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Stigma and expressed emotion: a study of people with schizophrenia and their family members in China

  • Michael R. Phillips (a1), Veronica Pearson (a2), Feifei Li (a3), Minjie Xu (a4) and Lawrence Yang (a5)...

Abstract

Background

The most damaging effect of stigma is the internalisation of others' negative valuations.

Aims

To explore the factors that mediate patients' emotional and cognitive responses to stigma.

Method

Based on responses to 10 open-ended questions about stigma appended to the Chinese version of the Camberwell Family Interview, trained coders rated the effect of stigma on both patients and family members in 1491 interviews conducted with 952 family members of 608 patients with schizophrenia at 5 sites around China from 1990 to 2000.

Results

Family members reported that stigma had had a moderate to severe effect on the lives of patients over the previous 3 months in 60% of the interviews, and on the lives of other family members in 26% of the interviews. The effect of stigma on patients and family members was significantly greater if the respondent had a high level of expressed emotion, if the patient had more severe positive symptoms, if the respondent was highly educated and if the family lived in a highly urbanised area.

Conclusions

Clinicians should assess the effect of stigma as part of the standard work-up for patients with mental illness, and help patients and family members reduce the effect of stigma on their lives.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr M. R. Phillips, Director, Research Center of Clinical Epidemiology, Beijing Hui Long Guan Hospital, Beijing 100096, People's Republic of China

Footnotes

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See editorial, pp. 466–467, this issue.

Footnotes

References

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Stigma and expressed emotion: a study of people with schizophrenia and their family members in China

  • Michael R. Phillips (a1), Veronica Pearson (a2), Feifei Li (a3), Minjie Xu (a4) and Lawrence Yang (a5)...

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Stigma and expressed emotion: a study of people with schizophrenia and their family members in China

  • Michael R. Phillips (a1), Veronica Pearson (a2), Feifei Li (a3), Minjie Xu (a4) and Lawrence Yang (a5)...
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