• 1 1 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • 2 2 Centre for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • 3 3 Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • 4 4 Hospital Mesra Bukit Padang, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • 5 5 Curtin University, Malaysia, Miri, Malaysia
  • 6 6 Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
Int J Soc Psychiatry, 2018 02;64(1):49-55.
PMID: 29103338 DOI: 10.1177/0020764017739643


BACKGROUND: A better understanding is needed about how people make decisions about help seeking.

MATERIALS: Focus group and individual interviews with patients, carers, healthcare staff, religious authorities, traditional healers and community members.

DISCUSSION: Four stages of help seeking were identified: (1) noticing symptoms and initial labelling, (2) collective decision-making, (3) spiritual diagnoses and treatment and (4) psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

CONCLUSION: Spiritual diagnoses have the advantage of being less stigmatising, giving meaning to symptoms, and were seen to offer hope of cure rather than just symptom control. Patients and carers need help to integrate different explanatory models into a meaningful whole.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.