Mental health literacy and information sources of hospitalised mental healthcare users with mood disorders
Mood disorders, specifically depression and bipolar mood disorder have taken the world by storm and can be regarded as a leading cause of deaths amongst diagnosed persons. Although treatable, mood disorders are often misdiagnosed and individuals stigmatised by family, friends and members of the community avoid seeking professional help due to fear of rejection. Mental health information and enhancing mental health literacy amongst individuals and communities are an international priority but there lacks research in this field. The objective of enhanced mental health literacy is to develop a society where mental healthcare users are able to recognise symptoms, take rapid action to obtain professional evidence-based treatment and receive public and social support. Enhancing mental health literacy as an outcome of information sharing should be applied on various levels in order to create awareness and change in individuals, families and communities. The aim of this research was to investigate the information sources as well as perceptions on mental health literacy of hospitalised mental healthcare users with mood disorders regarding their own mood disorder and mental health. Research was conducted from a qualitative, interpretive descriptive, contextual design. Purposive quota sample lead to 12 (N) participants with bipolar mood disorder. Data was collected by means of semi-structured, individual interviews. Data saturation occurred at the tenth interview but two more interviews were done as confirmation. Due to the high ethical risk of the target group; the researcher used the MacArthur competence assessment tool for clinical research (MacCAT-CR) to establish cognitive competence and capacity to consent twice prior to data collection. Participants completed a checklist of information sources during or after the semi-structured interviews. Voice-recorded interviews were transcribed. Thematic analysis was conducted and consensus reached with a co-coder. Field notes were kept. The information sources checklist revealed that although individuals make use of traditional sources such as seminars, brochures and newspapers, a trend towards family guidance and self-help methods has developed. Ultimately the leading information sources selected are seeking information from professionals, followed by the Internet. Eight main themes were formulated. Although denial hinders mental health literacy, acceptance facilitates it. Mental health literacy is a positive enabler and an impetus towards health-seeking action. Mental health literacy is influenced by existing knowledge and views of self, family and significant others; and the information sources used and the interpretation thereof vary amongst individuals. Recommendations were formulated to inform psychiatric nursing education, - research and psychiatric nursing practice to enhance mental health literacy. Recommendations are also aimed at enhancing individual, family, public and national mental health literacy through the distribution of appropriate information through a variety of information sources and methods.
- Health Sciences 
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