Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 151053, 6 pages
Research Article

Mental Health Services in Rural China: A Qualitative Study of Primary Health Care Providers

1School of Public Health, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi 530021, China
2Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Brain Hospital, Liuzhou, Guangxi 545005, China
3Youjiang Medical University for Nationalities, Baise, Guangxi 533099, China
4Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Received 16 August 2015; Revised 9 November 2015; Accepted 9 December 2015

Academic Editor: Abdulbari Bener

Copyright © 2015 Zhenyu Ma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to understand the challenges that primary health care providers faced in the process of delivering mental healthcare and assess their attitudes towards patients with mental health problems. In-depth interviews were conducted among 42 primary health care providers in two counties of Guangxi province, China. All interviews were audio-recorded and analyzed thematically. Primary health care providers in both counties faced the same difficulties: lack of professional knowledge, fear of patients’ attack, more extra work, and less subsidies. However, most of primary health care providers (30/42) were still willing to do mental healthcare management. All the interviewees considered that communication skills with patients and their family members, proper attitude (without discrimination), and the professional knowledge of mental health are required. There are still several participants (15/42) who showed negative attitude toward mental disorders. Nearly all the respondents (39/42) emphasized the importance of increasing their income or subsidies by the government. This qualitative study provides insights into mental health services in rural communities of Guangxi and identified issues that could be considered in engaging primary health care providers in the management of mental disorders.