Background:
Lay beliefs about schizophrenia are an important factor associated with treatment-seeking behavior.

Aims:
This study was conducted to investigate the lay beliefs about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia in South Korea.

Methods:
A total of 654 adults (mean age, 35.96 ± 11.33 years) completed two questionnaires assessing their views on the causes and cures of schizophrenia. The factor structures of lay beliefs about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia were then analyzed and the correlations between the resultant factors investigated.

Results:
From the cause items, four factors were extracted: Health/Lifestyle, God/Fate, Social/Environmental and Biological. Four factors were also extracted from the treatment items: Self-Help/Stress Management, Physical Treatment/Health Management, Religious Help and Mental Health Service Utilization. Notably, most participants believed that items in the Social/Environmental and Biological factors were the causes of schizophrenia, while they believed that items in the Mental Health Service Utilization and Self-Help/Stress Management factors were the treatments. Participants’ beliefs about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia were systematically correlated.

Conclusion:
Overall, laypeople have reasonably accurate beliefs and a multidimensional view of the causes and treatments of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, our results suggest that public education about the etiology and treatment of schizophrenia are necessary to increase actual usage of mental health services and treatments for schizophrenia.

Subin Park, Minji Lee, Adrian Furnham, Mina Jeon, Young-Mi Ko

International Journal of Social Psychiatry, Vol 63, Issue 6, 2017

DOI

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Lay beliefs about the causes and cures of schizophrenia [2017]