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Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

Sibo Zhao, Jie Zhang
The original version of the article unfortunately contained an error in acknowledgement section. The corrected acknowledgement is: This research was supported by a grant of Beijing Natural Science Foundation (9174046), for which the first author is PI.
September 10, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Yan Zhang
This study intends to understand how Chinese states and healthcare professionals interact with each other in adopting biomedical concepts within the context of globalization of mental health. The conceptualization of dementia as a stigmatized mental disorder in China serves as a salient case to examine interactions between states and professionals as well as the interrelationships between different healthcare professionals in producing knowledge. By engaging the biopolitical approach, this project explores the historically-contingent conceptualizations of dementia, namely dementia as a vague and stigmatized condition in imperial China, dementia as biosocial deviance in Republican China, dementia as a product of capitalism during Mao-era China, and dementia as a stigmatized mental illness in contemporary China...
August 27, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Elizabeth Cooper, S Michelle Driedger, Josée G Lavoie
It is important to recognize that experiences of racial and gendered violence are a sad legacy of colonialism. The experiences of historical trauma are on-going. These affect the mental and physical wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. Addressing historical trauma through community-informed practices is central to creating space for meaningful change. This paper outlines results from a seven-week activity-based research workshop conducted on three separate occasions with urban-based First Nations and Metis women and girls (aged 8-12)...
August 18, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Cristian R Montenegro
The article, "Beyond Participation: Politics, Incommensurability and the Emergence of Mental Health Service Users' Activism in Chile", written by Cristian R. Montenegro, was originally published electronically on the publisher's internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on April 24, 2018 without open access.
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Katrin Fabian, Josiah Fannoh, George G Washington, Wilfred B Geninyan, Bethuel Nyachienga, Garmai Cyrus, Joyce N Hallowanger, Jason Beste, Deepa Rao, Bradley H Wagenaar
The integration of culturally salient idioms of distress into mental healthcare delivery is essential for effective screening, diagnosis, and treatment. This study systematically explored idioms, explanatory models, and conceptualizations in Maryland County, Liberia to develop a culturally-resonant screening tool for mental distress. We employed a sequential mixed-methods process of: (1) free-lists and semi-structured interviews (n = 20); patient chart reviews (n = 315); (2) pile-sort exercises, (n = 31); and (3) confirmatory focus group discussions (FGDs); (n = 3) from June to December 2017...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Cristian R Montenegro
Although the organisation of mental health service users and ex-users in Latin America is a recent and under-researched phenomenon, global calls for their involvement in policy have penetrated national agendas, shaping definitions and expectations about their role in mental health systems. In this context, how such groups react to these expectations and define their own goals, strategies and partnerships can reveal the specificity of the "user movement" in Chile and Latin America. This study draws on Jacques Rancière's theorisation of "police order" and "politics" to understand the emergence of users' collective identity and activism, highlighting the role of practices of disengagement and rejection...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Sienna R Craig, Rebekah Scott, Kristy Blackwood
Nascent medical students' first view into medical school orients them toward what is considered important in medicine. Based on ethnography conducted over 18 months at a New England medical school, this article explores themes which emerged during a first-year student orientation and examines how these scripts resurface across a four-year curriculum, revealing dynamics of enculturation into an institution and the broader profession. We analyze orientation activities as discursive and embodied fields which serve "practical" purposes of making new social geographies familiar, but which also frame institutional values surrounding "soft" aspects of medicine: professionalism; dynamics of hierarchy and vulnerability; and social difference...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Lauren Cubellis
What does it mean to offer care when the act of caring is wounding to its giver? For peer specialists-individuals with lived experience as patients in the psychiatric system-this question shapes how they use their own histories to provide support for individuals experiencing psychiatric crisis. Peer support is unique in the way it draws on empathetic resonance and depends on carefully deployed vulnerability; where one connects with others through the recognition of shared experience and mutual hurt. For peers, care works when this guidance, reassurance, and "being with"-all of which draw upon their own stories of traumatic history and variegated suffering-mitigate the present crisis being experienced by another...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Maite Santurtún, Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo, Álvaro Del Real, María T Zarrabeitia, Ana Santurtún
Suicide is a serious public health problem around the world. Since the nineteenth century, the impact of socio-environmental factors on suicide has attracted much public attention, especially in the context of global climate change. We have performed a retrospective correlation study that analyzes the demographic pattern of suicide in Cantabria, a northern coastland region of Spain. Moreover, we have created a multivariable binomial regression model to study the relationship between suicide and environmental factors (atmospheric pollutants and meteorological variables) among January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2013 in the province...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Mattias Strand
French historian and literary critic René Girard (1923-2015), most widely known for the concepts of mimetic desire and scapegoating, also engaged in the discussion of the surge of eating disorders in his 1996 essay Eating Disorders and Mimetic Desire. This article explores Girard's ideas on the mimetic nature and origin of eating disorders from a clinical psychiatric perspective and contextualizes them within the field of eating disorders research as well as in relation to broader psychological, sociological and anthropological models of social comparison and non-consumption...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Audrey Luo, Hongbo He, Somaia Mohamed, Robert Rosenheck
Stigma towards people with mental illness is a worldwide concern. A five-nation survey of medical student attitudes towards people with mental illness recently reported far lower levels of social acceptance among Chinese medical students compared to those from the US, Brazil, Ghana, and Nigeria. This qualitative study presented recent Chinese medical school graduates with probes based on questions used in the aforementioned cross-national study to elicit their views of factors underlying the negative attitudes towards social acceptance of people with mental illness...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Seth Donal Hannah
Drawing on participant-observation and semi-structured interviews, this paper examines the local forms of clinical practice in a 26-bed acute psychiatric inpatient unit located within a private psychiatric hospital in the Northeastern United States. It focuses on how clinicians, staff, and management understand and utilize the concepts of culture, race, and ethnicity in their daily work, finding that a humanistic approach to care that that treats patients as "individuals" was dominant. Clinicians and staff categorized patients using descriptive, behavior based categories including language, propensity for violence, and whether patients are "from the streets...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Brandon A Knettel, Janvier Rugira, Joseph A Cornett
In Tanzania, a nation with a large mental health treatment gap, local stakeholders' perspectives are critical for informing effective treatment. The practice-based perspectives of mental health providers may be particularly instructive. Existing foundational literature on the professional population in this region is scarce. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 29 mental health providers in northern Tanzania. Interviews focused on three topics: use of international diagnostic frameworks for mental illness, beliefs about causes of mental health concerns, and alternative treatments sought by clients...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Juveria Zaheer, Rahel Eynan, June S H Lam, Michael Grundland, Paul S Links
Suicide is a complex and tragic outcome driven by biological, psychological, social and cultural factors. Women of Chinese descent and women who have immigrated to other countries have higher rates of suicidal ideation and behaviour, and immigration-related stress may contribute. To understand the experiences of immigration and their relationship with distress and suicide-related behaviour in Chinese women who have immigrated to Canada. 10 semi-structured qualitative interviews with Chinese women who have immigrated to Toronto, Canada and have a history of suicide-related behaviour were completed and analyzed using a constructivist grounded theory methodology...
September 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Annemarie Samuels
In this article, I elaborate the concept of narrative navigation to analyze the subjective and intersubjective ways in which people struggle through experiences of illness by constructing multiple, ambiguous and non-linear narratives that may continuously change, as they reposition themselves within changing circumstances. Drawing on ethnographic material on HIV care in Aceh, Indonesia, I show how subjunctivity and open-endedness are crucial narrative ways in which people living with HIV, their relatives, medical doctors and support group workers adjust to possibilities and limitations of care over time, thereby continuously negotiating what good care may be...
August 13, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Michael Fischer, Rohit Ramaswamy, Luz Fischer-Flores, Grace Mugisha
Depression is highly prevalent and the cause of considerable suffering for peoples across the globe. Case finding for depression is challenging because individuals often do not recognize the symptoms in themselves or may resist the diagnosis as a result of cultural stigma. Screening instruments, to be accurate, must be valid in the particular setting in which they are being applied, and diagnosis in primary care settings, is further made challenging because patients often present with a wide variety of somatic symptoms that could be medical...
August 13, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Yvonne Smith, Lex Colletta, Anna E Bender
Paraprofessional youth care workers in residential treatment centers (RTCs) are responsible for the everyday care, supervision, and treatment of youth with serious behavioral and mental health challenges. Turnover rates among this poorly paid workforce are high, and it is not known why individuals seek and maintain youth care work despite its significant challenges. Following anthropologists who study morality as situated practice, we investigate the role of altruism in recruiting and retaining workers in RTCs...
August 13, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
C Prapas, V Mavreas
Few studies have examined the quality of life of immigrants in Greece and its relations to acculturation. This study explored the quality of life, psychological wellbeing and satisfaction with life among Albanian immigrants, Pontic Greeks in comparison to native Greeks. Furthermore, the relationship between quality of life, psychological wellbeing, satisfaction with life and acculturation of Albanian immigrants and Pontic Greeks was investigated. The study was based on 520 participants from broader area of Athens, 58...
August 10, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Moujan Mirdamadi
This paper is divided into two parts. First I argue for the existence of a death-conscious culture in Iran, traceable in religious and literary texts, and manifested strongly in the discourse following the Iran-Iraq war. I then look at how this culture influences articulations and experiences of depression as felt by Iranian patients. Adopting a phenomenological perspective and drawing on empirical data, I show how death-consciousness, as a point of cultural divergence between the UK and Iran, can be used to account for some of the phenomenologically significant cultural variations in the experience of depression...
August 9, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Erica Hua Fletcher
As grassroots user/survivor movements gained traction across the Global North, mental health activists have provided mutual aid for those who consider themselves to be negatively affected by their psychiatrization experiences and for those in search of alternative (non-biopsychiatric) frameworks for understanding mental diversity. In addition to in-person support groups, digital communication has become an integral organizing mechanism for mutual aid actions to support those in mental distress. However, activists have often found both digital and face-to-face communication to be quite taxing to their own well-being-as they negotiate personal capacity to respond to collective needs and practice self-care through limiting their engagements in radical mental health communities...
August 3, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
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