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Title: Men's recovery from schizophrenia in northern Nigeria
Author: Utoblo, Bello
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 9100
Awarding Body: Leeds Beckett University
Current Institution: Leeds Beckett University
Date of Award: 2017
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Background: Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental health difficulty that affects over twenty-one million people worldwide. In Nigeria, it is estimated that there are more men than women living with schizophrenia. Although, there have been studies on men and health in Nigeria, these have focused on sexual health or violence. In contrast, men’s experience of schizophrenia, and the role of gender in influencing their beliefs about recovery has not been explored. Aim: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the factors influencing men’s recovery from schizophrenia in northern Nigeria. Method: Thirty male outpatients aged between 18 and 65 and ten mental health practitioners (psychiatrists and nurses) were purposively sampled and recruited through Nigerian psychiatric hospital outpatient clinics. Data were collected using individual interviews, and analysed through Braun and Clarke’s (2006) analytical framework. Results: The findings suggest that participants identified three themes on recovery from mental illness: western medicine, traditional medicine, and family support. Whilst, western medicine aided relief of symptoms associated with schizophrenia, costs and side effects of these medications hindered their utilisation. The participants’ also highlight the significance of religion to recovery, premised on the belief that God is a healer, therefore the data suggests that many endowed the agency of their recovery to God. Alongside these, the role of family support was vital in facilitating participants’ links to healthcare. Cross cutting these themes is the notion of gender flexibility. Traditional masculinity expectations of being the head of the household involves stressful challenges that can increase the threat of developing schizophrenia. In contrast, the presence of gender flexibility within household members, where their contributions changed over time, were seen as influencing the men’s ability to become involved in recovery. In particular, providing for the family needs becomes a shared responsibility, where the departure from traditional gender imposes fewer family hardships, thus aiding the men’s willingness to seek help, which rolls over to their recovery. Conclusion: The influence of gender flexibility demonstrated in this study has implications for understanding the causes of schizophrenia and its recovery. This includes the need for gender educational awareness programmes for the men and those involved in their care. Future research is needed to explore in more detail how the conceptualisation of gender impacts on men’s mental health within the Nigerian and wider African context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available