Reducing mental illness stigma in mental health professionals using a web-based approach

Department of Psychiatry, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Aksaray, Istanbul, Turkey.
The Israel journal of psychiatry and related sciences (Impact Factor: 0.79). 01/2009; 46(3):226-30.
Source: PubMed


This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of a web-based mental disorder stigma education program for mental health professionals.
The sample consisted of 205 individuals who were either residents or specialists in psychiatry. Participants were contacted through a national web-based e-mail group that consisted of professionals in psychiatry, who were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received an informative e-mail which contained a general account of "stigma" before they were asked to respond to an Internet-based questionnaire which was designed to predict their stigmatizing attitudes towards individuals with mental disorders. Control subjects, on the other hand, were asked to respond to the same Internet-based questionnaire without having been given the aforementioned informative e-mail.
The experimental group, compared to the control group, demonstrated a lesser stigmatizing attitude towards individuals with mental illness, as measured by the Internet-based survey which utilized the "social distance" concepts of stigma.
These data suggest that such "anti-stigma" campaigns using the potential of the Internet might be an effective tool in the fight against the stigmatization of persons with mental illness.

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    • "As an example of the former is an RCT in China which assessed knowledge and attitudes of medical students towards people with depression, and which showed that didactic teaching and self-directed learning were shown to be superior than didactic teaching alone (Rong et al. 2011). Another mental health staff orientated study conducted an RCT of an internet-based intervention for trainee and trained psychiatrists in Turkey, and found improved attitudes towards people with mental illness for those receiving the web-based intervention (Bayar et al. 2009). "
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