Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
MacLachlan, M.,Nyirenda, T.,Nyando, C.
Int J Soc Psychiatry
Attributions for admission to Zomba Mental Hospital: implications for the development of mental health services in Malawi
Optional Fields
Adolescent Adult Aged Combined Modality Therapy *Developing Countries Female *Hospitals, Psychiatric Humans Internal-External Control Malawi Male *Medicine, Traditional Mental Disorders/*psychology/therapy Middle Aged *Patient Admission Patient Care Team Psychotic Disorders/*psychology/therapy Sick Role Witchcraft
Within Malawi, as in many other African countries, a variety of traditional and modern attributions exist regarding the cause of a person's mental disturbance, or their admission to a 'mental' hospital. It is argued that a good mental health service should consider the beliefs of the patients it seeks to serve. Consequently we studied 103 consecutive admissions to Zomba Mental Hospital in order to find out how patients explained their own admission to the hospital. Traditional attributions were the most common, followed by medical and then psychological attributions. Some patients explained their admission to the hospital by combining traditional, medical or psychological ideas. Content analysis of traditional attributions identified examples of "Tropical Tolerance" and the "Pull Down" phenomenon. The possible interactive nature of traditional, medical and psychological processes is discussed and it is suggested that traditional healers should be incorporated into 'modern' Malawian mental health services.
0020-7640 (Print) 0020-76
Grant Details