Aims — To describe patterns of experienced andanticipated discrimination in a sample of schizophrenic patients recruited in Italy in the context of the International Study of Discrimination and Stigma Outcomes (INDIGO). Methods — Cross-sectional survey on a sample of 50 people with clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia recruited in the Italian INDIGO sites of Verona and Brescia. The 41-item interview-based Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC-10), which assesses how experienced and anticipated discrimination affects the life of people with schizophrenia, was used. Results — The most frequently occurring areas of experienced discrimination were discrimination by family members (44%), making and keeping friends (33%), keeping (36%) and finding a job (34%), getting or keeping a driving licence (32%). Anticipated discrimination was common in applying for work, training or education (58%), lookingfor close relationships (50%) and doing something important (48%); 68% felt the need to conceal their diagnosis. Positive experiences were rare, and getting welfare benefits/disability pensions was the only area where participants reported being treated with advantage (34%) more commonly than with disadvantage (8%). Overall, experienced discrimination reported by Italian patients was in the intermediate position of the score range of all INDIGO sites, whereas anticipated discrimination was lower than that reported in the other countries. Conclusions — Interventions to reduce discrimination against people with schizophrenia may need to address both actual and anticipated discrimination. Targeted therapeutic strategies aiming to improve self-esteem of people with schizophrenia may be usefulto facilitate their social participation and full inclusion in the community.
Declaration of Interest: The authors declare they have not competing interests.