Symposium​​ 
S06 -​​ 
Cultural Formulation Assessment: Implications in Systemic and Family Treatment​​ 

Saturday, 24 October​​ 
13:30 – 16:45 (3 hrs plus 15 min break
)

G. Eric Jarvis*, MD, MSc; Jaswant Guzder, MD; Lisa Andermann, MD; Azaad Kassam, MD; Kenneth Fung, MD, FRCPC​​ 
Supported by the Transcultural Psychiatry Section​​ 

 

CanMEDS Roles:​​ 

  • Medical Expert​​ 

  • Communicator​​ 

  • Health Advocate​​ 

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:​​ 1) Recognize common dilemmas faced by immigrant and refugee families; 2) Apply culturally sensitive approaches to evaluate and treat these dilemmas; and 3) Apply cross-cultural tools to build a cultural formulation for families.​​ 

Family systemic evaluation is a crucial aspect of diagnosis, formulation, advocacy, and treatment planning for refugee and migrant patients seen in clinical practice.​​ 

Objective: This session will use case studies to unravel the intersecting threads of individual distress and systemic factors embedded in family realities, as well as social suffering factors to illustrate a comprehensive use of cultural formulation models.​​ 

Methods: The presenters will use case examples of patients from the Cultural Consultation Service (CCS) and First Episode Psychosis Program (FEPP) in Montreal, the ethnocultural ACT team in Toronto, the Hong Fook clinic in Toronto, and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. The presenters will weave together how they work systemically with the cultural formulation by comparing and contrasting approaches according to site.​​ 

Results: Participants will learn about family dilemmas from African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean perspectives and the difficulties that patients from these backgrounds have encountered in accessing Canadian mental health services that offer culturally safe care, based on cultural formulation models that understand the basis of their distress and promote resilience.​​ 

Conclusions: Family systems in cultural context are a neglected aspect of cross-cultural mental health care, even within the field of cultural psychiatry. By engaging families as full partners in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, clinicians will be practicing culturally sensitive psychiatry simply by paying attention to the context that frames the experiences of their patients and paves the way to culturally relevant interventions.

References:

  • Guzder J. Family systems in cultural consultation. In: Kirmayer LJ, Rousseau C, Guzder J, editors. Cultural Consultation: Encountering the Other in Mental Health Care. New York (NY): Springer; 2014:139–62.​​ 

  • Kirmayer LJ, Rousseau C, Jarvis GE, et al. The cultural context of clinical assessment. In: Tasman A, Kay J, Lieberman JA, et al., editors. Psychiatry. 4th ed. New York (NY): John Wiley & Sons; 2015.

 

/ Virtual Conference 2020