This preliminary study explored the perceptions of illness of people in a public hospital setting for treatment of bipolar disorder. Fifteen inpatients (5 African Americans, 5 Hispanics, and 5 European Americans) participated in audio-recorded, structured interviews. The interviews were designed to identify recurring themes and patterns in their perceptions of bipolar disorder and to assess their cognitive representations of the illness. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and content analysis procedures were used to identify the illness perceptions and to compare them based upon ethnic orientation. Results indicated that most of the participants' group responses were more alike than they were different. However, discrete themes emerged among the individuals as their stories unfolded. These themes, and the perceived benefit of the interview itself, provide a beginning foundation for further research in the area, and have clinical relevance for health care providers working with this population.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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