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Objective: To elicit the beliefs and perception of patients with schizophrenia about their illness by using Short Explanatory Model Interview (SEMI).
Methodology: This cross sectional study was conducted in the department of psychiatry, Lady Reading Hospital. One hundred and three patients of schizophrenia were included in the study. Short explanatory model Interview (SEMI) was used to assess the explanatory model of illness of the sample. Four major areas covered in SEMI were "Concept" i.e., naming the illness, "Cause", "Treatment Choice" i.e., help seeking behaviour, and "Severity" of the illness.
Results: Mean age of the sample was 30.52 ± 9.41 years. Regarding Concept, 34(33%) patients who although couldn't name any but attributed their condition to mental illness. The major response to the cause for the development of schizophrenia was stress of social issues by 22(23.30%) patients. A total of 56(54.3%) patients reported a combination of medication & spiritual healer to be the help seeking/ treatment choice. Only 44 (42.7%) patients considered the illness to be very serious.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that patients suffering from schizophrenia believe that they have some form of mental illness but mostly attribute it to stress and other social factors. They prefer visiting spiritual healers along with medication for seeking help regarding their illness.
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