2000 issue 3


Volume 9, issue 3

Badania postaw społecznych

An overview of studies on society’s attitudes toward mental illness, the mentally ill and psychiatric services in Poland (1963-1999)

Włodzimierz Adam Brodniak1
1. Pracowni Psychiatrii Społecznej Zakładu Organizacji Ochrony ZdrowiaInstytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2000, 9, 339-351
Keywords: society's attitudes, mental illness, the mentally ill


The author reviews the research onsociety's attitudes towards mental illness, the mentallyill and psychiatric institutions, carried out inPoland in 1963-1999. The following demographic and social variables had the greatest bearing onsocial attitudes: level of education, age, occupationalstatus, socio-economic status and place of residence.In 1963-1999 many positive changes tookplace in society's attitudes, particularly in terms of increased knowledge and information about psychiatric problems, relative weakening of hostilityand negativity towards the mentally ill, increasedsocial support for the development of traditionaland community centers andforms of therapy andwidespread acceptance of involuntary treatment injustified cases. But on the other hand one can stillobserve many signs of apprehension, fear, hostilityand prejudice in the form of negative stereotypesand relatively large social distance with respect tothe mentally ill.

Address for correspondence:
Adres: Dr Włodzimierz Adam Brodniak, Pracownia Psychiatrii Społecznej
Zakładu Organizacji Ochrony Zdrowia Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
Al. Sobieskiego 1/9, 02-957 Warszawa