Title: Continuum beliefs and stigmatising beliefs about mental illness: results from an Asian community survey
year: 2017
Journal: BMJ Open
Volume: 7
Issue: 4
Pages: e014993
date: 01/04/2005
ISSN: 2044-6055 (Electronic);2044-6055 (Linking)
Legal note: PMC5594210
Article Number: 28381420
Keywords: Adolescent;Adult;Aged;Alcoholism;*Attitude to Health;Cross-Sectional Studies;Dementia;Depressive Disorder;*Family Conflict;Female;Humans;Linear Models;Male;*Mental Disorders;Middle Aged;Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder;Schizophrenia;Singapore;*Social Distance;*Social Stigma;*Stress, Psychological;*Students;Surveys and Questionnaires;*Unemployment;Young Adult;*Continuum Beliefs;*Multi-ethnic;*Stigma
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To establish the prevalence and correlates of continuum beliefs for five mental illnesses in a multiethnic population and to explore its association with stigma. DESIGN: A community-based, cross-sectional study. SETTING: A national study in a multiethnic Asian country. PARTICIPANTS: A comprehensive study of 3006 Singapore residents (Singapore citizens and permanent residents) aged 18-65 years who were living in Singapore at the time of the survey. OUTCOME MEASURES: Parameters assessed included belief in a continuum of symptom experience, stigma dimensions and causal beliefs in mental illness. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression (MLR). RESULTS: About half of the population indicated agreement with a continuum of symptoms for depression (57.9%) and dementia (46.8%), whereas only about one in three respondents agreed with it for alcohol abuse (35.6%), schizophrenia (32.7%) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (36.8%). MLR analyses revealed that students (beta=0.28; 95% CI 0.05 to 0.50; p=0.018) and those who were unemployed (beta=0.60; 95% CI 0.26 to 0.95; p=0.001) (vs employed) as well as those who had previous contact with people with mental illness (beta = 0.31; 95% CI 0.18 to 0.45; p<0.001) and believed stress, family arguments, difficulties at work or financial difficulties to be a cause for mental illness (beta=0.43; 95% CI 0.13 to 0.73; p=0.005) were associated with a higher belief in a continuum of symptom experience. Continuum beliefs were related to lower desire for social distance in alcohol abuse, OCD and schizophrenia; however, they were associated with higher scores on 'weak-not-sick' stigma dimension in dementia and schizophrenia. CONCLUSIONS: Perceiving that a person with a mental illness is similar to themselves may reduce social distancing by the public. Thus, the approach may lend itself well to public education aimed at reducing stigma.
Notes: Subramaniam, Mythily;Abdin, Edimansyah;Picco, Louisa;Shahwan, Shazana;Jeyagurunathan, Anitha;Vaingankar, Janhavi Ajit;Chong, Siow Ann;eng;Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't;England;2017/04/07 06:00;BMJ Open. 2017 Apr 5;7(4):e014993. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014993.
URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28381420;https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5594210/pdf/bmjopen-2016-014993.pdf
URI: https://open-access.imh.com.sg/handle/123456789/5179
Authors Address: Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, Singapore Mythily@imh.com.sg.;Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, Singapore.
Appears in Collections:2017

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