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Stigma and discrimination against people with schizophrenia related to medical services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

J. Harangozo, B. Reneses, E. Brohan, J. Sebes, G. Csukly, J. J. Lopez-Ibor, N. Sartorius, D. Rose, G. Thornicroft

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

King's Authors


Objective: To investigate whether people with schizophrenia experience discrimination when using health care services.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey in 27 countries in centres affiliated to the INDIGO Research Network, using face-to-face interviews with 777 participants with schizophrenia (62% male and 38% female). We analysed the data related to health issues, including health care, disrespect of mental health staff, and also personal privacy, safety and security, starting a family, pregnancy and childbirth. Discrimination was measured by the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC), which consists of 36 items comprising three sub-scales: positive experienced discrimination; negative experienced discrimination; and anticipated discrimination.

Results: More than 17% of patients experienced discrimination when treated for physical health care problems. More than 38% of participants felt disrespected by mental health staff, with higher ratings in the post-communist countries.

Conclusions: Mental health service providers have a key role in decreasing stigma in their provision of health care, and by doing more against stigmatizing and discriminating practices on the therapeutic and organizational level. This will require a change of attitudes and practices among mental and physical health care staff.

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