Proposal Title

The Variability of Mental Illness Stigma

Primary Faculty Mentor’s Name

Dr. Marian Tabi

Proposal Track

Student

Session Format

Poster

Abstract

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the United States, half of all citizens have a mental illness; most of them never seek treatment (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2008). Presenting the general public with education focusing on the physical and chemical changes occurring in the brains of individuals with a mental illness correlates with reduced stigma and a shift in participants’ views, thus increasing health-seeking behaviors. The population studied was a convenience sample of 407 participants; 204 males and 203 females with ages ranging from 18 to 66 years and a mean age of 21. A total of 96% of the participants were undergraduate students, 1.5% professors, and 2.5% other/unidentified. Conduction of this study occurred in Spring 2014. The instruments used for data collection were two surveys developed by the investigators, which followed a one-group pretest-posttest design. The surveys are similar to attitude scales, which are “self-report data-collection instruments that ask respondents to report their attitudes or feelings on a continuum” (Nieswiadomy, 2012, p.193). Survey A (pre-survey) and Survey B (post-survey), each contained a combination of 38 stigmatizing attitudes (e.g., I feel that someone with a mental illness is attention-seeking) and non-stigmatizing attitudes (i.e., beliefs based on factual knowledge) to either agree with or not. Restrictive, stereotypical attitudes towards mental illness can be a barrier in health-seeking behavior for those who have a mental illness (Hugo, Boshoff, Traut, Zungu-Dirwayi, & Stein, 2003). Altering stigma through enhancing education is supported by the cognitive learning theory which focuses on underlying thought processes that affect learning and how one perceives information. An educational intervention piece was provided before Survey B. It included a list of mental illnesses as well as a picture of a healthy brain and a brain displaying physical changes associated with mental illness. This study indicated that 89% of participants had a decrease in mental illness stigma following the educational intervention. Using IBM SPSS 21, a paired-samples t-test was calculated to compare the mean Survey A score to the mean Survey B score. A significant decrease from Survey A to Survey B was found (t(403) = 23.572, p

Keywords

Mental health, Mental illness, Stigma, Suicide, Suicide prevention, Mental illness education, Mental health nursing, Psychiatric nursing

Award Consideration

1

Location

Concourse/Atrium

Presentation Year

2014

Start Date

11-15-2014 9:40 AM

End Date

11-15-2014 10:55 AM

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Nov 15th, 9:40 AM Nov 15th, 10:55 AM

The Variability of Mental Illness Stigma

Concourse/Atrium

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the United States, half of all citizens have a mental illness; most of them never seek treatment (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2008). Presenting the general public with education focusing on the physical and chemical changes occurring in the brains of individuals with a mental illness correlates with reduced stigma and a shift in participants’ views, thus increasing health-seeking behaviors. The population studied was a convenience sample of 407 participants; 204 males and 203 females with ages ranging from 18 to 66 years and a mean age of 21. A total of 96% of the participants were undergraduate students, 1.5% professors, and 2.5% other/unidentified. Conduction of this study occurred in Spring 2014. The instruments used for data collection were two surveys developed by the investigators, which followed a one-group pretest-posttest design. The surveys are similar to attitude scales, which are “self-report data-collection instruments that ask respondents to report their attitudes or feelings on a continuum” (Nieswiadomy, 2012, p.193). Survey A (pre-survey) and Survey B (post-survey), each contained a combination of 38 stigmatizing attitudes (e.g., I feel that someone with a mental illness is attention-seeking) and non-stigmatizing attitudes (i.e., beliefs based on factual knowledge) to either agree with or not. Restrictive, stereotypical attitudes towards mental illness can be a barrier in health-seeking behavior for those who have a mental illness (Hugo, Boshoff, Traut, Zungu-Dirwayi, & Stein, 2003). Altering stigma through enhancing education is supported by the cognitive learning theory which focuses on underlying thought processes that affect learning and how one perceives information. An educational intervention piece was provided before Survey B. It included a list of mental illnesses as well as a picture of a healthy brain and a brain displaying physical changes associated with mental illness. This study indicated that 89% of participants had a decrease in mental illness stigma following the educational intervention. Using IBM SPSS 21, a paired-samples t-test was calculated to compare the mean Survey A score to the mean Survey B score. A significant decrease from Survey A to Survey B was found (t(403) = 23.572, p