RESEARCH ARTICLE


Beliefs About Health, Health Risks and Health Expectations from the Perspective of People with a Psychotic Disorder



Sally Hultsjö*, 1, Susanne Syren2
1 Psychiatric Clinic, County Hospital, Ryhov, S-551 85 Jönköping, Sweden
2 Linnaeus University, Department of Health and Science, S-351 95 Växjö, Sweden


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© Hultsjö and Syren; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Psychiatric Clinic, County Hospital, Ryhov, S-551 85 Jönköping, Sweden; Tel: +46 36 321253; Fax: +46 36 323197; E-mail: sallyhultsjo@hotmail.com


Abstract

Aim:

To examine beliefs about health, health risks and health expectations from the perspective of people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder

Background:

People with psychotic disorders have a threefold higher risk of developing physical health problems than the general population, and prevention of these problems is warranted. Examining patients´ health beliefs could help deepen our understanding of how to plan successful health interventions with this group.

Methods:

Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted from November 2010 to October 2011 with 17 people with psychotic disorders. Data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis.

Results:

An overall positive picture of health was found despite the fact that physical health was found to be hard to verbalize and understand. Health was mainly associated with psychological wellbeing, while health risks were found to be related to uncertain bodily identity, troublesome thoughts and inner voices, and exclusion from society. Interest in learning, and visions and goals of health seemed to increase awareness of health risks and health expectations, while not worrying could be viewed as a hindrance for health expectations.

Conclusion:

There is a lack of expressed awareness of physical health risks, but such awareness is fundamental to performing life-style changes [14]. Nurses thus have an important task to help patients understand and verbalize potential physical health risks, and to find out what motivates them to adopt health behaviors.

Keywords:: Health beliefs, health expectations, health promotion, nursing, psychotic disorder, qualitative interviews.