Mental health workers' attitudes toward mental illness in Fiji

Foster, Kim, Usher, Kim, Baker, John A., Gadai, Sainimere, and Ali, Samsun (2008) Mental health workers' attitudes toward mental illness in Fiji. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25 (3). pp. 72-79.

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Abstract

Objective: To survey mental health workers’ attitudes toward mental illness in Fiji as a means of understanding the attitudes of these staff.

Design: A questionnaire survey using a previously validated scale: Attitudes Toward Acute Mental Health Scale (ATAMHS 33), was modified and distributed to registered nurses and mental health workers at a major mental health care setting in Fiji. The ATAMH (33) is a 33 item measure of attitudes developed specifically for use within inpatient mental health settings.

Setting: A major in‑patient mental health care setting in Fiji providing primary, secondary and tertiary care.

Subjects: 71 registered nurses and medical orderlies in a mental health setting in Fiji completed the measure.

Main outcome measure: The identification of mental health workers’ attitudes toward mental illness in Fiji.

Results: The participants expressed both positive and negative attitudes toward individuals in mental health care. Positive attitudes can be identified in a range of answers to questions including psychosocial causational beliefs and when comparisons were made with physical health issues. Negative attitudes were expressed with respect to alcohol abuse and lack of self control, individuals with mental illness lacking control over their emotions, psychotropic medications being used to control disruptive behaviour, and that mental illness is caused by genetic factors. A number of questions provided mixed responses.

Conclusions: This paper provides a baseline of attitudinal measure of mental health workers in Fiji toward mental illness. It will enable future educational interventions to be evaluated and comparison to be made with other cultures and countries in the South Pacific region.

Item ID: 8961
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: attitudes; mental health; mental illness; mental health workers; Fiji
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ISSN: 1447-4328
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010 05:24
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 6
Downloads: Total: 2
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