What about psychiatrists' attitude to mentally ill people?
ABSTRACT Firstly, to assess and, secondly, to compare experts' and lay attitudes towards community psychiatry and the respective social distance towards mentally ill people.
Comparison of two representative Swiss samples, one comprising of 90 psychiatrists, the other including 786 individuals of the general population.
The psychiatrists' attitude was significantly more positive than that of the general population although both samples have a positive attitude to community psychiatry. The statement that mental health facilities devalue a residential area has revealed most agreement. Psychiatrists and the public do not differ in their social distance to mentally ill people. Among both samples, the level of social distance increases the more the situation described implies "social closeness".
The strategy to use psychiatrists as role models or opinion leaders in anti-stigma campaigns cannot be realised without accompanying actions. Psychiatrists must be aware that their attitudes do not differ from the general public and, thus, they should improve their knowledge about stigma and discrimination towards people with mental illnesses.
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ABSTRACT: We examined how different types of mental illness elicited varying levels of predicted criminality and compared this with factors which might also elicit a negative response, specifically, a criminal history and social disadvantage. A sample of 243 participants undertook an anonymous, online experiment. Each participant was exposed to one of six vignettes: three involved mental illness (schizophrenia, depression/anxiety, or alcohol dependency); two in which socio-economic background was manipulated; and a control. The impact of mental illness, history of criminality and social disadvantage on the likelihood that the character in the vignette would commit future crime, and levels of sympathy, trust and potential for rehabilitation in the character were measured. Age and personal experience of mental illness and/or criminal behaviour in the participants was also examined. The sample were significantly more likely to think that a character would 'possibly' commit future crime if he had mental illness in comparison to the control, but crimes were expected to be minor. Significantly more discriminatory behaviour was reported towards the character with no mental illness but a disadvantaged background. Familiarity ameliorated this effect. Prejudice towards those with a criminal past and a disadvantaged background may be stronger than prejudice against those with mental illnesses.03/2013; 209(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.02.013
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ABSTRACT: Findings on stigmatizing attitudes toward individuals with schizophrenia have been inconsistent in comparisons between mental health professionals' and members of the general public. In this regard, it is important to obtain data from understudied sociocultural settings, and to examine how attitudes toward mental illness vary in such settings. Nationwide samples of 1015 general population individuals and 1414 psychiatrists from Brazil were recruited between 2009 and 2010. Respondents from the general population were asked to identify an unlabeled schizophrenia case vignette. Psychiatrists were instructed to consider "someone with stabilized schizophrenia". Stereotypes, perceived prejudice and social distance were assessed. For the general population, stigma determinants replicated findings from the literature. Level of vignette's identification constituted an important correlate. For psychiatrists, determinants correlated in the opposite direction. When both samples were compared, psychiatrists showed the highest scores in stereotypes and perceived prejudice; for the general population, the better they recognized the vignette, the higher they scored in those dimensions. Psychiatrists reported the lowest social distance scores compared with members of the general population. Knowledge about schizophrenia thus constituted an important determinant of stigma; consequently, factors influencing stigma should be further investigated in the general population and in psychiatrists as well.Psychiatry Research 12/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.11.023 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aims. To investigate recognition of diagnostic overshadowing, i.e., misattribution of physical symptoms to mental illness, among emergency medicine professionals; further, to identify contributory and mitigating factors to diagnostic overshadowing. Methods. In-depth individual interviews of 25 emergency department clinicians and qualitative analysis using thematic analysis. Results. Diagnostic overshadowing was described as a significant issue. Contributing factors included: (1) problems of knowledge and information gathering; (2) clinicians' attitudes toward people with mental illness, substance misuse and frequent attenders; and (3) difficulties in working with mental health services in the context of a 4-h target for discharge from the emergency department. Avoidance of patients with a psychiatric diagnosis was also described, due to fear of violence. Conclusion. The physical health care of people with mental illness in emergency departments may be adversely affected by diagnostic overshadowing and avoidance by clinical staff, along with difficulties created by the illness, medication and the emergency department environment. Greater joint working between psychiatric and emergency department staff is suggested as one way to reduce diagnostic overshadowing.Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 10/2012; DOI:10.1017/S2045796012000571 · 3.36 Impact Factor