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

L.M. Gras, M. Swart, C. Slooff, J. van Weeghel, H. Knegtering, S. Castelein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
This study compares stigmatizing attitudes of different healthcare professionals towards psychiatry and patients with mental health problems.
Methods
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).ResultsA 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.
Conclusions
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.Keywords: Stigma, Attitudes toward mental illness, Healthcare professionals, Mental health, MICA
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-306
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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