Community Attitude and Associated Factors towards People with Mental Illness among Residents of Worabe Town, Silte Zone, Southern Nation's Nationalities and People's Region, Ethiopia

Asres Bedaso, Tebikew Yeneabat, Zegeye Yohannis, Kufa Bedasso, Fetuma Feyera
PloS One 2016, 11 (3): e0149429

BACKGROUND: Mental illnesses worldwide are accompanied by another pandemic, that of stigma and discrimination. Public understanding about mental illnesses and attitudes towards people with mental illness play a paramount role in the prevention and treatment of mental illness and the rehabilitation of people with mental illness.

OBJECTIVE: To assess community attitude and associated factors towards people with mental illness.

METHODS: Community based cross-sectional study was conducted from April 28 to May 28, 2014. Quantitative data were collected through interview from 435 adults selected using simple random sampling. Data were collected using community attitude towards mentally ill (CAMI) tool to assess community attitude towards people with mental illness and associated factors. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of community attitude towards people with mental illness and the level of significance association was determined by beta with 95% confidence interval and P less than 0.05.

RESULTS: The highest mean score was on social restrictiveness subscale (31.55±5.62). Farmers had more socially restrictive view (β = 0.291, CI [0.09, 0.49]) and have less humanistic view towards mentally ill (β = 0.193, CI [-0.36, -0.03]). Having mental health information had significantly less socially restrictive (β = -0.59, CI [-1.13, -0.05]) and less authoritarian (β = -0.10, CI [-1.11, -0.06]) view towards mentally ill but respondents who are at university or college level reported to be more socially restrictive (β = 0.298, CI [0.059, 0.54]). Respondents whose age is above 48 years old had significantly less view of community mental health ideology (β = -0.59, CI [-1.09, -0.08]).

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: Residents of Worabe town were highly socially restrictive but less authoritarian. There was high level of negative attitude towards people with mental illness along all the subscales with relative variation indicating a need to develop strategies to change negative attitude attached to mental illness in Worabe town at community level.

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