Purpose: Objective of the project was to develop a quantification tool for measurement of stigma in clinical practice for the purpose of identifying patients who have suffered severe stigma with the hopes of identifying and treating stigma related issues. Methods: Our tool which includes 49 items, quantifies four domains of stigma: (1) Personal; (2) Family; (3) Social; and (4) Illness. In addition, the items are distributed into three subscales: (a) self-experience; (b) illness related consequences; and (c) coping strategies. Results: In this pilot study conducted in India, we present the scale details and results. We found that as age increased fewer stigmas were experienced (r = -.541, p <. 01). Both duration of illness (r = -.339, p=. 067 (ns)) and duration of treatment (r = -.360, p=. 051 (ns)) showed a tendency toward a negative correlation with stigma scores, indicating that longer durations of illness and treatment were associated with fewer stigmas. Also, there was a correlational trend towards a greater number of relapses with higher scores of stigma. Finally, we found that there were no differences between violence groups, F (2,27)=1.240, p=ns, and knowledge of other patients, F (1,28)= 1.453, p=ns. Differences were found for suicide risk showing that those in the high level of suicide risk had greater stigma and discrimination, F (2,27)=8.676, p< .01. Non-compliance was also related to stigma, F (1,28)=5.701, p<. 05; individuals who did not comply with treatment reported higher stigma scores. Conclusions: We conclude that quantification of stigma is clinically important. Further work is required to show that this scale can change stigmatization levels. Expected Outcomes: Measurement of stigma amongst patients attending psychiatric clinics can develop evidence that can be an outcome measure.
- clinical risk,
- mental health,
- psychiatric illnesses
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amreshsrivastava/122/