Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is: My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young adult. What information, resources, and research are available to help him and help our family support him? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that define schizophrenia and discuss NIDILRR-funded projects that research, develop, and share evidence-based tools, publications, and programs for young adults in transition in general, in transition from school to employment, and provide mental illness and community inclusion-related resources; video-based mobile health interventions; community participation and self-determination; an app to treat schizophrenia; the influence of social stigma on rehabilitation and social reintegration; vocational rehabilitation; and more. More about Answered Questions.
What is schizophrenia?
- According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) (in English) at the National Institutes of Health, schizophrenia is a “serious and lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.” People with schizophrenia may experience disorganized speech or behavior, impaired cognitive ability, hallucinations, or delusions. What they experience may be scary and upsetting to the people with the disorder and the people around them. However, treatment helps many people with schizophrenia to recover sufficiently and pursue their goals. Researchers, including researchers at NIDILRR-funded projects, are working to understand schizophrenia and develop more effective interventions.
- The Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures: Building Self-Determination and Community Living and Participation (Pathways RRTC) (in English) conducts research that is focused on building self-determination and enhancing community living and participation in young people with serious mental health conditions, including schizophrenia. The Center also shares evidence-based tools (in English); publications that include the Pathways Comics (in English) created by and for young adults and the people who care about them; a mentoring program (in English); and featured products in Spanish.
- The Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (Transitions ACR) (in English) develops and shares new knowledge about core concepts, interventions, and policies to improve the transition from high school or college to employment for youth and young adults with mental health conditions. As part of sharing the knowledge that they develop, researchers at the Transitions ACR have created webinars (in English), the Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers toolkit (in English) and publications in Spanish that provide information and resources to Spanish speakers with schizophrenia and other mental health conditions, their families, and service providers.
- The Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of People with Serious Mental Illness (TU Collaborative) advances the research and development of interventions that help to maximize community living and participation of people with severe mental illness. To this end, the TU Collaborative provides evidence-based resources on mental illness and community inclusion-related topics (in English); produces the CollabChats podcast series where the latest cutting edge community inclusion research from the TU Collaborative is shared; and supports the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse (in English).
From the NARIC Collection:
- The article, Video-based mobile health interventions for people with schizophrenia: Bringing the “pocket therapist” to life (in English), discusses a study that examined whether video-based mobile health interventions are feasible, acceptable, understandable, and engaging option for people with schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia spectrum disorders participated in a month-long trial in which they used a smartphone system that offered video and written intervention options. The findings of this study suggest that smartphone-supported video interventions may be a feasible, usable, acceptable, and engaging method for flexible delivery of treatment interventions for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
Research In Focus:
- The article, Community Participation Can Boost Self-Determination for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (in English), discusses a recent study at the NIDILRR-funded project Enhancing the Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (in English) that asked adults with serious mental illness – including schizophrenia -, their family members, their service providers, and community leaders about the meaning of community participation for people with serious mental illness. The researchers found that the participants described similar themes when talking about their experience of community participation and how it affected important areas of their lives. This article is also available in Spanish.
Visit NARIC’s Research In Focus series to learn more about NIDILRR-funded studies related to schizophrenia, other psychiatric disabilities, and mental health that are featured in that series.
- The article, Scientists create an “app” to treat schizophrenia (Expansión – México), discusses a game app created by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom to help improve the quality of life of people with schizophrenia and to help improve their episodic memory. The objective of the app, called “Wizard”, is to improve the cognitive function of people with schizophrenia to help them have greater independence in their daily lives and at work through a motivating, fun, and easy-to-understand game. The app will be available for smartphones once the related research activities have ended.
- Stigma is a type of prejudice and can lead to discriminatory consequences towards the stigmatized person. People with mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, are recognized as one of the most stigmatized groups in our society. The article, Influence of social stigma on the rehabilitation and social integration of schizophrenic people, discusses a study that looks at the negative influence of social stigma on the rehabilitation and social reintegration of people with schizophrenia.
- Schizophrenia can affect the employment of people with this disorder. The article, Vocational Rehabilitation for people with schizophrenia, discusses a study by researchers at the National Institute of Psychiatry and the National Rehabilitation Institute in Mexico that looked how a vocational rehabilitation intervention with a supported employment method helped people with schizophrenia achieve integration in the workforce. The researchers found that the workforce inclusion of people with schizophrenia is directly related to psychiatric assessment, symptomatic stability, therapeutic adherence, positive attitude, and family support and that it requires greater social awareness generally, raising awareness in the business community, avoiding discrimination, and appropriate accommodations for the employees with schizophrenia.
- The article, The social life of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia: Users of a psychosocial care center, discusses a qualitative study at the University of São Paulo in Brazil that looked at the social life of people with schizophrenia who used a psychosocial care center and to identify how the therapeutic process offered by the center supports the social life of participants. The researchers found that the therapy used in the center assists the participants’ adherence to treatment and reduces psychiatric hospitalizations; however, the participants’ social life occurs within the context of their family and in the treatment environment. The researchers state that the results show that providers, families, and the community need to work together to expand socializing interventions for people with schizophrenia.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (in English) provides an online behavioral health treatment services locator (in English) that can assist in finding help, including treatment, for people with mental health conditions. SAMHSA also provides informative resources and a national helpline (in English) that provides treatment referral and information 24/7 in English and Spanish.
- Living with schizophrenia: A guide for people affected by schizophrenia is a guide from the Spanish Ministry of Health and Consumption, the Quality Plan for the National System of Health, and the Department of Health of Catalunya for people with schizophrenia and their families, friends, and service providers and gives a definition of schizophrenia and the symptoms that define it, along with providing a discussion on available evidence-based treatments and interventions. The guide also provides a list of organizations with contact information and how to get more information about schizophrenia.
About Answered Questions
Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.