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Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 47, Issue 10, pp 1685–1693 | Cite as

Understanding reduced activity in psychosis: the roles of stigma and illness appraisals

  • Anna Moriarty
  • Suzanne Jolley
  • Margie M. Callanan
  • Philippa Garety
Original Paper

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing activity and social inclusion for people with psychosis is a primary goal of mental health services. Understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying reduced activity will inform more carefully targeted and effective interventions. Anxiety, depression, positive symptom distress and negative symptoms all make a contribution, but much of the variance in activity remains unaccounted for and is poorly understood. Appraisals of illness impact on adjustment to illness: mood, engagement in treatment and quality of life are all affected. It is plausible that illness appraisals will also influence activity. This study investigated the extent to which three components of illness appraisal accounted for variance in activity.

Method

50 people with psychosis completed measures of activity, positive and negative symptoms, anxiety and depression, cognitive functioning, stigma, insight and illness perceptions.

Results

Multiple regression revealed that internalised stigma, but not insight or illness perception, was significantly correlated with reduced activity. 42% of the variance in activity was accounted for by stigma, negative symptoms, positive symptom distress and social support. Affect, cognitive functioning and positive symptoms were not associated with activity.

Conclusion

For people with psychosis, activity levels appear to be compromised particularly by fears of what others think of them and how they will be treated by others. Directly targeting these fears should improve the impact of psychological interventions on functioning. Specific, individualised cognitive behavioural interventions could be a useful adjunct to recovery-focused narrative therapies and complement public information campaigns to reduce discriminatory attitudes and behaviours.

Keywords

Schizophrenia Social functioning Insight Discrimination 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Department of Applied Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University, Salomons Campus, in partial fulfilment of the award of doctorate in clinical psychology.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Moriarty
    • 1
    • 3
  • Suzanne Jolley
    • 2
  • Margie M. Callanan
    • 1
  • Philippa Garety
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied PsychologyCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.CAMHS Tier 2BromleyUK

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