Abstract
STIGMA EXPERIENCED BY PATIENTS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA AND THEIR CAREGIVERS AMONG RURAL POPULATIONS OF CENTRAL INDIA

Dr. Amey Chandrashekhar Joshi* and Dr. Pradeep S. Patil

ABSTRACT

Background: The stigma experienced by patients of schizophrenia and their caregivers have harsh emotional impact upon them and serve as a obstacle to the treatment procedure. Context: This study made an effort to measure the stigma experienced by the patients of schizophrenia and their caregivers plus the relationship of measured stigma to their socio-demographic and clinical variables. Aims: To study the stigma experienced by patients of schizophrenia and their caregivers. Settings and Design: The study design was cross-sectional analysis study. It comprised 100 patients and 100 caregivers to analyze the stigma faced by the patients of schizophrenia with their caregivers. Methods and Material: 1) Semi structured proforma for socio demographic and clinical variables. 2) Internalized stigma of mental illness Scale (ISMIS) to assess self-stigma. 3) Stigma scale which is used for the caregiver of person of mental Illness, abbreviated as CPMI. Results: Overall 42% patients reported high internalized stigma on ISMI scale. On CPMI scale, the score indicated high level of stigma. None of the demographic characteristics of patients were associated with ISMI or its subscale scores i.e. internalized self-stigma was present equally among all the patients, overall as well as on all the five subscales. Among socio-demographic variables of the caregivers, genders of the caregivers were associated with behavioral component of the CPMI scale (P < 0.05). Women caregivers had higher scores on CPMI scores as well as on behavioral component subscale (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The intensity of stigma experienced as a consequence of having mental illness is quite high. Considerable level of self-perceived stigma among caregivers of people with mental illness was observed. For that reason, there is a necessity to take specific interventions to improve overall quality of life and reduce stigma.

Keywords: Stigma, schizophrenia, mentally Ill, caregivers.


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