[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A widely prevalent stereotype connected with schizophrenia is its misperception as split personality. We examine whether the popular meaning of the term schizophrenia differs in countries of different cultural imprint by conducting an international cross-cultural comparison of public associations with the word schizophrenia in a Western and a Non-Western industrialized country. We analyze data from two representative population surveys in Novosibirsk, Russia (n = 745), and large German cities (n = 952) that used identical questions and sampling procedures. Unprompted associations with schizophrenia are compared by assigning them to a differentiated categorical system. 31.6% of respondents in Germany associated split personality with schizophrenia, compared to 2.0% in Novosibirsk. Logistic regression analysis controlling for age, gender and educational achievement demonstrated that country differences were independent of socio-demographic variables. Mention of split personality increased significantly with higher education. In Novosibirsk, associations with abnormality and unpredictability prevailed. We hypothesize on those cultural particularities in both countries that have shaped the different public understanding of the term and discuss implications for anti-stigma interventions.
No preview · Article · Nov 2007 · Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is commonly assumed that reforms in the sector of psychiatric care have contributed to reducing the stigma attached to mental illness. In order to examine whether a relation between the psychiatric care set-up and stigmatisation of the patients exists we compared public attitudes towards mental patients in three countries at differing stages of progress in psychiatric reform.
Population surveys on public attitudes towards mental patients were conducted in Novosibirsk (Russia) and Bratislava (Slovakia). The data were compared with those from a population survey that had recently been carried out in Germany. In all three surveys the same sampling procedure and fully structured interview were used. Public attitude towards mental patients was elicited using a perceived devaluation-discrimination measure.
Psychiatric patients face considerable rejection in all three locations in question. Overall, the degree of perceived devaluation and discrimination was similar in all countries with a significant, but marginal tendency towards stronger devaluation of mental patients in Germany.
Our results do not support a strong relationship between psychiatric reform and mental illness stigma.
No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · European Psychiatry