The aim of the study was to describe how foreign-born and Swedish born families living in Sweden perceive psychosis care. Eleven foreign-born and 15 Swedish-born family members were interviewed and the data were analyzed using a phenomenographic approach. The findings showed three main descriptive categories: taking responsibility, access to care, and attitudes to psychosis. The degree of responsibility in the family decreased if there was easy access to care and support from health-care staff. Knowledge of psychosis was considered to be important in order to counteract prejudiced attitudes in the family and the community. Foreign-born families did not want to be treated differently from Swedes and stressed the importance of finding ways to communicate despite communication barriers. Foreign-born families also were affected by their experiences of psychiatric care and different beliefs about psychosis in their home country. The results indicate how important it is that health-care staff members treat families on equal terms. It is necessary to take the time to identify how to communicate in a good manner and to identify families' previous experiences of and beliefs about psychosis care in order to help families face prejudice in society and to see beyond the psychosis.
AIM: This paper is a report of a study to explore different perceptions of psychiatric care among foreign- and Swedish-born people with psychotic disorders. BACKGROUND: Research from different countries reports a high-incidence of psychosis among migrants. The risk-factors discussed are social disadvantages in the new country. To understand and meet the needs of people from different countries, their perspective of psychiatric care must be illuminated and taken into consideration. METHOD: A phenomenographic study was conducted in 2005-2006 using semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of 12 foreign-born people and 10 Swedish-born people with psychosis. FINDINGS: Three categories were identified: personal and family involvement in care; relating to healthcare staff; and managing illness and everyday life. Foreign-born people differed from Swedish-born people in that they struggled to attain an everyday life in Sweden, relied on healthcare staff as experts in making decisions, and had religious beliefs about mental illness. Among Swedish-born people, the need for more support to relatives and help to perform recreational activities was important. CONCLUSION: It is important to identify individual perceptions and needs, which may be influenced by cultural origins, when caring for patients with psychosis. Previous experience of care, different ways of relating to staff, and individual needs should be identified and met with respect. Social needs should not be medicalized but taken into consideration when planning care, which illustrates the importance of multi-professional co-operation.