Assessment of internalized stigma among patients with mental disorders in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, India

Tintu T James, V Raman Kutty
Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 2015, 27 (4): 439-49
This study aims to compare the prevalence of high internalized stigma of mental illness among patients attending community-based and psychiatric hospital-based care in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, India and to examine the factors associated with high internalized stigma. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 290 patients, mean age 45 years, 38.2% and 61.8% female. A Malayalam version of the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness inventory was used for assessing internalized stigma. A multistage random sampling method was adopted. The prevalence of high internalized stigma was higher among patients from community-based care (44.7%) as compared with those from psychiatric hospital-based care (34.1%). Apart from treatment in community-based care, age ≤ 45 years, unemployment, absence of long-term friendships, no hope of cure with medication, presence of other illnesses, and substance use were significantly associated with high internalized stigma. More than one third of the subjects had high internalized stigma.

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