PhD student Diana Gamez has published with colleagues in Psychiatric Services: "Psychosis Literacy Among Latinos With First-Episode Psychosis and Their Caregivers." Ms. Gamez is a second year doctoral student specializing in Educational Policy and Social Context. Her research interests include diversity & equity in education, community engagement, school-to-prison pipeline, and students of color. She is advised by Assistant Professor Shanyce Campbell.
The study examined psychosis literacy among Latinos with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and their caregivers. The authors tested a model that knowledge of psychosis and attribution of illness to psychosis predicted professional help seeking in a cross-sectional design. The sample (N=148) consisted of 79 Latino consumers who met criteria for a clinical diagnosis of a psychotic disorder and 69 family caregivers. Participants watched a four-minute narrative about a woman with psychosis and were asked to identify the symptoms of serious mental illness (knowledge of psychosis), describe the character’s problem and whether she had a serious mental illness (illness attribution), and offer suggestions about what the parents should do (help seeking). Responses to the open-ended questions were reliably coded by two trained raters. Consumers reported low psychosis literacy across all indices (e.g., only 8% included delusions in their knowledge of serious mental illness). Compared with consumers, caregivers reported significantly greater psychosis literacy across most indices, although relatively few reported knowledge of delusions (28%) and disorganized speech (36%). Logistic regression analyses found that caregivers were more than twice as likely as consumers to suggest that the parents seek professional help. Among both consumers and caregivers, greater knowledge of psychosis and attribution of symptoms to serious mental illness were associated with increased likelihood of recommending professional help seeking. Community campaigns and psychoeducation interventions within clinical settings are needed to improve psychosis literacy among Latinos with FEP. Increasing knowledge of psychosis and facilitating attributions of psychotic symptoms to serious mental illness have the potential to promote professional help seeking.
Lopez, S. R., Gamez, D., Mejia, Y. M., Calderon, V., Lopez, D. & Ullman, J. B. (2018). Psychosis literacy among Latinos with first-episode psychosis and their caregivers. Psychiatric Services.