Date: 20 Dec 2012

Perceived Stigma of Patients with Severe Mental Illness in Hong Kong: Relationships with Patients’ Psychosocial Conditions and Attitudes of Family Caregivers and Health Professionals

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Abstract

This descriptive survey investigated the level of perceived stigma among Chinese patients with severe mental illness (SMI) and its relationships with patients’ psychosocial conditions and family caregivers’ and mental health professionals’ attitudes toward SMI in Hong Kong. A clustered, random sample of 311 patients and their family caregivers and 73 Chinese professionals participated. The patients reported a high level of withdrawal/secrecy and the professionals perceived a low to moderate level of stereotype/restriction to their patients. Families’ expressed emotion and caregiving burden could increase patients’ perceived stigma. Strategies in de-stigmatization of mental illness have been discussed, particularly from family-based approach.