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There is a need for clinical tools to identify cultural issues in diagnostic assessment.
To assess the feasibility, acceptability and clinical utility of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) in routine clinical practice.
Mixed-methods evaluation of field trial data from six countries. The CFI was administered to diagnostically diverse psychiatric out-patients during a diagnostic interview. In post-evaluation sessions, patients and clinicians completed debriefing qualitative interviews and Likert-scale questionnaires. The duration of CFI administration and the full diagnostic session were monitored.
Mixed-methods data from 318 patients and 75 clinicians found the CFI feasible, acceptable and useful. Clinician feasibility ratings were significantly lower than patient ratings and other clinician-assessed outcomes. After administering one CFI, however, clinician feasibility ratings improved significantly and subsequent interviews required less time.
The CFI was included in DSM-5 as a feasible, acceptable and useful cultural assessment tool.
This paper describes a simple question module to assess community stigma in rural India. Fear of stigma is known to prevent people from seeking HIV testing and to contribute to further disease transmission, yet relatively little attention has been paid to community stigma and ways of measuring it. The module, based on a vignette of a fictional HIV-positive woman, was administered to 494 married women and 186 unmarried male and female adolescents in a village in rural Maharashtra, India. To consider the usefulness of the question module, a series of hypotheses were developed based on the correlations found in other studies between HIV-related stigma and socio-demographic characteristics (age, education, discussion of HIV with others, knowing someone living with HIV, knowledge about its transmission and whether respondents acknowledged stigmatizing attitudes as their own or attributed them to others). Many of the study's hypotheses were confirmed. Among married women, correlates of stigma included older age, lack of discussion of HIV and lack of knowledge about transmission; among adolescents, lower education and lack of discussion of HIV were the most significant correlates. The paper concludes that the question module is a useful tool for investigating the impact of interventions to reduce stigma and augment social support for people living with HIV in rural India.
Mitchell G. Weiss, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology Swiss Tropical Institute Socinstrasse 57 CH-4002 Basel Switzerland,
Daryl Somma, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology Swiss Tropical Institute Socinstrasse 57 CH-4002 Basel Switzerland
Similar experiences of illness or distress are seen as being caused by different elements across different cultures. Feeling gutted and sinking heart are idioms of distress which are remarkably different across cultures, but their implications at an individual level are very similar. Furthermore, the causation of the distress will be seen as remarkably different. It is evident that, in traditional cultures, the locus of control may be seen as external which may be coloured by cultural expectations, whereas in others the locus of control may be internal. Within each culture, however, individuals may carry their own explanations which may or may not be strongly influenced by individual's culture. From a clinical perspective, it is crucial that clinicians are aware of explanatory models that patients bring to the therapeutic encounter so that engagement can begin.
Weiss and Somma examine the concepts of the explanatory model framework, its appeal to health professionals and social scientists as well as its limitations. The illness explanatory framework deals with notions about an episode of illness and its treatment by all who are engaged in the clinical process and understanding these models means that patients' views on their conditions are being acknowledged. Weiss and Somma emphasize that the model must be distinguished from other ways the term is used which may refer to the nature of health and other problems in general. They explain three formulations of illness explanatory models and describe conceptual underpinning of the illness explanatory framework. In the beginning of the illness explanatory model framework provided a means of bring cultural differences between patients and clinician (especially when they came from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds) in multicultural settings.
Cross-cultural research to examine the cultural validity of diagnostic categories and underlying concepts requires methods that integrate epidemiological and anthropological frameworks.
The Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) and Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–III–R (SCID) were used to study 80 psychiatric out-patients with depressive neurosis at a clinic in south India.
kappa values of 0.75 for the EMIC and 0.68 for the SCID confirmed inter-rater reliability. Comparison of patient explanatory models and SCID diagnoses showed that patients emphasised somatic experience while clinicians emphasised depressive diagnoses. More than half the patients (55%) received a non-specific or dual diagnosis.
These findings raise questions about the distinctiveness of depressive, anxiety, and somatoform (DAS) disorders for this population.
The Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) has been developed to elicit illness-related perceptions, beliefs, and practices in a cultural study of leprosy and mental health in Bombay. Leprosy is an especially appropriate disorder for studying the inter-relationship of culture, mental health and medical illness because of deeply rooted cultural meanings, the emotional burden, and underuse of effective therapy. Fifty per cent of 56 recently diagnosed leprosy out-patients, 37% of 19 controls with another stigmatised dermatological condition (vitiligo), but only 8% of 12 controls with a comparable non-stigmatised condition (tinea versicolor) met DSM–III–R criteria for an axis I depressive, anxiety or somatoform disorder. Belief in a humoral (traditional) cause of illness predicted better attendance at clinic.