Mental illness stigma among nurses in psychiatric wards of teaching hospitals in the north-west of Iran

Hossein Ebrahimi, Hossein Namdar, Maryam Vahidi


Background: Stigma is one of the obstacles in the treatment and regaining the mental health of people with mental illness. The aim was determination of mental illness stigma among nurses in psychiatric wards. This study was conducted in psychiatric wards of teaching hospitals in Tabriz, Urmia, and Ardabil in the north-west of Iran.

Materials and Methods: This research is a descriptive analysis study in which 80 nurses participated. A researcher-made questionnaire was used, which measured demographic characteristics and mental illness stigma in the three components of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. All data were analyzed using SPSS13 software and descriptive and analytical statistics.

Results: Majority of nurses (72.5%) had medium level of stigma toward people with mental illness. About half of them (48.8%) had great inclination toward the social isolation of patients. The majority of them (62.5%) had positive emotional responses and 27.5% had stereotypical views. There was a significant correlation between experience of living with and kinship of nurses to person with mental illness, with prejudice toward and discrimination of patients. There was also a significant correlation between interest in the continuation of work in the psychiatric ward and prejudice, and also between educational degree and stereotypical views.

Conclusions: The data suggest there is a close correlation between the personal experience of nurses and existence of mental illness stigma among them. Therefore, the implementation of constant educational programs on mental illness for nurses and opportunities for them to have direct contact with treated patients is suggested.


Key words: Attitude, Iran, mental disorders, nurses, social stigma

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