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Stigma is one of the most important barriers to help-seeking and to personal recovery for people suffering from mental disorders. Stigmatizing attitudes are present among mental health professionals with negative effects on the quality of health care.
Network and moderator analysis were used to identify what path determines stigma, considering demographic and professional variables, personality traits, and burnout dimensions in a sample of mental health professionals (n = 318) from six Community Mental Health Services. The survey included the Attribution Questionnaire-9, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.
The personality trait of openness to new experiences resulted to determine lower levels of stigma. Burnout (personal accomplishment) interacted with emotional stability in predicting stigma, and specifically, for subjects with lower emotional stability lower levels of personal accomplishment were associated with higher levels of stigma.
Some personality traits may be accompanied by better empathic and communication skills, and may have a protective role against stigma. Moreover, burnout can increase stigma, in particular in subjects with specific personality traits. Assessing personality and burnout levels could help in identifying mental health professionals at higher risk of developing stigma. Future studies should determine whether targeted interventions in mental health professionals at risk of developing stigma may be effective in stigma prevention.
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