Creating a hierarchy of mental health stigma: testing the effect of psychiatric diagnosis on stigma

Hazell, C.M., Berry, C., Bogen-Johnston, L. and Banerjee, M. 2022. Creating a hierarchy of mental health stigma: testing the effect of psychiatric diagnosis on stigma. BJPsych Open. 8 (5) e174. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2022.578

TitleCreating a hierarchy of mental health stigma: testing the effect of psychiatric diagnosis on stigma
TypeJournal article
AuthorsHazell, C.M., Berry, C., Bogen-Johnston, L. and Banerjee, M.
Abstract

Background
Levels of mental health stigma experienced can vary as a function of the presenting mental health problem (e.g. diagnosis and symptoms). However, these studies are limited because they exclusively use pairwise comparisons. A more comprehensive examination of diagnosis-specific stigma is needed.

Aims
The aim of our study was to determine how levels of mental health stigma vary in relation to a number of psychiatric diagnoses, and identify what attributions predict levels of diagnosis-specific stigma.

Method
We conducted an online survey with members of the public. Participants were assessed in terms of how much stigma they had, and their attributions toward, nine different case vignettes, each describing a different mental health diagnosis.

Results
We recruited 665 participants. After controlling for social desirability bias and key demographic variables, we found that mental health stigma varied in relation to psychiatric diagnosis. Schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder were the most stigmatised diagnoses, and depression, generalised anxiety disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder were the least stigmatised diagnoses. No single attribution predicted stigma across diagnoses, but fear was the most consistent predictor.

Conclusions
Assessing mental health stigma as a single concept masks significant between-diagnosis variability. Anti-stigma campaigns are likely to be most successful if they target fearful attributions.

Article numbere174
JournalBJPsych Open
Journal citation8 (5)
ISSN2056-4724
Year2022
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2022.578
PubMed ID36156196
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2022.578
Publication dates
Published26 Sep 2022

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