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Dr Lily Kpobi Presents at September CPMH Seminar

Lily KpobiDr. Lily Kpobi, a clinical psychologist from Ghana currently studying for her PhD at Stellenbosch University, presented her recent research at our September seminar.

Generally, her research focuses on understanding mental health issues and strengthening mental health care systems within cultural contexts and she presented her work on explanatory models of mental disorders among indigenous and faith healers in Accra, Ghana.

For her PhD, Dr. Kpobi interviewed a variety of faith healers in Accra to investigate how they understand and identify mental disorders present in patients. She also investigated the possibility of collaboration between these faith healers and the biomedical community.

In many African countries, indigenous and faith healing form an integral part of the health care system, including for mental health care. These non-biomedical mental health care systems typically evolve within specific cultural contexts, and thus beliefs about the nature and causes of mental disorders tends to inform the treatments and practices of the healers. Using an Explanatory Models of Illness framework, she examined the notions of different categories of indigenous and faith healers about different biomedically-classified disorders.

Through case vignettes, she interviewed 36 participants to explore their beliefs about the nature, causes, implications and treatments of a serious mental disorder (schizophrenia), a common mental disorder (depression), and a disorder driven by social circumstances (PTSD). The data suggest that while there was consensus among the different categories of healers about what constituted a serious mental disorder, differences existed between the different healers about classifying milder conditions as mental disorders. Treatment methods also varied based on the orientation of the healers. These explanatory models are discussed with emphasis on their implications for collaboration and for biomedical practice.

You can access her facinating presentation below and also listen to the recording of the seminar.

Dowload: Audio (mp3) | Presentation (PDF)
Together with her study leader, Prof Leslie Swartz, she also published a piece on The Conversation about this research. You can read it here.

Fadie_News_Feature_Pic Media Stories

PhD Student Fadia Gamieldien Delivers PhD Protocol

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Fadia Gamieldien (centre) together with (from left) Dr Carrie Brooke-Sumner and her supervisors Prof Roshan Galvaan, Prof Katherine Sorsdahl and Prof Bronwyn Myers.

African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) PhD fellow at the CPMH, Fadia Gamieldien, delivered her PhD protocol at the Valkenberg Education Centre on 4 September 2018.

An occupational therapist by profession, Fadia completed both her undergraduate (BSc in Occupational Therapy) and post graduate (Masters in Occupational Therapy) degrees at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Her PhD is focusing on exploring recovery focused interventions for men with severe mental illness in South Africa.

Mental, neurological and substance use disorders contribute significantly to the global burden of disease. This has serious consequences for individuals, their families and communities. In South Africa there is inadequate mental healthcare provided across the levels of health care despite the deinstitutionalisation process. This treatment gap creates the opportunity to develop recovery focused interventions. Recovery has mostly been understood clinically where the emphasis is on the alleviation of symptoms. Reconceptualising recovery as a personal, nonlinear, cyclical journey with services across the continuum of care may allow service providers to offer recovery focused interventions.

Fadia’s study aims to understand the recovery needs of men with a severe mental illness so as to inform the development of a recovery-focused measure for use in the South African context.

Her full abstract is available for download here.