various attributions. We found PTI-P to be a useful tool and it elicited three key themes: (a) psychosocial triggers of distress (with themes of negative thoughts, emotions around mental health stigma and negative childhood experiences, parents' separation or divorce, death of a loved one etc.), (b) biological conditions and psychopathologies limiting intervention, and (c) preferences and views on treatment. Mapping these themes on our attributional framework, PTI-P themes presented as causal attributions explaining stigma, locus of control dimensions and stability. External factors were mainly ascribed to be the cause of unstable and uncontrollable attributions including persistent negative emotions and thoughts further exacerbating psychological distress. Nine out of the ten participants expressed the need for more intense and supportive therapy. Our study has provided some experiential evidence in understanding how stigma, internal vs external locus of control, stability vs instability attributions play a role in shaping attitudes young people have towards their mental health. Our study points to psychosocial challenges such as stigma, poverty and lack of social support that continue to undermine mental well-being of Kenyan youth. These factors need to be considered when addressing mental health needs of young people in Kenya.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 70 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 70 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 11 16%
Student > Master 11 16%
Student > Doctoral Student 10 14%
Researcher 9 13%
Student > Postgraduate 7 10%
Other 10 14%
Unknown 12 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 28 40%
Social Sciences 8 11%
Medicine and Dentistry 6 9%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 7%
Business, Management and Accounting 3 4%
Other 3 4%
Unknown 17 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 June 2018.
All research outputs
#11,520,285
of 14,537,474 outputs
Outputs from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
#401
of 474 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#208,314
of 278,260 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,537,474 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
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