A new study from the University of Waterloo finds improving how mental health patients perceive themselves could be critical in treating them.
The study found that youth with psychiatric disorders currently receiving inpatient services reported lower self-concept, particularly global self-worth, compared to those receiving outpatient services.
"This was the first study that examined youth with psychiatric disorder by comparing what type of service they were receiving and whether that was associated with self-concept," said Mark Ferro, the Canada Research Chair in Youth Mental Health and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Waterloo. "We know that global self-worth is lower in the inpatient group and we know from other research that lower self-concept is a precursor to other more serious mental health problems."
"Because youths who are in the inpatient service have a lower self-concept, therapies within their overall treatment program aiming to improve self-worth might be worthwhile," Ferro said. "Interventions to improve an individual's self-concept or self-perception would be complementary to some of the more pressing needs within child and youth inpatient psychiatric services."