Date of Conferral
Using systems theory, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives of service providers about the psychiatric experiences of hospitalized adolescents, their coping strategies and the aftercare services they used following discharge. The goal was to learn about their experiences as they transitioned into mainstream culture. This study was conducted for psychiatric policy makers to assist with implementing therapeutic programs that teach adolescents coping strategies that help them make a smooth transition. The technique used to recruit 21 participants (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, and direct care workers) was snowballing. The participants involved in face-to-face or phone interview. The NVivo coding system identified the following four themes from the service providers' responses: (1) Coping strategies is the core of the teaching process for inpatient psychiatric adolescents, (2) The coping strategies learned in the hospital are assessed at discharge, and used for integration and stability in mainstream society, (3) Adolescent patients who correctly used prescribed medication along with other coping strategies in and outside the hospital and were linked to aftercare programs were better able to handle their experiences of stigmatization and integrate into the community, (4) The role of the service providers is vital for ongoing communication among family, adolescent, inpatient hospital, and aftercare personnel. The most common coping strategies taught to adolescents were asking for help, avoiding conflicts, following instructions, and medication compliance. The likelihood of recidivism increased with inconsistencies within these coping strategies. The findings can initiate positive social change by guiding policy makers and service providers with the development of appropriate psychiatric care to accommodate adolescents' needs for a smooth transition back into school, work, and community.