0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letters   |    
Bridging Psychiatric Services Between Asia and America
Hector W. H. Tsang, Ph.D., O.T.R.
Psychiatric Services 2004; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.55.2.194

To the Editor: In the October issue of Psychiatric Services, Dr. Chen and his colleagues described the Bridge Program in New York to improve access to psychiatric services among Asian consumers (1). The authors explained that a primary reason for developing the Bridge Program is the profound stigma associated with mental illness in Asian-American communities, which is a major cause for the low use of mental health facilities. I am in full agreement with Dr. Chen's team on this issue. A recent study in Hong Kong, in which 11 interviews were conducted with patients' relatives to explore the relationship between stigma, accessibility of mental health facilities, and family burden, yielded the same conclusion (2). Data analyses showed that much of the burden was related to stigma and to a lack of mental health and rehabilitation services. Consequences included the families' social isolation, patients' difficulties obtaining competitive employment, and financial difficulties for both patients and families.

One of the salient features of the Bridge Program is its goal of enhancing the skills of primary care providers to improve identification and treatment of mental disorders. I am delighted that the program is a success. I would like to propose another component for the Bridge Program, if the authors are interested. The program should encourage exchange of information about research and services between Asia and America. The importance of addressing cross-cultural differences in the development of instruments for psychiatric research has been widely recognized. I believe it is equally applicable in the development of treatment protocols. As a psychiatric researcher in Asia, I have found that advances in psychiatric rehabilitation in America have helped me to better direct my research efforts. By the same token, I believe that the outcomes of research conducted by my group and by other researchers in Asia will be of help to researchers and practitioners in America who work with the Asian population.

My primary concern is to ensure the effectiveness of the programs that my group has developed for use in the Asian context. However, I would be most delighted to learn that the culturally relevant assessment instruments and treatment programs we have developed in Asia can be successfully applied among Asian Americans. Assessments developed and validated in Hong Kong, such as the Workshop Behavior Checklist (3) and the Vocational Social Skills Scale (4), may be useful with Chinese Americans. Similarly, the integrated supported employment program (5) and the Chinese version of the basic conversations skills module on which we are currently working might also be helpful to American practitioners who work with Chinese Americans.

In summary, facilitation of exchange of information about research and services will further enhance the Bridge Program.

Dr. Tsang is affiliated with the department of rehabilitation sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Chen H, Kramer EJ, Chen T: The Bridge Program: a model for reaching Asian Americans. Psychiatric Services 54:1411—1412,  2003
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Tam, PKC, Chan F: Sources of family burden of individuals with mental illness. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research 26:123—130,  2003
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Ip YC: Development and validation of the Workshop Behavior Checklist: a scale for assessing work performance of people with severe mental illness. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 46:110—121,  2000
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Pearson V: Reliability and validity of a simple measure for assessing the social skills of people with schizophrenia necessary for seeking and securing a job. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 67:250—259,  2000
 
Tsang HWH: Augmenting vocational outcomes of supported employment by social skills training. Journal of Rehabilitation 69:25—30,  2003
 
+

References

Chen H, Kramer EJ, Chen T: The Bridge Program: a model for reaching Asian Americans. Psychiatric Services 54:1411—1412,  2003
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Tam, PKC, Chan F: Sources of family burden of individuals with mental illness. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research 26:123—130,  2003
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Ip YC: Development and validation of the Workshop Behavior Checklist: a scale for assessing work performance of people with severe mental illness. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 46:110—121,  2000
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Pearson V: Reliability and validity of a simple measure for assessing the social skills of people with schizophrenia necessary for seeking and securing a job. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 67:250—259,  2000
 
Tsang HWH: Augmenting vocational outcomes of supported employment by social skills training. Journal of Rehabilitation 69:25—30,  2003
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 45.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 45.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 4.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 45.  >
Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry > Chapter 34.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles