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Women's orientation toward help-seeking for mental disorders

  • Medicine
  • Psychology


Based on a sample survey of 1000 women in Accra Ghana, this study addresses a number of individual, social and cultural factors that have been found in previous research on diverse populations to be important determinants of treatment-seeking behavior. Bivariate analysis is used to identify those factors that are significantly related to orientation toward help-seeking for mental disorders (use of biomedical vs traditional services), and multivariate analysis is utilized to determine the importance of each, and the effect of causal beliefs independent of sociodemographic factors. The results show that perceived cause of mental disorders, area of residence, age, ethnicity, membership in voluntary associations and prior contact with medical facilities or personnel are the most important determinants of the orientation toward help-seeking for mental disorders. The implications for an effective mental health care delivery system in Ghana are discussed. Also, suggestions for further research are made.

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