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Mental health professionals' attitudes towards people with mental illness : Do they differ from attitudes held by people with mental illness?

Hansson, Lars LU ; Jormfeldt, Henrika LU ; Svedberg, Petra LU and Svensson, Bengt LU (2013) In International Journal of Social Psychiatry 59(1). p.48-54
Abstract
AIMS: Studies investigating mental health professionals' attitudes towards people with mental illness are scarce and there is a lack of comparative studies including both patients' and mental health professionals' attitudes. The aim of the present study was to investigate mental health staff's attitudes towards people with mental illness and compare these with the attitudes of patients in contact with mental health services. A further aim was to relate staff attitudes to demographic and work characteristics. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed including 140 staff and 141 patients. The study included a random sample of outpatients in contact with mental health services in the southern part of Sweden and staff working in these... (More)
AIMS: Studies investigating mental health professionals' attitudes towards people with mental illness are scarce and there is a lack of comparative studies including both patients' and mental health professionals' attitudes. The aim of the present study was to investigate mental health staff's attitudes towards people with mental illness and compare these with the attitudes of patients in contact with mental health services. A further aim was to relate staff attitudes to demographic and work characteristics. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed including 140 staff and 141 patients. The study included a random sample of outpatients in contact with mental health services in the southern part of Sweden and staff working in these services. Attitudes were investigated using a questionnaire covering beliefs of devaluation and discrimination of people with a mental illness. RESULTS: Negative attitudes were prevalent among staff. Most negative attitudes concerned whether an employer would accept an application for work, willingness to date a person who had been hospitalized, and hiring a patient to take care of children. Staff treating patients with a psychosis or working in inpatient settings had the most negative attitudes. Patient attitudes were overall similar to staff attitudes and there were significant differences in only three out of 12 dimensions. Patients' most negative attitudes were in the same area as the staff's. CONCLUSIONS: This study points to the suggestion that mental health care staff may hold negative attitudes and beliefs about people with mental illness with tentative implications for treatment of the patient and development and implementation of evidence-based services. Since patients and staff in most respects share these beliefs, it is essential to develop interventions that have an impact on both patients and staff, enabling a more recovery-oriented staff-patient relationship. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mental illness, Stigma, mental health staff, attitudes, staff-patient, relationship
in
International Journal of Social Psychiatry
volume
59
issue
1
pages
48 - 54
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000313980300006
  • pmid:21954319
  • scopus:84872970210
ISSN
1741-2854
DOI
10.1177/0020764011423176
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ad1c7efa-a678-450b-9853-c99ed74ad63b (old id 2168321)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21954319?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2011-10-03 14:43:06
date last changed
2019-02-20 01:57:27
@article{ad1c7efa-a678-450b-9853-c99ed74ad63b,
  abstract     = {AIMS: Studies investigating mental health professionals' attitudes towards people with mental illness are scarce and there is a lack of comparative studies including both patients' and mental health professionals' attitudes. The aim of the present study was to investigate mental health staff's attitudes towards people with mental illness and compare these with the attitudes of patients in contact with mental health services. A further aim was to relate staff attitudes to demographic and work characteristics. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed including 140 staff and 141 patients. The study included a random sample of outpatients in contact with mental health services in the southern part of Sweden and staff working in these services. Attitudes were investigated using a questionnaire covering beliefs of devaluation and discrimination of people with a mental illness. RESULTS: Negative attitudes were prevalent among staff. Most negative attitudes concerned whether an employer would accept an application for work, willingness to date a person who had been hospitalized, and hiring a patient to take care of children. Staff treating patients with a psychosis or working in inpatient settings had the most negative attitudes. Patient attitudes were overall similar to staff attitudes and there were significant differences in only three out of 12 dimensions. Patients' most negative attitudes were in the same area as the staff's. CONCLUSIONS: This study points to the suggestion that mental health care staff may hold negative attitudes and beliefs about people with mental illness with tentative implications for treatment of the patient and development and implementation of evidence-based services. Since patients and staff in most respects share these beliefs, it is essential to develop interventions that have an impact on both patients and staff, enabling a more recovery-oriented staff-patient relationship.},
  author       = {Hansson, Lars and Jormfeldt, Henrika and Svedberg, Petra and Svensson, Bengt},
  issn         = {1741-2854},
  keyword      = {mental illness,Stigma,mental health staff,attitudes,staff-patient,relationship},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {48--54},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {International Journal of Social Psychiatry},
  title        = {Mental health professionals' attitudes towards people with mental illness : Do they differ from attitudes held by people with mental illness?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764011423176},
  volume       = {59},
  year         = {2013},
}