Comparing the social networks of service users with long term mental health needs living in community with those in a general adult in-patient unit
Rusca, R., Onwuchekwa, I., Kinane, C. and MacInnes, D. 2021. Comparing the social networks of service users with long term mental health needs living in community with those in a general adult in-patient unit. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640211017590
|Authors||Rusca, R., Onwuchekwa, I., Kinane, C. and MacInnes, D.|
Background: Relationships are vital to recovery however, there is uncertainty whether users have different types of social networks in different mental health settings and how these networks may impact on users’ wellbeing.
Method: A sample of general adult in-patients with enduring mental health problems, aged between 18 and 65, was compared with a similar sample attending a general adult psychiatric clinic. A cross-sectional survey collected demographic data and information about participants’ social networks. Participants also completed the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale to examine well-being and the Significant Others Scale to explore their social network support.
Results: The study recruited 53 participants (25 living in the community and 28 current in-patients) with 339 named as important members of their social networks. Both groups recorded low numbers in their social networks though the community sample had a significantly greater number of social contacts (7.4 vs. 5.4), more monthly contacts with members of their network and significantly higher levels of social media use. The in-patient group reported greater levels of emotional and practical support from their network.
Conclusions: People with serious and enduring mental health problems living in the community had a significantly greater number of people in their social network than those who were in-patients while the in-patient group reported greater levels of emotional and practical support from their network. Recommendations for future work have been made.
|Keywords||Networks; Mental health; Social networks|
|Journal||International Journal of Social Psychiatry|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640211017590|
|Online||21 May 2021|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||22 Apr 2021|
|Deposited||17 May 2021|
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