Social interaction and participation in activities of everyday life among persons with schizophrenia

University dissertation from V Frölunda : intellecta infolog

Abstract: Difficulties in social interaction frequently accompany a diagnosis of schizophrenia and are an obstacle for participation in everyday life. The overall aim of this licentiate thesis was to develop knowledge about participation in everyday life among persons with schizophrenia. Four persons with schizophrenia, two men and two women, participated in the two studies in this thesis. Data were collected by participant observation (study I and II) and interviews (study II). The data collection took place in the participants’ personal environment and the activities and interactions under study were chosen out of their daily routines. The activities were performed together with one or more persons with a certain amount of regularity in the participant’s everyday life. Qualitative analysis methods were used in both studies. In the first study qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data and resulted in two themes constituting the main result: Facilitating social interaction in activity performance and Hindering social interaction in activity performance. These two themes served as headings for sub-themes representing factors influencing social interaction in activity performance. A further analysis of the themes and sub-themes identified the following dichotomous contexts as influential: meaningful/not meaningful activity being performed; attitudes were trusting/lacking trust; and location, at home/outside the home. In the second study a narrative analysis was used to identify social processes of participation in performing activities of everyday life among person with schizophrenia by looking at what characterized the social processes that preceded or aggravated participation. Three plots constituted the main result in the second study: 1) To be met by respect, to receive attention from others and to have straightforward communication. 2) To take one’s own initiatives to perform meaningful activities together with others, to trust in one’s social environment and to mean something to others. 3) To take part in discussions and mutual decision-making facilitated by routines and structure. These results indicate several possibilities for supporting and promoting participation among persons with schizophrenia. To focus on the facilitating factors of social interaction and the social processes leading to participation in everyday life identified in this thesis could give health care professionals access to individual preferences and choices concerning meaningful activities, social environment and relationships, a knowledge that can be used to support the person with schizophrenia to gradually start or continue a process towards participation in everyday life. 

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