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Honest, Open, Proud (HOP) for people with mental illness in Hong Kong: a randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Self-stigma among people with mental illness is negatively associated with personal and clinical recovery. Due to the concealable nature of mental illness, people with mental illness experience constant struggles between concealment and disclosure. Disclosure of mental health challenges can potentially minimize negative impacts of self-stigma and enhance self-esteem and sense of empowerment. Honest, Open, Proud (HOP) is a peer-led intervention that promotes autonomous and dignified decisions about disclosure.

PURPOSE: This study examined the effectiveness of HOP on concealment motivation, empowerment, self-stigma, stigma stress, and recovery among people with lived experience of mental illness in Hong Kong.

METHODOLOGY: A total of 162 participants with a mean age of 45.38 were recruited and randomized into intervention group and waitlist control group. Participants in the intervention group were invited to attend a 6-session HOP group intervention.

RESULTS: Significant improvement in optimism score from the empowerment scale was found in the intervention group compared to the waitlist control group and the effect was sustained at 1-month follow-up. However, significant changes were not found in other outcome variables.

CONCLUSION: Only improvement in optimism was observed in the current study. Future study needs to examine the effects of HOP with further modification to maximize the benefit for people with lived experience of mental illness in the local context.

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