2010 issue 4

Back

Volume 19, issue 4

Original article

Frequency of stigmatization experiences among patients with schizophrenia as compared to those with other health problems

Piotr Świtaj1, Jacek Wciórka1, Paweł Grygiel2, Julita Smolarska-Świtaj3, Marta Anczewska1, Anna Chrostek1
1. I Klinika Psychiatryczna, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, Warszawa
2. Instytut Socjologii, Uniwersytet Rzeszowski
3. Klinika Kardiologii, Centralny Szpital Kliniczny, Warszawa
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2010; 19(4): 269–274
Keywords: stigma, schizophrenia, mental disorders, physical illnesses

Abstract

Aim. The purpose of this study was to compare the frequency of social stigma experiences reported by patients with schizophrenia and by people with other health problems.
Method. The stigma subscale of the Consumer Experiences of Stigma Questionnaire (CESQ) was administered to patients with schizophrenia (n=153), recurrent depression (n=31), drug dependence (n=30), alcohol dependence (n=39), hematological malignancies (n=31), or cardiovascular disorders (n=33).
Results. Multiple regression analysis showed that schizophrenia patients experienced stigmatization significantly more often than did respondents diagnosed with hematological malignancies or cardiovascular disorders. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia were found to experience stigma at a level similar to that in patients with depression or alcohol dependence, but lower than that experienced by drug addicts.
Conclusions. The study findings confirm that the stigma of schizophrenia is stronger than that associated with physical illnesses. However, people with schizophrenia were not found to experience stigmatization more often than people with other severe mental disorders.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Piotr Świtaj
I Klinika Psychiatryczna IPiN
al. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa
e-mail: switaj@ipin.edu.pl