Does labeling matter? An examination of attitudes and perceptions of labels for mental disorders.
ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Labeling research in various domains has found that attitudes and perceptions vary as a function of the different labels ascribed to a group (e.g., overweight vs. obese). This type of research, however, has not been examined extensively in regards to labels for mental disorders. The present study examined whether common psychiatric labels (i.e., mental disease, mental disorders, mental health problems, and mental illness) elicited divergent attitudes and perceptions in a group of participants. These labels were also compared to the specific label of depression. METHODS: Undergraduate psychology students (N = 124) were given identical questionnaire packages with the exception of the label used. That is, each participant received a set of questionnaires that referred to only one of the five labels. The questionnaire package contained various quantitative measures of attitudes and social distance, in addition to a short qualitative measure. RESULTS: Analyses demonstrated equivalence among the four general psychiatric labels on measures of attitudes, social distance, and general perceptions. However, results also suggested that the general labels diverged from the depression label, with the latter being generally more negatively perceived. Some analyses demonstrated that participants' understanding of the terminology might be incorrect. The results of the investigation are discussed with a focus on its relationship with current research in stigma. CONCLUSION: Within the current sample, general psychiatric labels did not appear to distinguish themselves from each other on measures of attitude and social distance but did so when compared to a relatively more specific term. Future research should examine the underlying mechanism driving this finding, with the ultimate goal of reducing the stigma faced by those with mental disorders.
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ABSTRACT: The economic repercussions of mental disorders in the workplace are vast. Research has found that individuals in high-stress jobs tend to have higher prevalence of mental disorders. The current cross-sectional study examined the relationships between work-related stress and mental disorders in a recent representative population-based sample-the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey by Statistics Canada (CCHS; 2010a; Retrieved from http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/instrument/3226_Q1_V7-eng.pdf). Respondents in the highest level of perceived work stress had higher odds of ever being treated for an emotional or mental-health problem and for being treated in the past 12 months. These high-stress respondents also had higher odds of being diagnosed for mood and anxiety disorders than their nonstressed counterparts. These associations highlight the continued need to examine and promote mental health and well-being in the workplace. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 03/2013; 18(2). DOI:10.1037/a0031806 · 2.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: This study contrasts the medicalized conceptualization of mental illness with psychologizing mental illness and examines what the consequences are of adhering to one model versus the other for help seeking and stigma. METHODS: The survey "Stigma in a Global Context-Belgian Mental Health Study" (2009) conducted face-to-face interviews among a representative sample of the general Belgian population using the vignette technique to depict schizophrenia (N = 381). Causal attributions, labeling processes, and the disease view are addressed. Help seeking refers to open-ended help-seeking suggestions (general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, family, friends, and self-care options). Stigma refers to social exclusion after treatment. The data are analyzed by means of logistic and linear regression models in SPSS Statistics 19. RESULTS: People who adhere to the biopsychosocial (versus psychosocial) model are more likely to recommend general medical care and people who apply the disease view are more likely to recommend specialized medical care. Regarding informal help, those who prefer the biopsychosocial model are less likely to recommend consulting friends than those who adhere to the psychosocial model. Respondents who apply a medical compared to a non-medical label are less inclined to recommend self-care. As concerns treatment stigma, respondents who apply a medical instead of a non-medical label are more likely to socially exclude someone who has been in psychiatric treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Medicalizing mental illness involves a package deal: biopsychosocial causal attributions and applying the disease view facilitate medical treatment recommendations, while labeling seems to trigger stigmatizing attitudes.Social Psychiatry 03/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00127-013-0671-5 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Diminishing stigmatization for those with mental illnesses by health care providers (HCPs) is becoming a priority for programming and policy, as well as research. In order to be successful, we must accurately measure stigmatizing attitudes and behaviours among HCPs. The Opening Minds Stigma Scale for Health Care Providers (OMS-HC) was developed to measure stigma in HCP populations. In this study we revisit the factor structure and the responsiveness of the OMS-HC in a larger, more representative sample of HCPs that are more likely to be targets for anti-stigma interventions. Baseline data were collected from HCPs (n = 1,523) during 12 different anti-stigma interventions across Canada. The majority of HCPs were women (77.4%) and were either physicians (MDs) (41.5%), nurses (17.0%), medical students (13.4%), or students in allied health programs (14.0%). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted using complete pre-test (n = 1,305) survey data and responsiveness to change analyses was examined with pre and post matched data (n = 803). The internal consistency of the OMS-HC scale and subscales was evaluated using the Cronbach's alpha coefficient. The scale's sensitivity to change was examined using paired t-tests, effect sizes (Cohen's d), and standardized response means (SRM). The EFA favored a 3-factor structure which accounted for 45.3% of the variance using 15 of 20 items. The overall internal consistency for the 15-item scale (alpha = 0.79) and three subscales (alpha = 0.67 to 0.68) was acceptable. Subgroup analysis showed the internal consistency was satisfactory across HCP groups including physicians and nurses (alpha = 0.66 to 0.78). Evidence for the scale's responsiveness to change occurred across multiple samples, including student-targeted interventions and workshops for practicing HCPs. The Social Distance subscale had the weakest level of responsiveness (SRM <= 0.50) whereas the more attitudinal-based items comprising the Attitude (SRM <= 0.91) and Disclosure and Help-Seeking (SRM <= 0.68) subscales had stronger responsiveness. The OMS-HC has shown to have acceptable internal consistency and has been successful in detecting positive changes in various anti-stigma interventions. Our results support the use of a 15-item scale, with the calculation of three sub scores for Attitudes, Disclosure and Help-seeking, and Social Distance.BMC Psychiatry 04/2014; 14(1):120. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-120 · 2.24 Impact Factor