Perception about Mental Illness in Mental Health Professionals, Families and Patients Suffering from Psychiatric Illnesses

Author: Zunaira Rashid

Supervisor: Nashi Khan, PhD

Degree: MS

Year: 2012-2014

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The study was conducted to fulfill multiple purposes: Firstly, to explore the perception about major mental illnesses (i.e., mood disorders, schizophrenia & other psychotic disorders) in mental health professionals, families of patients and patients suffering from different psychiatric illnesses; secondly, to explore the mental illness perception of patients. A total sample of 225 participants ranging in age from 18 to 71 years was selected (75 participants in each group) by purposive sampling technique. Research measures employed were: semi-structured interview constructed by the researcher, Illness Perception Questionnaire Mental Health (IPQ-MH; Witteman, Bolks, & Hutschemaekers, 2011), and Mental Health Problem Perception Questionnaire (MHPPQ; Lauder, Reynolds, Reilly, & Angus, 2000). Descriptive Analysis, Independent Sample t test, Repeated Measure ANOVA and Multivariate ANOVA were employed to analyze the data. Results revealed that patients with schizophrenia perceive mental illness more negatively than patients with mood disorders. Findings of the MANOVA were statistically significant difference according to Pillai’s trace V (.99), F (6, 217) = 2372.57, p = .000, and it indicated that there was statistically significant difference among three groups about the perception of the psychiatric illness. Further, the most prevalent mental health problem perception among mental health professionals was therapeutic commitment, followed by role support to role competency. Moreover, the most prevalent illness perception among patients was structure of the illness, followed by identity of the illness to the cause of the illness. These outcomes have insinuations for dealing and management of the patients and these also recommend future research.

Keywords: Perception, Mental Illness, Mental Health Professionals.

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