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Title: Perceived stigma shadowing mental illness : public opinion
Authors: Cilia, Rita
Keywords: Stigma (Social psychology)
Mental illness
Public opinion
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Cilia, R. (2007). Perceived stigma shadowing mental illness : public opinion (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: This study attempted to explore the perceived predominant thinking, which persons with mental disorders instigate in members of the Maltese general public. Additionally, it also looked at how much society associated a mental disorder with the mentally ill person's family, workplace stigma and the public's understanding of mental illness. This entailed the use of self-completion mail questionnaires that investigated the presence or absence of discriminatory attitudes and beliefs among the general public. The extensive literature review suggested that notwithstanding current trends and efforts towards community integration and psychiatric care provision, existent discriminatory attitudes affected negatively the quality of life of individuals with mental disorders. Consequentially, the success of such policies is therefore diminished. The most salient findings of this study suggest that most respondents believe in the efficacy of psychotropic medications and psychosocial interventions as they enhance tolerability and safety. Therefore, this may have had a positive impact on the image of psychiatry among the general public and consequently, also on people's attitudes towards those who are being so treated. Another persistent finding and one that is consonant with other similar research studies, is a trend towards less perceived stigmatisation being particularly pronounced among people who are familiar or have contact with psychiatric people. This research concluded that perceived stigma is still prevalent among the general public, particularly perceptions of dangerousness, which in turn influenced a desire for social distance. Nevertheless, this study found some reasons for optimism, as it is also evident that the level of tolerability is much higher than it was in the past. More local research is needed to help identify the most effective ways to bring about lasting reduction of discrimination and stigma. Local planners need to enhance anti-stigma educational interventions, as greater knowledge is associated with less distancing attitudes.
Description: B.SC.(HONS)NURSING
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2007
Dissertations - FacHScNur - 2007

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