A study of stigmatized attitudes towards people with mental health problems among health professionals

Psychiatry, Tower Hamlets SAU, Mile End Hospital, London, UK.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.84). 05/2009; 16(3):279-84. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2008.01369.x
Source: PubMed


The project aimed to assess stigmatized attitudes among health professionals directed towards patients with mental health problems. The Attitude to Mental Illness Questionnaire was used to assess participants' attitudes towards fictitious patients from a secure forensic hospital and patients with schizophrenia and substance use disorders. Participants were health professionals from acute and mental health settings. In total, 108 completed questionnaires were received. Participants had highly stigmatized attitudes towards patients from a forensic hospital and those with active substance use disorders. Attitudes were less stigmatized to people with substance use disorders who were recovering in remission. This suggested that health professionals have stigmatized attitudes towards an illness such as schizophrenia and this is worse towards patients from a secure hospital. The manner in which patients with substance use disorder are presented can have a significant effect on stigmatized attitudes by health professionals.

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    • "As SUDs lead to substantial economic losses and multiple social problems, substance users are viewed with a certain degree of stigma. The stigmatization may be much more than that for other health conditions for a variety of reasons (Rao et al. 2009; Ronzani et al. 2009; Schomerus et al. 2011). Substance use often co-exists with a range of other stigmatized health conditions (e.g., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C virus, mental illness), potentially unsafe behaviors (e.g., rash driving), and deplorable social conditions (e.g., poverty, criminality) (Dean & Rud 1984). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite clinically relevant implications, stigma towards substance users remains an understudied area, especially in developing countries. This study aimed to find the extent of stigma towards substance use reported by substance users attending a de-addiction centre in India. Purposive sampling was used to recruit consenting fifty patients each dependent on alcohol and opioid from a tertiary care hospital in north India. Demographic and clinical details were recorded. The Stigma Scale and the Perceived Stigma of substance Abuse Scale (PSAS) were administered to both the groups to assess stigma. Alcohol dependent subjects reported higher stigma than the opioid dependent subjects on the Stigma Scale (t = 3.234, p = 0.018). Linear regression showed that duration of dependence, being employed and currently abstinent predicted greater stigma experienced as per the Stigma Scale. Presently being employed and higher per-capita income predicted lower perceived stigma towards substance users as per PSAS. Stigma in substance users remains a major clinical concern, minimizing which can help mitigate negative clinical consequences like delayed treatment seeking and reduced treatment compliance.
    International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 02/2014; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s11469-014-9514-1 · 0.99 Impact Factor
    • "Notably, blaming attitudes among specialist mental health professionals appear most prevalent towards persons with personality disorders and substance use disorders (Markham and Trower, 2003; Rao et al., 2009), highlighting that negative attitudes may be most common where diseaselike explanations fit less well as complete conceptualisations of difficulties. The parallel cost of dualist conceptualisations of locus of control for illness is in reinforcing a traditional sick role for those accepted as ill, in which the patient becomes a passive recipient of treatment – in conflict with prevailing views that accepting personal responsibility for self-management is important in promoting personal recovery (Andresen et al., 2003). "

    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 04/2013; 47(10). DOI:10.1177/0004867413487232 · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    • "Staff studying or working within the healthcare disciplines often come into contact with people with a mental illness. However, despite the vital role they play in the provision of both physical and mental healthcare, health professionals tend to hold negative attitudes towards individuals with mental illness (Chaplin, 2000; Hugo, 2001; Bjorkman et al., 2008; Volmer et al., 2008; Rao et al., 2009; Horsfall et al., 2010). Practitioners, including general practitioners , psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, have reported more negative ratings of individuals with a mental illness than the general public (Jorm et al., 1999; Nordt et al., 2006) and also expressed a greater desire for social distance (Feret et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: There are currently no published scales to assess the attitudes of students and professionals across a wide range of healthcare disciplines towards people with mental illness. Secondary analysis from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of anti-stigma interventions was carried out to test the reliability, validity and acceptability of the Mental Illness: Clinicians' Attitudes (MICA) v4 scale, a modification of the MICA v2 scale in a sample of 191 nursing students. The MICA v4 was found to have good internal consistency (α=0.72) and item-total correlations. Principal component analysis produced a five factor structure and the scale had acceptable convergent validity. A group of students and professionals within the healthcare discipline (n=5) reported that the MICA v4 had good face validity and suggested its use with students and professionals working in non-mental health settings. The scale had low rates of missing data, good readability and took less than 4min to complete. The MICA v4 scale was found to be a reliable, valid and acceptable measure of foundation year nursing students' attitudes towards mental illness. It has the potential for use with students and qualified staff across a range of healthcare professions and is available for use from the authors.
    10/2012; 206(1). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.09.028
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