Mental Health Studies

  • Created by: j4cob
  • Created on: 20-04-17 17:54

Rosenhan (1973) - Topic 1 - Historical context of

Aim of the study was to investigate whether the sane can be reliably and accurately distinguished from the insane.

Study 1:

8 Psuedopatients  above age of 20 with a variety of professions - 3 female and 5 male.

12 Different hopistals used and length of time stayed was 7 - 52 days.

  • Concluded that Psychiatrists are unable to reliably identify sane pseudopatients (Type 1 error)
  • Psychiatrists also fail to reliably detect insanity (Type 2 error)
  • Within an 'insane' environment of a psychiatric hospital, individuals behaviour is perceived in a distorted manner which can maintain a diagnostic label
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Gottesman et al (2010) - Topic 2 - Medical Model

Aim: To examine how vulnerable the children of two parents with mental illness are to developing a mental illness themselves.

Sample; Drawn from a cohort of 2.7 Million danish people born before 1997. 

  • 196 couples who both had schizophrenia and their 270 children
  • 83 couples who both had bipolar disorder and their 146 children

Results and Conclusions:

  • In offspring with both parents diagnosed of having schizophrenia - 27.3% developed schizophrenia by age 52 - 67.5% developed a mental illness of some sort
  • In offspring with both parents diagnosed of having bipolar disorder - 24.95% developed bipolar by age 52 - 44.2% having mental illness of some sort
  • Having both parents with a serious mental illness is associated with significantly increased risk
  • Having 1 parent with serious mental illness carries a lower risk
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Szasz (2011) - Topic 3 - Alternatives to the medic

Szasz revisits his famous essay and book "The myth of mental illness" (1960,61) He considers the current medicalisation of abnormal behaviour in light of his earlier arguements. 

He outines his orginal views of psychiatry as 'coercive' and a denial of human rights. 50 years later Szasz outlines that changes have taken place in US mental healthcare over teh intervening period.

  • Changing attitudes to 'incurable' patients previously confined to mental hospitals 
  • Blurring of distinctions between private and state psychiatry 
  • New legal responsibility on mental health professionals to prevent patients causing harm to themselves or others.

Szasz describrs the drive to medicalise and politicise the US mental health care system.

  • Politicised in the sense that those who hod power (politicians) have openly declared that mental illness is just like any other physical illness.
  • Medicalised in the sense that it can be diagnosed and treated accordingly

Rejects the idea that mental illness is a subtype of physical ailments.

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