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Self-Stigma Experiences Among Older Adults with Mental Health Problems Residing in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Qualitative Study

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Vasiliki Tzouvara, Chris Papadopoulos, Gurch Randhawa

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
E-pub ahead of print29 Dec 2017

King's Authors


Self-stigma is linked with a variety of deleterious consequences for the stigmatised individual. Much of the past research on self-stigma focuses on younger adults; however, little is known about the self-stigma experience among institutionalised older adults with mental health problems. This study aims to explore experiences of self-stigma among older adults with mental health problems in long-term care facilities. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted. Insight into mental illness was identified as having a key influence upon the self-stigma experiences among this group. Participants shared common understandings, views, and behavioural reactions towards mental health problems. Lacking control, public stigma, sympathy, disinterest, avoidance, and fear were key themes among them. Re-conceptualising self-stigma theories and implementing interventions that aim at reducing stigmatising attitudes among this group are essential.

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