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ERIC Number: EJ851751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0360-7283
Illness of the Mind or Illness of the Spirit? Mental Health-Related Conceptualization and Practices of Older Iranian Immigrants
Martin, Shadi Sahami
Health & Social Work, v34 n2 p117-126 May 2009
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore whether the way mental health is conceptualized by older Iranian immigrants can influence their mental health-related practices. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 Iranians who had immigrated to the United States after the age of 50. The findings from this study revealed that the older Iranian immigrants were reluctant to seek mental health care services in the United States. This resistance was largely attributed to the cultural differences in mental health conceptualization (language, definitions, and terminology) and lack of trust in the effectiveness of psychotropic medications. The findings of this study have implications for health and social service professionals who provide services to older immigrants, refugees, and minority populations whose mental health conceptualization may not be consistent with the biomedical model.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iran