Gender specific correlates of stigma toward depression in a Canadian general population sample

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Journal of Affective Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.71). 12/2007; 103(1-3):91-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2007.01.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify gender specific demographic, clinical, knowledge and attitudinal factors associated with stigma related to depression.
Data were collected between February and June 2006 in a probability sampled population-based survey of 3047 adults in Alberta, Canada. Measures included a depression stigma scale. Correlates of stigma were examined using bivariate analyses and linear regression modeling methods separately for men and women.
In multivariate linear regression models, correct identification of depression in a case description and agreement with health professionals about treatments were associated with lower stigma scores, regardless of gender. Endorsing GP/family doctors and taking medications as being the best help for depression was negatively associated with stigma scores in women. In men, endorsing family/friends as the best help for depression or "don't know" the best help for depression was positively associated with stigma scores. Women who had family/friends with depression had less stigma than women who did not have. This was not observed in men. Among male participants, significant interactions between being a health professional, having close family/friends with depression and reporting "weakness of character" as a causal factor for depression were found.
Improving mental health literacy may be one of the promising ways to reduce stigma associated with depression. Personal contacts with individuals with depression may have positive effects on stigma in women. Mental health education and promotion should clarify misconceptions about causes, treatments and risk factors for depression. Gender differences related to stigma should be considered in stigma reduction initiatives.

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    • "The structured questionnaire was in English. The question items and two clinical vignettes were developed based on review of the relevant literature (Lawrie et al., 1998; Jorm et al., 1999; Baker et al., 2005; Munro and Baker, 2007; Chow et al., 2007; Wang et al., 2007; Volmer et al., 2008) and input from research team members. The two clinical vignettes that portrayed schizophrenia and depression were presented separately in two sets of survey instrument with identical question items. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to describe the attitudes of primary care physicians towards mental health patients in Hong Kong, especially to examine the doctors' views on schizophrenia and depression, and the influence of their demographic variables. A questionnaire developed by the research team was sent to members of Hong Kong College of Family Physicians. Potential respondents were allocated on equal basis to one of the two sets of questionnaire, set 1 for clinical vignette of schizophrenia and set 2 for depression. A response rate of 37% (500 of 1,360) was achieved. There were 255 and 245 returned questionnaires for set 1 and set 2, respectively. Comparing the two clinical vignettes, there were large differences in their willingness to have the patient on practice list for mental issues (40.0% for schizophrenia versus 71.5% for depression) and to deal with the patient's needs (37.0% versus 60.9%). Multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis showed that doctors with the following demographic factors tended to have more worries or stigma on mental health patients: "having longer years of practice," "being female," "working in hospital," "employed in public sector," and "not having a relative/friend with mental health problems." Our study shows that two-thirds of primary care doctors are prepared to look after patients with depression, which is substantially higher than that for schizophrenia. In contrast with the Australian findings, the experienced doctors in Hong Kong have more negative attitudes towards mental health patients than the younger ones.
    Asia-Pacific Psychiatry 03/2013; 5(1):E19-28. DOI:10.1111/j.1758-5872.2012.00208.x · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    • "Additionally, other findings support the view that males are generally less likely to value health professional assistance in general and mental health services in particular (Cotton, Wright, Harris, Jorn, & McGorry, 2006). Moreover, Wang et al (2007) suggest that level of stigma may influence beliefs about treatment by gender: in their study about stigma toward depression, endorsing health professionals and taking medications as being the best treatment was negatively associated with stigma in women, while endorsing family/members as the best help was positively related with stigma scores among men. "
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    ABSTRACT: Backgound: In developing countries, little is known about public recognition and beliefs about treatment of severe mental disorders, both emergent key elements in reducing stigma and the gap of treatment of such patients. It has been proposed that they may be related to gender and perception of patient's aggressiveness and/or dangerousness. AIMS: To assess mental illness recognition and beliefs about treatment of schizophrenia, and to determine their relationship with perception of patient's aggressiveness/dangerousness and gender of the perceiver in a community sample of Mexico City. METHODS: A convenience sample of 1038 subjects responded to a questionnaire that assesses all variables after reading a vignette of a patient with paranoid schizophrenia. RESULTS: Women were 1.88 times more likely to recognize the presence of mental illness and considered psychiatric interventions as the most adequate treatment of symptoms. In contrast, non-psychiatric interventions were more often considered by men (64.7%). Responders who recognize mental illness were more likely to perceive the patient as dangerous, which was related to the suggestion of more restrictive interventions. CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to direct special efforts to increase mental health literacy among men. The general public needs objective information about aggression and dangerousness in anti-stigma campaigns among developing countries similar to Mexico.
    International Journal of Social Psychiatry 10/2012; 59(8). DOI:10.1177/0020764012461202 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    • "Some researchers have attempted to explain the differences between men and women related to depression based on gender socialization. For example, it has been suggested that men have less exposure to depression in other men and within themselves because masculine norms discourage reporting depressive symptoms (Kilmartin, 2005; Wang et al., 2007). Consequently, men and their family members may be less familiar with dealing with depression and this may cause more perceived disruption in the family as they try to navigate this new experience. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests that depression and family functioning are related and that women and men may differ in how they respond to and cope with depression. Significantly less attention has been paid to whether sex moderates the relationship between family functioning and depression. In the current study, the relationship between depression severity and perceived family functioning, both generally and in specific areas, was examined in women and men (N = 117) hospitalized with major depression. The level of depression severity was not significantly different in men and in women. Correlations between depression severity and most domains of family functioning were significant and positive for men only. Furthermore, sex statistically moderated the associations between depression severity and family functioning in the areas of problem solving, communication, affective responsiveness, and behavior control. The implications for the assessment and treatment of family dysfunction in severely depressed patients are discussed.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 07/2011; 199(7):449-53. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e318221412a · 1.81 Impact Factor
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