Perception of stigma among family members of individuals with schizophrenia and major affective disorders in rural Ethiopia

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 2.54). 01/2001; 36(6):299-303. DOI: 10.1007/s001270170048
Source: PubMed


Background: Many studies from the Western world have reported on stigmatisation of people with mental illnesses and its negative consequences,
but few studies have addressed the issue in traditional rural societies. The present study aimed to estimate the extent and
socio-demographic distribution of stigma as perceived by relatives of mentally ill individuals in rural Ethiopia. Method: A total of 178 relatives of individuals who were diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia or major affective disorders in
a community-based survey were interviewed using the Family Interview Schedule. Results: About 75 % of the respondents perceived that they were stigmatised or had experienced some sort of stigma due to the presence
of mental illness in the family, 42 % were worried about being treated differently and 37 % wanted to conceal the fact that
a relative was ill. Those from the older age group (45+) and urban residents were more likely to perceive stigma as a major
problem, but otherwise differences were few between socio-demographic groups. The illness was attributed to supernatural forces
by 27 % and praying was suggested as a preferred method to deal with the problem by 65 %. Conclusion: Stigma was found to be a common problem, with few differences between socio-demographic groups or between types of mental
disorder. Beliefs about causes differ from those held by professionals. Popular beliefs and attitudes must be taken into account
when planning for intervention.

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    • "In this study the prevalence of drug abuse as cause of mental illness was relatively higher (92 percent) compared to 72.5 percent found by Adewuya and Makanjuola (2008). Several studies from the western culture showed that biological factors (diseases of the brain and hereditary influences) and environmental factors (trauma and stress) are more frequently considered to cause mental illness (Stuart and Arbodela- Florez, 2001; Adewuya and Makanjuola, 2008); while in most African cultures, beliefs in supernatural causation are prominent (Shibre et al., 2001; Gureje et al., 2005; Adewuya and Makanjuola, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine perceived barriers to utilization of mental health services among adults in Dodoma Municipality, Tanzania. To improve the use of mental health services, identifying related perceived barriers is a key step. Design/methodology/approach – A concurrent mixed method model was used. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews (n=152) using a structured survey questionnaire. In addition in-depth interviews were conducted (n=10). The quantitative data were analyzed by using Epi info version 2002. Content analysis was used for analyzing qualitative data. Findings – Themajority of respondents opted to usemodernmental health facilities formental illness treatment. They also used spiritual healing and other forms traditional methods including herbal medicines. The most frequently identified causes ofmental illness were: drug abuse, being cursed and witchcraft, demons or evil spirit possession. The reported significant perceived barriers were stigma, economic, lack of transport, witchcraft, lack of awareness of mental health services, unemployment, and negative believes about professional cure. Originality/value – The option for mental health service utilization is influenced by the existing barriers on community and clients’ perception. There is a need for mental health professionals and policy makers to integrate mental health into primary care. Mutual sharing of knowledge between mental health professionals and tradition healers is warranted. Further research on the attitudes toward mental health professional services and on effectiveness of traditional healers’ services is indicated.
    Journal of public mental health 06/2015; 14(2):79-93. DOI:10.1108/JPMH-09-2012-0008
    • "The general public is more likely to blame families for causing AN compared with other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. 11 Concerns and fears that their loved one will be discriminated against have been shown to result in family members of individuals with other mental illnesses withdrawing from their own social support network (Gonzalez et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2006; Shibre et al., 2001; Östman & Kjellin, 2002; Stengler-Wenzke, Trosbach, Dietrich, & Angermeyer, 2004; Wahl & Harman, 1989). Qualitative studies demonstrate that family members would value the opportunity to share their struggles with others who are in the same predicament (Haigh & Treasure, 2003; Graap et al., 2008; Whitney et al., 2005; Winn, Perkins, Murray, Murphy, & Schmidt, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Multi-family therapy (MFT) has yet to be evaluated in families of adults with anorexia nervosa (AN). The study aims were: (i) assess the feasibility of MFT for AN; and, (ii) assess whether MFT is associated with improved outcomes for families compared with single-family therapy (SFT). Adult patients with AN consecutively referred to an eating disorder treatment program were assigned (non-randomly) to receive eight sessions of SFT or MFT. Assessment occurred pre-therapy, immediately post-therapy, and at 3-month follow-up. A total of 37 female patients (13 SFT, 24 MFT) and 45 family members (16 SFT, 29 MFT) completed treatment. There were significant time effects for patients' BMI, eating disorder-related psychopathology and multiple family outcome measures. There were no differences between MFT and SFT on family outcome measures at end of treatment and 3 months post treatment. MFT is a feasible intervention that can be used in adult intensive treatment for those with AN. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
    European Eating Disorders Review 03/2015; 23(4). DOI:10.1002/erv.2359 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling and severely stigmatized mental disorder, which was selected as the central focus of the World Psychiatric Association’s global anti-stigma programme entitled ‘Open the Doors’ [1]. Stigma is common [2,3] and remains a major burden for individuals with psychiatric disorders [4,5], their families [6,7] and caregivers [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling and severely stigmatized mental disorders. Together with social stigma, internalized stigma and perceived stigma can trigger a vicious cycle and diminishes the stigma resistance abilities of individual. Helping patients to cope up with perceived and internalized stigma play crucial role in fighting stigma. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and associated factors of stigma resistance among people with schizophrenia attending the outpatient department of Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Institution based cross-sectional study design was employed. Single population proportion formula was used to calculate sample size. Subjects were selected by systematic sampling techniques. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were performed to identify the presence and strength of association. Odds ratios with 95% confidence interval were computed to determine the level of significance. A total of 411 subjects participated in the study giving a response rate of 97.4%. The prevalence of low stigma resistance was found to be 51.6%. Rural residence (AOR = 0.29 (95% CI: 0.142, 0.594), difficulties of adherence to antipsychotic medication (AOR = AOR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.155, 0.542), internalized stigma (AOR = 0.24, 95% CI: (0.111, 0.530), alienation (AOR = 0.5, 95% CI: (0.270, 0.927), stereotype endorsement (AOR = 0.37(95% CI: 0.312, 0.463) and social withdrawal (AOR = 0.27, 95% CI: (0.156, 0.468) were factors statistically associated with low stigma resistance. In this study, overall more than half of the study participants had low stigma resistance. Rural residence, difficulties of adherence to antipsychotic medication, high internalized stigma, alienation and social withdrawal were factors statistically associated with low stigma resistance. Encouraging participations in different social relationships such as befriending programs, family and peer support groups are recommended.
    BMC Psychiatry 09/2014; 2014(1):694565. DOI:10.1155/2014/694565 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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