["Schizophrenia has many faces" - evaluation of the Austrian Anti-Stigma-Campaign 2000-2002]

Alfred Grausgruber, Werner Schöny, Rosemarie Grausgruber-Berner, Gernot Koren, Beatrice Frajo Apor, Johannes Wancata, Ullrich Meise
Psychiatrische Praxis 2009, 36 (7): 327-33

OBJECTIVE: In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the WPA campaign "Open the Doors - against Stigma and Discrimination because of Schizophrenia", five years upon completion of the campaign, a comparative study was performed to assess the possible changes in the general public's attitudes towards schizophrenia.

METHODS: Representative population survey, based on a Quota-sampling (n = 988); face-to-face interviews with standardized questionnaires.

RESULTS: The results of this study were somewhat sobering, with 22.3 % of the population not having any associations with the term "schizophrenia", 81.3 % not wanting to be further informed about the illness, and 64.1 % agreeing with the statement that patients suffering from schizophrenia are dangerous; compared to the survey in 1998, there was a significant increase within this category. Furthermore, an increase of social distance towards this group of patients has also been noted.

CONCLUSION: It is to be asked whether a short intervention can change people's profound attitudes.

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