June 07, 2005

Opinions of People with Schizophrenia

Service-Related Needs and Opinions of People With Schizophrenia in Hungary
Harangozo J, Dome P., Kristof R.

A study out of Hungary examined the needs and opinions of people with schizophrenia by asking them through a survey. The authors of the study claim that, "Hungary and other countries that have made the transition from a communist government are in an optimal position to implement best practices in mental health care." The information gathered from this study seems important considering that the authors of the study gathered it directly from people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

In their pilot (initial) study the researchers (in their own words):

enlisted the help of an independent polling organization to survey 200 persons with schizophrenia to assess their service-related needs and their opinions of these services. We involved the independent polling organization because we wanted to increase the impact of our research in the media and among decision makers and the public. We avoided recruiting participants from medical institutions, not only because of data protection rules but also to have a varied sample, because medical institutions in Hungary encourage patients to be dependent on their services. We prepared a questionnaire with 58 items to gather comprehensive information from persons with schizophrenia about their personal situations, level of impairment and disability, desires, use of services and treatments, drug treatment, relationship with professionals, satisfaction with the information given to them, and knowledge of schizophrenia. The survey used a sociological approach. That is, we treated the participants as a social group with similar interests, not as sample of patients with individual symptoms or problems. We assessed needs and opinions instead of symptoms or other psychological characteristics.

Some of the significant results that the researchers got were:

"...Participants viewed schizophrenia as being related to a significant level of disability, social isolation, and discrimination and social disadvantage (for example, homelessness and unemployment). The survey also showed that the main goal of consumers was to recover from schizophrenia (48 participants, or 24 percent), become employed (20 participants, or 10 percent), earn a higher income (20 participants, or 10 percent), and improve relationships with partners and family members (38 participants, or 19 percent) and with children (eight participants, or 4 percent)."


"Among the community-based services, the interventions most preferred were pharmacotherapy (154 respondents, or 77 percent) and rehabilitation related to self-care, employment, and relationships (156 respondents, or 78 percent). Electroconvulsive therapy was negatively viewed by most respondents (198 respondents, or 99 percent), even though approximately half the patients who received such therapy reported that it had helped them (33 of 70 respondents, or 47 percent). When participants were asked to rate how helpful professionals were in providing services, only 20 respondents (10 percent) stated that nonmedical staff (for example, social workers and psychologists) were the most helpful, 106 (53 percent) found that psychiatrists were the most helpful, and 58 (29 percent) reported that nurses were the most helpful."

To learn more about this study and its results


Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required