The adverse impact of professional stigma on the recovery of individuals with mental illness

Research output: Other contributionOther contributions

Abstract

Having contact with people in recovery from mental illness has been the most successful means of reducing psychiatric stigma among the general public. However, for health care professionals, repeated exposure to patients having chronic and recurrent psychiatric symptoms and functional impairments may foster a negative attitude toward mental illness. Indeed, research shows that many front-line health workers have prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors toward individuals with mental illness. Although the professional stigma of mental illness is prevalent, limited research has examined its potential impact on the recovery of individuals with mental illness. This research gap not only hindered a comprehensive understanding of the stigma and recovery experiences of individuals with mental illness, but also impeded efforts to develop recovery-oriented services for these individuals. The present study addressed this research gap by examining the associations of professional stigma with clinical, functional, and personal recovery among individuals with mental illness and investigating the potential mechanisms underlying these associations. Cross-sectional questionnaire data were collected from 311 individuals with mental illness from Hong Kong. Results of structural equation modeling showed that professional stigma negatively affected clinical, functional, and personal recovery through self-stigma content and process, followed by service disengagement. Our findings contributed to the literature by revealing how professional stigma may intensify self-stigma, dampen service engagement, and hamper recovery among individuals with mental illness. Our findings also highlighted the importance of designing anti-stigma and anti-self-stigma interventions for providers and users of mental health services in efforts to improve service effectiveness and facilitate patient recovery. Copyright © 2019 ACP.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Citation

Chan, K. K. S. (2019, March). The adverse impact of professional stigma on the recovery of individuals with mental illness. Poster presented at The Asian Conference on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences 2019 (ACP2019), Toshi Center Hotel, Tokyo, Japan.

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