University students’ identification of stigmatizing schizophrenia in Italian newspapers.

Stigma associated with mental disorders represents one main obstacle to receive appropriate care for people with mental disorders. Compared to adults, university students have higher levels of stigmatizing attitudes toward patients with schizophrenia. The primary aim of this case-control study was to assess university students’ ability to identify stigma toward schizophrenia in Italian newspapers. Secondary aims were: a) to explore differences in stigmatizing attitudes among two different groups of university students (health professionals [HP] and nonhealth professionals [n-HP]) and b) to compare the attitudes of these two groups with those of a sample of expert psychiatrists. The electronic archives of two Italian newspapers were searched using the term “schizo” (as a word or part of it). One hundred seventy articles published between January and December 2011 were identified. Students from the HP group and expert psychiatrists had a higher ability to detect stigmatizing attitudes in newspapers. Students from the n-HP group had a higher concordance with the experts on the topics “characteristics of the article” and “services and rights.” Our findings highlight the importance of targeting university students with correct and updated information about schizophrenia and its psychosocial consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
Source: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Source Type: research

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