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Schizophrenia in Adolescent Hispanics in Hialeah


Hialeah is one of the cities in the United States of America that has a high proportion of Hispanics in its population. The latter experience a myriad of public health problems with the major one being schizophrenia among teenagers. An analysis of data obtained from online medical databases shows that the magnitude of the disorder is very high among adolescents in comparison to the rest of the populace. The reason for this is that most Hispanic teenagers face discrimination, poverty, diverse cultural customs, and limited access to healthcare. These conditions have shattered lives of many Hispanic adolescents, and most patients have not been able to receive evidence-based care. The management of schizophrenia in this group includes an integrated therapeutic plan that involves different practitioners, family, and the community. In order to improve health outcomes of teenagers who have schizophrenia and lessen the prevalence and severity of the disease, it is essential to develop an evidence-based policy and implement it. Considering the pervasive use of technology among adolescent Hispanics, it can be adopted as a policy to improve the quality of care delivered to teenagers. 
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Keywords: schizophrenia, Hialeah, QSEN initiative, evidence-based policy

Located within the northwestern part of Miami-Dade County, Hialeah has a high proportion of the Hispanic population. It is worth noting that this group suffers from various health disparities. A significant public health threat facing this community is schizophrenia among adolescents. One of the research discoveries associated with this ethnic group is an unduly high rate of psychotic condition diagnoses, especially schizophrenia, among people of color, particularly the Hispanics (Schwartz & Blankenship, 2014). Regardless of the lack of genetic proof indicating an actual increase in the occurrence of this disorder in this population, the incidence rate has been documented. For instance, research studies demonstrate that Hispanics are five times more frequently diagnosed with schizophrenia in comparison to white people seeking treatment in state psychiatric hospitals (Schwartz & Blankenship, 2014). The research expounds that while epidemiological patterns of the condition suggest a similar occurrence level across races, investigations indicate that schizophrenia is diagnosed in the Hispanic population at a higher rate. Most Hispanic teenagers are at high risk for facing mental issues, including schizophrenia, because of experiencing diverse cultural customs, poverty, discrimination, and limited healthcare access. In order to improve the quality of life of adolescents with schizophrenia, treatment approaches ought to focus on principles of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative and evidence-based practice.

Schizophrenia in Adolescent Hispanics

Schizophrenia is among the most complex mental health illnesses. The disorder makes patients have the loss of touch with reality completely. It is a severe, prolonged, and debilitating disturbance of the brain that causes distorted thoughts, odd feelings, and strange use of words and language (Chien, Leung, Yeung, & Wong, 2013). It generates jumbled acuity, difficulty in performing daily activities, and relentless hallucinations or delusions in most circumstances. So far, no single cause has been identified that is responsible for schizophrenia. A chemical imbalance in the brain considered a hereditary factor is supposed to be the reason for the development of the disorder. According to Chien et al. (2013), a combination of biochemical factors, genetic aspects, brain changes, and environmental influences plays a role in causing schizophrenia. The purpose of this comprehensive review of literature by Chien et al. (2013) is to find common strategies and psychosocial interventions for patients who have the disease. Besides, the examination and discussion of treatment plans and their outcomes has enabled to a better comprehension of the impact of individual-centered perspectives like perceived satisfaction and the quality of life.

In order to analyze the disease in the Hispanic population, key healthcare databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycLIT, were surfed, enabling to identify pertinent literature in English and conduct screening of reference lists of these sources. Studies were then chosen based the criteria of making use of a systematic review design or randomized controlled trial, providing a clear explanation of interventions used, and containing a study sample of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. The review enabled to identify five main interventions used in the treatment of the condition. They include psychoeducation, education of social skills, involvement of family, assertive community therapy, and cognitive therapy (Chien et al., 2013). This result will guide in developing an evidence-based policy that will help in reducing schizophrenia among adolescent Hispanics.

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Schizophrenia in babyhood is rare with the prevalence rate of less than 0.0001 before the age of twelve. It frequently has the onset of symptoms that is insidious, with severe medical presentation, and adverse progression and outcomes (Androutsos, 2012). However, it is difficult to identify the condition in childhood, especially during its early stages. The incidence of the disorder escalates drastically in adolescence, and its prevalence is projected to be 0.23 between the ages of thirteen and eighteen (Androutsos, 2012). In adolescents who have schizophrenia, changes in behavior may appear gradually, over time, or in some cases have sudden inception. The teenager may slowly become more introverted and timid. For instance, youngsters who used to delight in relationships with others may begin to be more withdrawn or shy and look as if they are in their own world. At times, adolescents start speaking about peculiar fears and thoughts saying things that seem to make no sense. Most of them with the condition also begin to cling to their parents more. These early problems act as an indication that a teenager requires medical help.

Signs and behavior change of adolescents who have schizophrenia may be somewhat different from those of grown-ups with the disorder. According to Androutsos (2012), in around eighty percent of diagnosed cases, it has been found that as compared to adults, adolescents more often have auditory hallucinations and typically do not experience formal thought disarrays or delusions until they get older. Other behaviors and symptoms that occur in teenagers with schizophrenia include extreme moodiness, deteriorating personal grooming, confusing dreams and television with reality, severe nervousness, and fearfulness among others. Androutsos (2012) conducted this study to show the relevance and differentiation of schizophrenia in children and teenagers from the disorder in adults. The findings were obtained from neuroimaging, as well as neurobiological, clinical, and neuropsychological research. Since results indicate that the prevalence and magnitude of the symptoms of schizophrenia are higher in adolescents, the research explains why the condition is a significant threat to public health (Androutsos, 2012). The fact that it is more prevalent in teenagers makes it an issue of concern because they are the future of the community. The study proposes that the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents ought to be centered on a multimodal healing plan, comprising personal psychotherapy and drug therapy in conjunction with social, family, and educational involvement. It is therefore possible to assert that this study shows the need to address the issue at hand and guides on management strategies.

Implications of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Initiative

As a major psychiatric disorder, the treatment and management of schizophrenia is very complicated. It is usually intended to mitigate the symptoms related to the disease. The integration of various therapies is often essential to address individual problems of an adolescent suffering from the condition (Chien et al., 2013). Some of the treatment methods involved include family and therapy, and specialized programs among others. In addition, psychiatric medications are useful in treating some symptoms associated with schizophrenia (Chien et al., 2013). These drugs require the psychiatrist to monitor their intake carefully. It is therefore evident that the treatment of the disorder requires collaboration between various healthcare providers and families of the affected teenagers. It presents a challenge for healthcare providers to incorporate different systems of thinking in the delivery of care. As such, the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative is very crucial in the delivery of care to this population.

This initiative was adopted in the healthcare system in the United States to improve the safety and quality of healthcare. Therefore, according to it, healthcare providers dealing with teenagers with schizophrenia need to ensure that they uphold the safety and quality of services delivered (Dolansky & Moore, 2013). With the use of the QSEN initiative, practitioners can effectively communicate and integrate patient preferences, values, and articulated desires on the part of every member of the healthcare team and attain patient satisfaction that leads to a quality life. Besides, healthcare providers can work together and develop a care plan that is based on evidence and that will work best for the adolescent Hispanic patient in Hialeah. In addition, the healthcare team can efficiently use standardized practices and technology that uphold quality and safety. In the end, Hispanic teenagers with schizophrenia will obtain safe, quality, affordable, and satisfactory care that will lead to positive outcomes.

An Evidence-Based Policy to Address Schizophrenia in Adolescent Hispanics in Hialeah

Care provided for Hispanic teenagers with schizophrenia has been enhanced in recent years in Hialeah, but further development is required to assist more people within the given population to attain an independent healthy life. It is primarily because a considerable proportion of teenagers suffering from the disorder do not receive evidence-based care. Therefore, in this sense, an evidence-based policy that can minimize and improve outcomes within Hispanic adolescents with schizophrenia is the use of information technology in managing and treating the disorder. It has the ability to enhance the quality of healthcare delivered to adolescents, improve health outcomes, and prevent the occurrence of the condition. The reason for proposing this policy is that technology is increasingly becoming an essential part of teenagers lives. Adolescents make use of the Internet during a big part of the day. It at times looks as if their lives revolve around technology. Vyas, Landry, Schnider, Rojas, and Wood (2012) assert that the social media and short message services are pervasive among the Hispanic youth. Hence, public health programs can use them as reliable and essential means of communication to reach those with schizophrenia to reinforce their health. As such, using something they love to promote their health outcomes is effective, as it will appeal to this population group.

The use of information technology to manage and treat schizophrenia should involve with digital resources that have programs, which address various aspects of the condition. Besides, given that the treatment of the disease involves a combination of different therapies, the interaction of those involved in a digital platform will be the most useful. First and foremost, the policy should include programs, which educate patients, their families, and practitioners on evidence-based practices related to schizophrenia. An example of such to be included is psychosocial interventions, which are additional to medicines or traditional psychiatric care. There is increasing proof that these methods are effective in reducing psychotic symptoms and relapse, as well as ensuring treatment adherence (Chien et al., 2013). Besides, psychosocial interventions have been proven functional in improving long-term outcomes of patients, such as remission, recovery, and disease progression. It is therefore important to include interventions in programs as a crucial part of treatment options available for promoting the healing of teenagers with schizophrenia.

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There are five main groups of psychosocial interventions that can be included in the policy as they have been used efficiently in the community-based treatment of schizophrenia. They include a family intervention, cognitive therapy comprising cognitive remediation and behavioral therapy, social and other coping skills, as well as training and psychoeducational programs (Chien et al., 2013). It is worth pointing out that apart from directly addressing a broad array of patients health needs, these interventions are more cost-effective compared to the standard treatment method of the condition. Incorporating the education of patients on psychosocial interventions through information technology systems can therefore be of great help in minimizing schizophrenia and improving patient outcomes.

The policy should also include programs that educate the whole team delivering care, including families, on preventive measures to lessen the occurrence and severity of schizophrenia among adolescent Hispanics in Hialeah. Even though no single preventive measure is known, early identification and intervention can significantly enhance the quality of life that teenagers experience. Furthermore, for treatment to be successful, warning signs of a psychotic episode need to be addressed appropriately and promptly. It is also essential for adolescents who are prescribed drugs to adhere to the regimen strictly. In addition, prescriptions entail careful monitoring as types of medicines and dosages may require being adjusted at times to maintain efficiency. It is therefore important to teach everyone involved on these preventive measures and many others to improve the quality of life of Hispanic adolescents residing in Hialeah.

The policy on the use of information technology to manage and treat schizophrenia should also include programs that check the interaction of medications and incorrect dosages. It will help in preventing adverse side effects. Other important elements to consider in the digital program are augmenting the input of patients concerning the status, goals, and concerns and increasing the awareness of evidence-based practice and algorithms, as well as patients worries and preferences. Assessing side effects and results, improving decision making among healthcare providers, identifying and preventing medical errors, and observing programs and systems of care are also important steps in the program. The adoption of comprehensive electronic systems that have the ability to address all these components will be indispensable in minimizing the incidence of schizophrenia among adolescents in Hialeah and improving their health outcomes.

The policy will ensure the availability and accessibility of electronic and digital resources all over Hialeah. First, the community will be educated through an awareness campaign on the importance of using information technology to improve the quality of life of Hispanic adolescents with schizophrenia. During these campaigns, all those involved in the delivery of care to teenagers, including families, healthcare providers, and patients themselves will be taught how to use the electronic systems. Furthermore, there will be demonstrations to show that electronic resources can be distributed and obtained by various methods, such as through peer support centers, on the web, via health buddies, or even portable information systems. It will help in the wide dissemination of information available in electronic systems.


The treatment of teenagers who have schizophrenia should focus on practices that are based on evidence for the purposes of attaining efficiency and enhancing quality living. The disorder is among the major public health threats affecting adolescent Hispanics in Hialeah. The issue needs to be addressed because it threatens the future of these young people. The policy on the use of information technology to manage and treat the condition is one of the effective strategies, as it involves everyone, including patients, their families, and healthcare providers. Using comprehensive electronic systems and following the QSEN initiative are vital as treating schizophrenia entails a combination of several therapies.

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