Sociodemographic and clinical factors related to devaluation/discrimination and rejection experiences among users of mental health services

  • Bertil Lundberg
  • Lars Hansson
  • Elisabeth Wentz
  • Tommy Björkman
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Background

A major goal in mental health research and policy is to identify ways to reduce stigma among persons with mental illness.

Aims

The aims of the present study were to (1) investigate the prevalence of rejection and devaluation/discrimination in a cross-sectional sample of 200 individuals with experiences of mental illness and (2) investigate the relationship between sociodemographic and clinical, client characteristics and perceived devaluation/discrimination and experiences of rejection.

Methods

A total of 200 subjects in current contact with mental health services or with earlier experiences of this were interviewed regarding beliefs about devaluation/discrimination and rejection experiences.

Results

The results showed that subjects with a higher degree of global functioning perceived less devaluation/discrimination. With regard to rejections experiences associations were found between rejection experiences and global functioning, number of admissions to inpatient psychiatric care and current contact with social services.

Conclusion

Further research should investigate the causal relationship between stigma experiences and psychosocial functioning. To understand what consequences perceived devaluation/discrimination has for the afflicted, a psychological and social approach in the research must be taken into consideration.

Key words

stigma mental illness devaluation discrimination 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertil Lundberg
    • 1
  • Lars Hansson
    • 1
  • Elisabeth Wentz
    • 1
  • Tommy Björkman
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Health Sciences, Division of NursingLund UniversityLundSweden

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