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Attitudes towards the people with mental illness: Comparison between Czech medical doctors and general population

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Petr Winkler, Karolina Mlada, Miroslava Janoušková, Aneta Weissová, Eva Tušková, Ladislav Csémy, Sara Evans-Lacko

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Published2016

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Abstract

Purpose: Stigma among health care professionals is detrimental to the life of those with mental health problems. In the region of post-communist Europe, the level of stigma among health care providers remains understudied. We aimed to compare attitudes towards people with mental illness between Czech medical doctors and the general population.
Methods: The Community Attitudes towards Mentally Ill (CAMI) scale was used to measure stigmatizing attitudes among a nationally representative sample of (i) adults residing in the Czech Republic (n=1,810) and (ii) Czech medical doctors (n=1,200). Descriptive statistics and multivariable linear regression were used to assess differences between both samples.
Results: Compared to the general adult population in the Czech Republic, Czech medical doctors demonstrated less stigmatizing attitudes toward people with mental illness in each of the CAMI items as well as in the total CAMI score. Medical doctors, however, were more likely to consider mental hospitals as an up-to-date method of treating people with mental illness.
Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate more favourable attitudes towards people with mental illness among Czech medical doctors when compared to the Czech general population. Stigma, however, is high among both of these groups.

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