European Study on the Attitude of Psychiatrists Towards Their Patients
Background: Many people think that people with mental disorders might be dangerous or unpredictable. These patients face various sources of disadvantages and experience discrimination on job interviews, in education, and housing. Mental health-related stigma (MHS) occurs not only within the public community, it is a growing issue among professionals as well. Aim: We designed a prospective, observational, multi-centre, international study of 35 European countries to investigate the MHS among medical specialists and trainees in the field of general adult and child and adolescent psychiatry. Methods: An internet-based, anonymous survey will measure the stigmatizing attitude by using the local version of the Opening Minds Stigma Scale for Health Care Providers. Presentation of the Results: The results of the research will be published in an international peer-reviewed journal. Furthermore, we will present the results on national and international conferences.
There is a rising interest for the examination of the MHS that has been mostly studied among community people. Numerous international studies have shown that people with mental illness are considered to be unpredictable and dangerous (Corrigan et al, 2005). These people often experience disadvantages in various situations, like job interviews, in education, and housing (Corrigan et al, 1998; Thornicroft et al., 2009). The MHS has been much less examined among medical professionals and psychiatrists; however, studies have shown that it is prevalent among them as well. A recent multi-centre study (Harangozó et al., 2014) collected the positive and negative experiences of 777 people with schizophrenia about the access to healthcare services in 27 countries. More than 17% of the patients experienced some kind of discrimination due to their mental illness when they sought medical care for physical problems. More than 38% felt that the medical staff was disrespectful during psychiatric services. Higher discrimination was found within the former Eastern Bloc countries. Generally, psychiatrists tend to be more empathetic towards people with mental illnesses; however, the MHS could be observed among them as well. A few studies have also shown that their attitude is more negative than that of community people (Wahl et al., 2010; Henderson et al., 2014). Based on the ambiguous results and the lack of studies focusing on the stigmatizing attitude of psychiatrists, we aimed to examine this important issue among medical professionals of the mental health field. Aim of the study: Our aim is to investigate the stigmatizing attitudes and behaviours of adult psychiatric and child and adolescent psychiatric professionals and trainees towards people with mental illness in European countries. The results of our study will contribute to the expansion of the existing knowledge both on national and international levels. The outcome could be used for the development of anti-stigma programs and the improvement of therapeutic options in the future. Structure of the research: Our study is cross-sectional and multi-centred across 35 European countries. We would like to measure the extent of the stigmatizing attitude and its relationship with psychosocial factors. - Sociodemographic measures: - sociodemographic data: age, sex - professional data: workplace categories (university, psychiatric hospital, outpatient service, research centre); location of the workplace (capital, county seat, rural town, small town, village); years of the professional experience; current psychotherapeutic activity - personal information (related to a stigmatizing attitude): mental illness known in his/her family or close friend, previous treatment for own mental illness, attending in psychotherapy - National version of the Opening Minds Stigma Scale for Health Care Providers (OMS-HC) An online questionnaire will be provided for the participants of our study. Participation in the study is voluntary and it can be terminated at any time without having to give any reasons.
- Mental Illness
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