Differential stigmatizing attitudes of healthcare professionals towards psychiatry and patients with mental health problems: something to worry about? A pilot study

Laura M. Gras, Marte Swart, Cees J. Slooff, Jaap van Weeghel, Henderikus Knegtering, Stynke Castelein*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study compares stigmatizing attitudes of different healthcare professionals towards psychiatry and patients with mental health problems.

    The Mental Illness Clinicians Attitude (MICA) questionnaire is used to assess stigmatizing attitudes in three groups: general practitioners (GPs, n = 55), mental healthcare professionals (MHCs, n = 67) and forensic psychiatric professionals (FPs, n = 53).

    A modest positive attitude towards psychiatry was found in the three groups (n = 176). Significant differences were found on the total MICA-score (p <0.001). GPs scored significantly higher than the FPs and the latter scored significantly higher than the MHCs on all factors of the MICA. Most stigmatizing attitudes were found on professionals' views of health/social care field and mental illness and disclosure. Personal and work experience did not influence stigmatizing attitudes.

    Although all three groups have a relatively positive attitude using the MICA, there is room for improvement. Bias toward socially acceptable answers cannot be ruled out. Patients' view on stigmatizing attitudes of professionals may be a next step in stigma research in professionals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)299-306
    Number of pages8
    JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
    Volume50
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-2015

    Keywords

    • Stigma
    • Attitudes toward mental illness
    • Healthcare professionals
    • Mental health
    • MICA
    • GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS
    • CLINICIAN ATTITUDES
    • ILLNESS STIGMA
    • PEOPLE
    • DISCRIMINATION
    • METAANALYSIS
    • DISORDERS
    • ENGLAND
    • SCALE
    • SCHIZOPHRENIA

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