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Pattern of experienced and anticipated discrimination among people with depression in Nigeria: a cross-sectional study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yewande O. Oshodi, Jibril Abdulmalik, Bolanle Ola, Bawo O. James, Chiara Bonetto, Doriana Cristofalo, Tine Van Bortel, Norman Sartorius, Graham Thornicroft

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

King's Authors


Stigma is commonly encountered by individuals with mental illness and leads to discrimination. These phenomena restrict access to and use of mental health care services. This study evaluated the impact of stigma and discrimination among individuals with major depression in Nigeria.

A cross-sectional study was conducted across four tertiary psychiatric facilities located in different regions of Nigeria. Consenting adults attending the psychiatric units in the participating sites with a diagnosis of a major depressive disorder and having an episode within the past 12 months were recruited. Interviews were conducted using a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Discrimination and Stigma Scale, the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale, the Boston University Self Empowerment Scale, and the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale.

One hundred and three interviews were completed. The mean age of the participants was 35.5 years. The most frequent item for experienced discrimination was being unfairly treated in dating or intimate relationships (13.6 %), while concealment of mental illness was the most common for anticipated discrimination (51.5 %). Younger people (age less than 40 years) with a higher level of education appear to be at high risk for experienced discrimination.

Important suggestions may be derived for clinicians, caregivers, and policy makers to appreciate the role of stigma in the burden, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with depression, especially for younger people with higher level of education.

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