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What kind of in-patient psychiatry for Africa? Report from Zimbabwe

  • Derek Summerfield (a1)

Summary

The expanding global mental health field has paid little attention to evaluating the culture of psychiatry prevailing in in-patient settings across Africa. For example, in Zimbabwe in-patient psychiatry has been heavily pathologising, with over-reliance on the diagnosis of schizophrenia and on antipsychotic polypharmacy. It is not helpful that the next generation of African doctors are learning unmediated Western psychiatry, with little credence given to background cultural factors and mentalities shaping presentations. Some of the psychiatric and social consequences of this for patients in Zimbabwe are discussed.

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Copyright

References

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1Jackson, L. Surfacing Up: Psychiatry and Social Order in Colonial Rhodesia 1908–68. Cornell University Press, 2005.
2Jablensky, A, Sartorius, N. What did the WHO studies really find? Schizophr Bull 2008; 34 :253–5.
3Summerfield, D. How scientifically valid is the knowledge base of global mental health? BMJ 2008; 336: 992–4.
4Summerfield, D. Afterword: against ‘global mental health’. Transcult Psychiatry 2012; 49: 112.

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What kind of in-patient psychiatry for Africa? Report from Zimbabwe

  • Derek Summerfield (a1)

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What kind of in-patient psychiatry for Africa? Report from Zimbabwe

  • Derek Summerfield (a1)
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