Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Mental Illness Related Abstracts

14 Innovations in the Implementation of Preventive Strategies and Measuring Their Effectiveness Towards the Prevention of Harmful Incidents to People with Mental Disabilities who Receive Home and Community Based Services

Authors: Carlos V. Gonzalez

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Background: Providers of in-home and community based services strive for the elimination of preventable harm to the people under their care as well as to the employees who support them. Traditional models of safety and protection from harm have assumed that the absence of incidents of harm is a good indicator of safe practices. However, this model creates an illusion of safety that is easily shaken by sudden and inadvertent harmful events. As an alternative, we have developed and implemented an evidence-based resilient model of safety known as C.O.P.E. (Caring, Observing, Predicting and Evaluating). Within this model, safety is not defined by the absence of harmful incidents, but by the presence of continuous monitoring, anticipation, learning, and rapid response to events that may lead to harm. Objective: The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the C.O.P.E. model for the reduction of harm to individuals with mental disabilities who receive home and community based services. Methods: Over the course of 2 years we counted the number of incidents of harm and near misses. We trained employees on strategies to eliminate incidents before they fully escalated. We trained employees to track different levels of patient status within a scale from 0 to 10. Additionally, we provided direct support professionals and supervisors with customized smart phone applications to track and notify the team of changes in that status every 30 minutes. Finally, the information that we collected was saved in a private computer network that analyzes and graphs the outcome of each incident. Result and conclusions: The use of the COPE model resulted in: A reduction in incidents of harm. A reduction the use of restraints and other physical interventions. An increase in Direct Support Professional’s ability to detect and respond to health problems. Improvement in employee alertness by decreasing sleeping on duty. Improvement in caring and positive interaction between Direct Support Professionals and the person who is supported. Developing a method to globally measure and assess the effectiveness of prevention from harm plans. Future applications of the COPE model for the reduction of harm to people who receive home and community based services are discussed.

Keywords: Safety, Disability, Resilience, Mental Illness, patients, harm

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13 Characterization and Predictors of Community Integration of People with Psychiatric Problems: Comparisons with the General Population

Authors: C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, M. Sousa, J. Cabral

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Community integration is a construct that an increasing body of research has shown to have a significant impact in well-being and recovery of people with psychiatric problems. However, there are few studies that explore which factors can be associated and predict community integration. Moreover, community integration has been mostly studied in minority groups, and currently literature on the definition and manifestation of community integration in the more general population is scarce. Thus, the current study aims to characterize community integration and explore possible predictor variables in a sample of participants with psychiatric problems (PP, N=183) and a sample of participants from the general population (GP, N=211). Results show that people with psychiatric problems present above average values of community integration, but are significantly lower than their healthy counterparts. It was also possible to observe that community integration does not vary in terms of the socio-demographic characteristics of both groups in this study. Correlation and multiple regression showed that, among several variables that literature present as relevant in the community integration process, only three variables emerged as having the most explanatory value in community integration of both groups: sense of community, basic needs satisfaction and submission. These results also shown that those variables have increased explanatory power in the PP sample, which leads us to emphasize the need to address this issue in future studies and increase the understanding of the factors that can be involved in the promotion of community integration, in order to devise more effective interventions in this field.

Keywords: Mental Illness, predictors, community integration, psychiatric problems

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12 Mental Illness, Dargahs and Healing: A Qualitative Exploration in a North Indian City

Authors: Reetinder Kaur, R. K. Pathak

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Mental health is recognised as an important global health concern. World Health Organisation in 2004 estimated that neuropsychiatric illnesses in India account for 10.8 percent of the global burden. The prevalence of serious mental illnesses is estimated as 6.5 percent by National Commission of Macroeconomics and Health in 2005. India spends only 0.06 percent of its health budget on mental health. One of the major problems that exist in Indian mental health care is the treatment gap due to scarcity of manpower, inadequate infrastructure and deficiencies in policy initiatives. As a result, traditional healing is a popular resource for mentally ill individuals and their families. The various traditional healing resources include faith healers, healers at temples and Dargahs. Chandigarh is a Union Territory located in North India. It has surplus manpower and infrastructure available for mental health care. Inspite of availability of mental health care services, mentally ill individuals and their families seek help from traditional healers at various Dargahs within or outside Chandigarh. For the present study, the data was collected from four dargahs. A total of thirty patients medically diagnosed with various mental illnesses, their family members who accompanied them and healers were part of this study. The aim of the study was to: Understand the interactions between healer, patient and family members during the course of treatment, understand explanations of mental illnesses and analyse the healing practices in context of culture. The interviews were conducted using an interview guide for the three sets of informants: Healers, patients and family members. The interview guide for healer focussed on the healing process, healer’s understanding of patient’s explanatory models, healer’s knowledge about mental illnesses and types of these illnesses cured by the healer. The interview guide for patients and family members focussed on their understanding of the symptoms, explanations for illness and help-seeking behaviour. The patients were observed over the weeks (every Thursday, the day of pir and healing) during their visits to the healer. Detailed discussions were made with the healer regarding the healing process and benefits of healing. The data was analysed thematically and the themes: The role of sacred, holistic healing, healer’s understanding of patient’s explanatory models of mental illness, the patient’s, and family’s understanding of mental illnesses, healer’s knowledge about mental illnesses, types of mental illnesses cured by the healer, bad dreams and their interpretation emerged. From the analysis of data, it was found that the healers concentrate their interventions in the social arena, ‘curing’ distressed patients by bringing significant changes in their social environment. It is suggested that in order to make the mental health care services effective in India, the collaboration between healers and psychiatrist is essential. However, certain specifications need to be made to make this kind of collaboration successful and beneficial for the stakeholders.

Keywords: Policy, Mental Illness, traditional healing, Dargah

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11 Eradication of Mental Illness through Buddhism

Authors: Deshar Bashu Dev

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In this modern age, most people in developed and developing countries are affected by mental illness. There are many mental illnesses, and their differing symptoms impact peoples’ lives in different ways. These illnesses affect the way people think and feel, as well as how they behave with others. Mental illness results from compound interactions between the mind, body, and environment. New technologies and sciences make the world a better place. These technologies are becoming smarter and are being developed every day to help make daily life easier However, people suffer from mental illness in every part of the world. The philosophy propounded by the Buddha, Buddhism, teaches that all life is connected, from the microcosm to macrocosm. In the 2,500 years that elapsed since the death of the Buddha, his disciples have spread his teachings and developed sophisticated psycho-therapeutic methodologies. We can find many examples in Buddhist texts and in the modern age where Buddhist philosophy modern science could not solve. The Noble Eightfold Path, which is one of the main philosophies of Buddhism; it eradicates hatred and ill will and cultivates good deeds, kindness, and compassion. Buddhism, as a practice of dialectic conversation and mindfulness training, is full of rich therapeutic tools that the mental health community has adopted to help people. Similarly, Buddhist meditation is very necessary; it purifies thoughts and avoids unnecessary thinking. This research aims to study different causes of mental illness; analyzes the different approaches to eradicate mental illness problems and provides conclusions and recommendations present solutions through Buddhism in this modern age.

Keywords: Mental Illness, Buddhism, Mindfulness, Buddhist practices

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10 The Impact of Stigma on the Course of Mental Illness: A Brief Review

Authors: Mariana Mangas, Yaroslava Martins, Ana Matos Pires

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Introduction: Stigmatization is a common problem to overcome for people suffering from chronic diseases. It usually follows mental disorders and complicates the course of illness and reduces quality of life for people with mental illness. Objective: unsystematic review concerning stigma and mental illness, its impact on psychiatric disease and strategies to eradicate stigma. Methods: A search was conducted on PubMed, using keywords 'stigma' and 'mental illness'. Results and Discussion: Stigma is a psychosocial process that identifies individuals by the negative label of their differences. Stigma often brings a loss of occupational success and social support, reduced functioning and lower quality of life. The sense of stigma is common in individuals with mental illness and has considerable negative repercussions: delays treatment achievement, promotes social isolation, stress and maladaptive coping behaviors and it is associated with higher symptom levels, placing these individuals at higher risk for a poorer outcome and prognoses. Conclusion: Given the interrelation between stigma, symptoms, treatment seeking and disease management, stigma is a key construct in mental illness upon which anti-stigma initiatives may have considerable therapeutic potential. It will take multidisciplinary interventions to overcome mental illness stigma, including changes in social policy, attitudes and practices among mental health professionals, liaison between general public and people with a mental illness under conditions of equity and parity, family support, and easy access to evidence-based treatments.

Keywords: Mental Illness, Quality of Life, Discrimination, stigma

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9 The Conception of the Students about the Presence of Mental Illness at School

Authors: Aline Giardin, Maria Rosa Chitolina, Maria Catarina Zanini

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In this paper, we analyze the conceptions of high school students about mental health issues, and discuss the creation of mental basic health programs in schools. We base our findings in a quantitative survey carried out by us with 156 high school students of CTISM (Colégio Técnico Industrial de Santa Maria) school, located in Santa Maria city, Brazil. We have found that: (a) 28 students relate the subject ‘mental health’ with psychiatric hospitals and lunatic asylums; (b) 28 students have relatives affected by mental diseases; (c) 76 students believe that mental patients, if treated, can live a healthy life; (d) depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are the most cited diseases; (e) 84 students have contact with mental patients, but know nothing about the disease; (f) 123 students have never been instructed about mental diseases while in the school; and (g) 135 students think that a mental health program would be important in the school. We argue that these numbers reflect a vision of mental health that can be related to the reductionist education still present in schools and to the lack of integration between health professionals, sciences teachers, and students. Furthermore, this vision can also be related to a stigmatization process, which interferes with the interactions and with the representations regarding mental disorders and mental patients in society.

Keywords: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Schools, conception

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8 Preliminary Efficacy of a Pilot Paediatric Day Hospital Program Project to Address Severe Mental Illness, Obesity, and Binge Eating

Authors: Alene Toulany, Elizabeth Dettmer, Seena Grewal, Kaley Roosen, Andrea Regina, Cathleen Steinegger, Kate Stadelman, Melissa Chambers, Lindsay Lochhead, Kelsey Gallagher, Alissa Steinberg, Andrea Leyser, Allison Lougheed, Jill Hamilton

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Obesity and psychiatric disorders occur together so frequently that the combination has been coined an epidemic within an epidemic. Youth living with obesity are at increased risk for trauma, depression, anxiety and disordered eating. Although symptoms of binge eating disorder are common in paediatric obesity management programs, they are often not identified or addressed within treatment. At The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), a tertiary care paediatric hospital in Toronto, Canada, adolescents with obesity are treated in an interdisciplinary outpatient clinic (1-2 hours/week). This intensity of care is simply not enough to help these extremely complex patients. Existing day treatment programs for eating, and psychiatric disorders are not well suited for patients with obesity. In order to address this identified care gap, a unique collaboration was formed between the obesity, psychiatry, and eating disorder programs at SickKids in 2015. The aim of this collaboration was to provide an enhanced treatment arm to our general psychiatry day hospital program that addresses both the mental health issues and the lifestyle challenges common to youth with obesity and binge eating. The program is currently in year-one of a two-year pilot project and is designed for a length of stay of approximately 6 months. All youth participate in daily group therapy, academics, and structured mealtimes. The groups are primarily skills-based and are informed by cognitive/dialectical behavioural therapies. Weekly family therapy and individual therapy, as well as weekly medical appointments with a psychiatrist and a nurse, are provided. Youth in the enhanced treatment arm also receive regular sessions with a dietitian to establish normalized eating behaviours and monthly multifamily meal sessions to address challenges related to behaviour change and mealtimes in the home. Outcomes that will be evaluated include measures of mental health, anthropometrics, metabolic status, and healthcare satisfaction. At the end of the two years, it is expected that we will have had about 16 youth participants. This model of care delivery will be the first of its kind in Canada and is expected to inform future paediatric treatment practices.

Keywords: Obesity, Mental Illness, Adolescent, binge eating

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7 The Lived Experience of People with a Mental Illness of Their Engagement in Therapeutic Recreation

Authors: Lorna Moxham, Caroline Picton, Christopher Patterson, Dana Perlman, Ellie Taylor, Renee Brighton

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The purpose of this study was to extrapolate the meaning for people living with a mental illness of their participation in a therapeutic recreation experience. The study’s participants engaged in a five-day adventure camp, known as Recovery Camp, alongside undergraduate health care students. An interpretive phenomenological approach was used as an exploratory method to interview 25 participants (n=25). Van Kaam’s structured analytical framework guided the analysis of the transcribed narratives. The findings provide insight into using therapeutic recreation to enhance personal mental health recovery. Recovery Camp was viewed by participants as having a transformational effect on forming positive social connectedness and improving their self-identity. Participants perceived the Recovery Camp experience as one that gave them a sense of purpose and increased their motivation to undertake further activities. The insights gained of the benefits of therapeutic recreation for people living with a mental illness can be used to promote purposeful community engagement.

Keywords: Mental Illness, lived experience, interpretive phenomenology, personal mental health recovery

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6 The Impact of Psychopathology Course on Students' Attitudes towards Mental Illness

Authors: Lorato Itumeleng Kenosi

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Background: Negative attitudes towards the mentally ill are widespread and a course for concern as they have a detrimental impact on individuals affected by mental illness. A possible avenue for changing attitudes towards mental illness is through mental health literacy. In a college or university setting, an abnormal psychology course may be introduced in an attempt to change student’s attitudes towards the mentally ill. Objective: To determine if and how students’ attitudes towards the mentally ill change as a result of taking a course in abnormal psychology. Methods: Twenty nine (29) students were recruited from an abnormal psychology class at the University of Botswana. Attitude Scale for Mental Illness (ASMI) questionnaire was administered to participants at the beginning and end of the semester. SPSS was employed to analyze data. Pooled means were used to determine whether the student’s attitudes towards mental illness were negative or positive. A mean of 2.5 translated to negative attitude for both total attitude and attitudes in different domains of the scale. Paired sample t-test was then used to assess whether any changes noted in attitudes were statistically significant or not. Statistical significance was assumed at p < 0.05. Results: Students’ general attitude towards mental illness remained positive although the pooled mean value increased from 2.08 to 2.24. The change was not statistically significant. In relation to different sub scales, the values of the pooled means for all the sub scales showed an increase although the changes were not statistically significant except for the Stereotyping sub scale (p = 0.031). The stereotyping domain reflected a statistically significant change in student’s attitude from positive attitude to negative (X² = 2.06 to X² = 2.55). For the pessimistic prediction domain, students consistently showed a negative attitude (X² = 3.34 to X² = 3.55). The other 4 domains indicated that students had positive attitude toward mentally ill throughout. Discussion: Abnormal psychology students have a positive attitude towards the mentally ill generally. This could be attributed to the fact that all students in the abnormal psychology course are majoring in psychology and research has shown that interest in psychology can affect one’s attitude towards mental illness. The students continuously held the view that people with mental illness are unlikely to improve as evidenced by a high score for Pessimistic prediction domain for both pre and post-test. Students initially had no stereotyping attitude towards the mentally ill, but at the end of the course, they were of the opinion that people with mental illness can be defined in a certain behavioural pattern and mental ability. This results could be an indication that students have learnt well how to differentiate abnormal from normal behaviour not necessarily that students had developed a negative attitude. Conclusion: A course in abnormal psychology does have an impact on the students’ attitudes towards the mentally ill. The impact does not solely depend on knowledge of mental illness but also on several other factors such as contact with the mentally ill, interest in psychology, and teaching methods. However, it should be noted that sometimes improved knowledge in mental illness can be misunderstood for a negative attitude. For example, stereotyping attitudes may be a reflection of the ability to differentiate between abnormal and normal behaviour.

Keywords: Mental Illness, Psychopathology, attitudes, students

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5 Resort to Religious and Faith Healing Practices in the Pathway to Care for Mental Illness: A Study among Mappila Muslims of Malabar, Kerala

Authors: K. P. Farsana

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Belief in supernatural causation of mental illnesses and resort to religious and faith healing as the method of intervention still continue in many parts of the world. The proposed study intended to find out the belief and causation on health and illness and utilization of religious and faith healing, its implications, and associated socio-cultural and religious factors among Mappila Muslims of Malabar, Kerala, a southern state of India.Thangals are the endogamous community in Kerala, of Yemeni heritage who claim direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed’s family. Because of their sacrosanct status, many Thangal works as religious healers in Malabar, Northern Kerala. Using the case of one Thangal healer as an illustration of the many religious healers in Kerala who engage in the healing practices, it is intended, in this paper to illustrate the religious and ritual healing practices among Mappila Muslims of Malabar. It was found that the majority of the Mappila Muslims believed in supernatural causation on illness, and majority of them consulted religious and faith healers for various health problems before seeking professional help, and a considerable proportion continued to believe in the healing efficiency of the religious and faith healing. A significant proportion of the population found religious and faith healing practices are supportive and more acceptable within the community. Religion and belief system play an important role in the heath seeking behavior of a person.

Keywords: Mental Illness, religious and faith healing, Mappila Muslims, Malabar

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4 Biocultural Biographies and Molecular Memories: A Study of Neuroepigenetics and How Trauma Gets under the Skull

Authors: Elsher Lawson-Boyd

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In the wake of the Human Genome Project, the life sciences have undergone some fascinating changes. In particular, conventional beliefs relating to gene expression are being challenged by advances in postgenomic sciences, especially by the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics is the modification of gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence. In other words, epigenetics dictates that gene expression, the process by which the instructions in DNA are converted into products like proteins, is not solely controlled by DNA itself. Unlike gene-centric theories of heredity that characterized much of the 20th Century (where the genes were considered as having almost god-like power to create life), gene expression in epigenetics insists on environmental ‘signals’ or ‘exposures’, a point that radically deviates from gene-centric thinking. Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars have shown that epigenetic research is having vast implications for the ways in which chronic, non-communicable diseases are conceptualized, treated, and governed. However, to the author’s knowledge, there have not yet been any in-depth sociological engagements with neuroepigenetics that examine how the field is affecting mental health and trauma discourse. In this paper, the author discusses preliminary findings from a doctoral ethnographic study on neuroepigenetics, trauma, and embodiment. Specifically, this study investigates the kinds of causal relations neuroepigenetic researchers are making between experiences of trauma and the development of mental illnesses like complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), both throughout a human’s lifetime and across generations. Using qualitative interviews and nonparticipant observation, the author focuses on two public-facing research centers based in Melbourne: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (FNMH), and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). Preliminary findings indicate that a great deal of ambiguity characterizes this infant field, particularly when animal-model experiments are employed and the results are translated into human frameworks. Nevertheless, researchers at the FNMH and MCRI strongly suggest that adverse and traumatic life events have a significant effect on gene expression, especially when experienced during early development. Furthermore, they predict that neuroepigenetic research will have substantial implications for the ways in which mental illnesses like complex PTSD are diagnosed and treated. These preliminary findings shed light on why medical and health sociologists have good reason to be chiming in, engaging with and de-black-boxing ideations emerging from postgenomic sciences, as they may indeed have significant effects for vulnerable populations not only in Australia but other developing countries in the Global South.

Keywords: genetics, Trauma, Mental Illness, Neuroepigenetics

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3 Mental Illness on Youtube: Exploring Identity Performance in the Virtual Space

Authors: P. Saee, Baiju Gopal

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YouTube has seen a surge in the recent years in the number of creators opening up about their mental illness on the video-sharing platform. In documenting their mental health, YouTubers perform an identity of their mental illness in the online world. Identity performance is a theory under identity research that has been readily applied to illness narratives and internet studies. Furthermore, in India, suffering from mental illnesses is regarded with stigma, making the act of taking mental health from a personal to a public space on YouTube a phenomenon worth exploring. Thus, the aim of this paper is to analyse the mental illness narratives of Indian YouTubers for understanding its performance in the virtual world. For this purpose, thematic narrative analysis on the interviews of four Indian YouTubers was conducted. This data was synthesized with analysis of the videos the YouTubers had uploaded on their channel sharing about their mental illness. The narratives of the participants shed light on two significant presentations that they engage in: (a) the identity of a survivor/fighter and (b) the identity of a silent sufferer. Further, the participants used metaphors to describe their illness, thereby co-constructing a corresponding identity based on their particular metaphors. Lastly, the process of bringing mental illness from back stage to front stage on YouTube involves a shift in the audience, from being rejecting and invalidating in real life to being supportive and encouraging in the virtual space. Limitations and implications for future research were outlined.

Keywords: Internet, Media, Mental Health, Technology, Mental Illness, cyber-psychology

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2 Investigating Homicide Offender Typologies Based on Their Clinical Histories and Crime Scene Behaviour Patterns

Authors: Valeria Abreu Minero, Edward Barker, Hannah Dickson, Francois Husson, Sandra Flynn, Jennifer Shaw

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify offender typologies based on aspects of the offenders’ psychopathology and their associations with crime scene behaviours using data derived from the National Confidential Enquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health concerning homicides in England and Wales committed by offenders in contact with mental health services in the year preceding the offence (n=759). Design/methodology/approach – The authors used multiple correspondence analysis to investigate the interrelationships between the variables and hierarchical agglomerative clustering to identify offender typologies. Variables describing: the offender’s mental health history; the offenders’ mental state at the time of offence; characteristics useful for police investigations; and patterns of crime scene behaviours were included. Findings – Results showed differences in the offender’s histories in relation to their crime scene behaviours. Further, analyses revealed three homicide typologies: externalising, psychosis and depression. Analyses revealed three homicide typologies: externalising, psychotic and depressive. Practical implications – These typologies may assist the police during homicide investigations by: furthering their understanding of the crime or likely suspect; offering insights into crime patterns; provide advice as to what an offender’s offence behaviour might signify about his/her mental health background; findings suggest information concerning offender psychopathology may be useful for offender profiling purposes in cases of homicide offenders with schizophrenia, depression and comorbid diagnosis of personality disorder and alcohol/drug dependence. Originality/value – Empirical studies with an emphasis on offender profiling have almost exclusively focussed on the inference of offender demographic characteristics. This study provides a first step in the exploration of offender psychopathology and its integration to the multivariate analysis of offence information for the purposes of investigative profiling of homicide by identifying the dominant patterns of mental illness within homicidal behaviour.

Keywords: Multivariate analysis, Mental Illness, Psychopathology, Homicide, offender profiling, crime scene analysis, crime scene behviours, investigative advice

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1 Video-Based Psychoeducation for Caregivers of Persons with Schizophrenia

Authors: Jilu David

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Background: Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses across the globe. Lack of understanding about mental illnesses often delay treatment, severely affects the functionality of the person, and causes distress to the family. The study, Video-based Psychoeducation for Caregivers of Persons with Schizophrenia, consisted of developing a psychoeducational video about Schizophrenia, its symptoms, causes, treatment, and the importance of family support. Methodology: A quasi-experimental pre-post design was used to understand the feasibility of the study. Qualitative analysis strengthened the feasibility outcomes. Knowledge About Schizophrenia Interview was used to assess the level of knowledge of 10 participants, before and after the screening of the video. Results: Themes of usefulness, length, content, educational component, format of the intervention, and language emerged in the qualitative analysis. There was a statistically significant difference in the knowledge level of participants before and after the video screening. Conclusion: The statistical and qualitative analysis revealed that the video-based psychoeducation program was feasible and that it facilitated a general improvement in knowledge of the participants.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Mental Illness, Psychoeducation, Family Support, video-based psychoeducation

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