Self-stigma, empowerment and perceived discrimination among people with schizophrenia in 14 European countries: the GAMIAN-Europe study

Elaine Brohan, Rodney Elgie, Norman Sartorius, Graham Thornicroft
Schizophrenia Research 2010, 122 (1-3): 232-8
There is a growing interest in examining self-stigma as a barrier to recovery from schizophrenia. To date, no studies have examined mental health service user's experiences of self-stigma throughout Europe. This study describes the level of self-stigma, stigma resistance, empowerment and perceived discrimination reported by mental health service users with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder across 14 European countries. Data were collected from 1229 people using a postal survey from members of mental health non-governmental organisations. Almost half (41.7%) reported moderate or high levels of self-stigma, 49.2% moderate or high stigma resistance, 49.7% moderate or high empowerment and 69.4% moderate or high perceived discrimination. In a reduced multivariate model 42% of the variance in self-stigma scores was predicted by levels of empowerment, perceived discrimination and social contact. These results suggest that self-stigma appears to be common and sometimes severe among people with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders in Europe.

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