Newspaper coverage of mental illness in Hong Kong between 2002 and 2012: impact of introduction of a new Chinese name of psychosis

Sherry K W Chan, Elaine Y N Ching, Kenneth S C Lam, Hon-Cheong So, Christy L M Hui, Edwin H M Lee, Wing C Chang, Eric Y H Chen
Early Intervention in Psychiatry 2017, 11 (4): 342-345

AIM: In Hong Kong, 'si-jue-shi-tiao' () was officially adopted as the Chinese translation of psychosis in 2001. The new term covered a broader aspect of psychosis, compared with the original term, 'jing-shen-fen-lie' (), which gave a negative stereotype as a 'mental split-mind disorder'. The current study compared the usage of the two terms, and added evidence to the name changing as anti-stigma strategy.

METHODS: The usage and themes of the new Chinese name of psychosis 'si-jue-shi-tiao' was examined in 1217 local newspaper articles in comparison with the traditional Chinese name of schizophrenia 'jing-shen-fen-lie'.

RESULTS: Results show that an increase use of 'si-jue-shi-tiao' was found equally across themes, whereas 'jing-shen-fen-lie' was decreasingly used in positive/neutral themes over time. The association of 'jing-shen-fen-lie' with dangerous wordings increased over time, but no change was found with the new name.

CONCLUSIONS: Our finding adds to literature on effects of changing new name on public stigma.

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