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How depressive symptoms correlate with stigma perception of mental illness

How depressive symptoms correlate with stigma perception of mental illness

International Review of Psychiatry 20(6): 510-514

The aim of this study was to survey the attitudes of 115 patients with the diagnosis of somatoform pain disorder, toward anticipated discrimination and mental illness stigma and how it is influenced by depressive symptoms. 115 consecutive in- and outpatients with somatoform pain disorder (mean age: 50 +/- 11 years; 62% female) from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, were administered a modified 12-item version of Link's Perceived Stigma Questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory. With regard to close personal relationships, such as taking care of children or dating, somatoform pain patients showed a rather high perceived stigma score (over 70% for both items). Also nearly 70% think that 'most employers' would pass over the application of a psychiatric patient in favour of another applicant. The overall results show a significant correlation with depressive symptoms (r = 0.228 and p = 0.014). Fear of stigma increases with depressive symptoms and both are a risk for treatment delay. The goal of future research should be the question how to reduce subjective stigma experiences of the patients affected in order to help them enter psychiatric treatment early and gain self-confidence and mental health back again.

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Accession: 053589912

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19085406

DOI: 10.1080/09540260802565422

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