BELIEFS ABOUT SCHIZOPHRENIA AND ITS TREATMENT IN KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA
Background: Lay beliefs about schizophrenia have been extensively studied in
cross-cultural settings, but research on ethnic differences are currently lacking.
Aims: This study examined beliefs about the manifestations, causes and cures of
schizophrenia in a multi-ethnic sample from Malaysia.
Methods: In this study, 561 Malay, Chinese and Kadazan-Dusun participants rated
72 statements about schizophrenia on a 7-point scale.
Results: Results showed that Malaysians tended to favour social-environmental
explanations for schizophrenia. There were also ethnic and sex differences in these
results. Specifically, Malay participants more strongly agreed that schizophrenia
has a social cause, that treatment should affect changes at a societal level, that
schizophrenic behaviour is sinful and that mental hospitals do not provide effective
Conclusions: Lay beliefs about schizophrenia may serve different functions
for different ethno-cultural groups, which have an influence on help-seeking