Characteristics linked to the reduction of stigma towards schizophrenia: A pre-and-post study of parents of adolescents attending an educational program

Yiwei Ling, Mayumi Watanabe, Hatsumi Yoshii, Kouhei Akazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The stigma of schizophrenia constitutes a major barrier to early detection and treatment of this illness. Anti-stigma education has been welcomed to reduce stigma among the general public. This study examined the factors associated with the effectiveness of a web-based educational program designed to reduce the stigma associated with schizophrenia. Methods. Using Link's Devaluation-Discrimination Scale to measure stigma, the effect of the program was measured by the difference in pre- and post-program tests. In the present study, we focused on program participants whose stigma towards schizophrenia had considerably improved (a reduction of three points or more between pre- and post-program tests) or considerably worsened (an increase of three points or more). The study participants were 1,058 parents of middle or high school students across Japan, including 508 whose stigma had significantly decreased after the program and 550 whose stigma had significantly increased. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to predict a considerable reduction in stigma (by three or more points) using independent variables measured before exposure to the program. In these models, we assessed the effects of demographic characteristics of the participants and four measures of knowledge and views on schizophrenia (basic knowledge, Link's Devaluation-Discrimination Scale, ability to distinguish schizophrenia from other conditions, and social distance). Results: Participants' employment status, occupation, basic knowledge of schizophrenia, pre-program Link's Devaluation-Discrimination Scale score, and social distance were significant factors associated with a considerable decrease in the stigma attached to schizophrenia following the educational program. Specifically, full-time and part-time employees were more likely to experience reduced stigma than parents who were self-employed, unemployed, or had other employment status. Considerable decreases in stigma were more likely among parents working in transportation and communication or as homemakers than among other occupational groups. In addition, parents with higher pre-program levels of stigma, lower basic knowledge, or lower social distance were more likely to have reduced levels of stigma. Conclusions: Based on the regression analysis results presented here, several possible methods of reducing stigma were suggested, including increasing personal contact with people with schizophrenia and the improvement of law and insurance systems in primary and secondary industries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number258
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 18

Keywords

  • Educational program
  • Multiple logistic regression
  • Parents of adolescents
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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