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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 490-491
Advocating for the community empowerment and family support to improve the quality of care to schizophrenia patients


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Advocating for the community empowerment and family support to improve the quality of care to schizophrenia patients. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:490-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Advocating for the community empowerment and family support to improve the quality of care to schizophrenia patients. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 16];10:490-1. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/2/490/188495
Dear Sir,

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder characterized by alterations in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self, and behavior.[1] In fact, the current global estimates suggest that more than 21 million people are affected by the disease, with the condition being more common among men than their counterparts.[1] Furthermore, the disorder has been associated with a significant amount of disability and might result in scholastic backwardness or poor occupational outcomes.[2]

Often the condition precipitates due to the interplay of various genetic, environmental, and psychosocial factors.[2] These patients have two times greater risk to die earlier than the general population, because of the associated comorbidities like cardiovascular, metabolic, and infectious diseases.[1] At the same time, cases of the disorder are often exposed to stigma, discrimination, and violation of their human right, which in turn can reduce the access to health care services, education, and employment opportunities.[1],[2],[3]

Even though, the disorder is treatable through medications and psychosocial support, more than 50% of the cases have no access to appropriate care.[1] This is an alarming public health concern as 90% of the untreated patients are from low- and middle-income nations, and on top of that most of these patients have extremely poor treatment-seeking behavior, thereby further complicating the issue.[1],[2],[3],[4] It has been acknowledged that the conventional mental hospitals no longer remain an effective option to provide the desired treatment.[1] In fact, measures to transfer care from such institutes to the community have to be expanded, and every possible action should be taken to empower the family members and the stakeholders of the community to extend appropriate support to the patients.[1],[2]

In order to improve the package of services, there is a great need to integrate the mental health services with the basic health services, especially at the level of primary care.[2],[4] In addition, interventions like orienting health staffs about the common presentation of the disease, providing access to essential drugs, assisting families in providing home-based care, creating awareness to minimize disease associated stigma and discrimination, extending life skills or social skills training to the patients or their family members, facilitating independent or assisted living, whichever being possible, and offering vocational options for the patients, can improve the long-term prognosis of the disease.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

Acknowledging the public health importance and the impact on quality of life which the disorder results on both patients as well as their family members, the World Health Organization has initiated a Mental Health Gap Action Programme, which plays a crucial role in the development of the technical guidelines, and for the training of health professionals, predominantly in resource-poor settings.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Subsequently, initiatives like Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 (to expand the delivery of services for people with mental disorders) have also aided in improving the mental health standards of schizophrenia cases.[1]

To conclude, in the global mission to reduce the consequences of schizophrenia, the need of the hour is to shift services from institutions to the community and to empower the family members of the diseased cases.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization Schizophrenia – Fact sheet No 397; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs397/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Apr 11].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Holubova M, Prasko J, Latalova K, Ociskova M, Grambal A, Kamaradova D. Are self-stigma, quality of life, and clinical data interrelated in schizophrenia spectrum patients? A cross-sectional outpatient study. Patient Prefer Adherence 2016;10:265-74.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shamsaei F, Cheraghi F, Bashirian S. Burden on family caregivers caring for patients with schizophrenia. Iran J Psychiatry 2015;10: 239-45.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Childhood and adolescence: challenges in and mental health. J Can Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2013;22:84-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Siu CO, Harvey PD, Agid O, Waye M, Brambilla C, Choi WK. Insight and subjective measures of quality of life in chronic schizophrenia. Schizophr Res Cogn 2015;2:127-32.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvanchery Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kanchipuram , Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.188495

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