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Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

Publication date: 2008-10
Volume: 118 Pages: 305 - 314
ISSN: 0001-690X, 1600-0447 PMID: 18754833
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01241.x
Publisher: Munksgaard


Alonso, J
Buron, A ; Bruffaerts, Ronny ; Posada-Villa, J ; Lepine, J-P ; Angermeyer, MC ; Levinson, D ; de Girolamo, G ; Tachimori, H ; Mneimneh, ZN ; Medina-Mora, ME ; Ormel, J ; Scott, KM ; Gureje, O ; Haro, JM ; Gluzman, S ; Lee, S ; Vilagut, G ; Kessler, RC ; Von Korff, M


Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Psychiatry, mental disorders, stereotyping/stigmatization, disability evaluation, epidemiology, health surveys, PUBLIC-ATTITUDES, ILLNESS STIGMA, PEOPLE, DISCRIMINATION, CONSEQUENCES, ATTRIBUTIONS, EXPERIENCE, VERSION, EUROPE, CIDI, Adult, Anxiety Disorders, Attitude to Health, Developed Countries, Developing Countries, Disabled Persons, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Mood Disorders, Odds Ratio, Perception, Prevalence, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Stereotyping, World Mental Health Consortium, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences


OBJECTIVE: We assessed the prevalence of perceived stigma among persons with mental disorders and chronic physical conditions in an international study. METHOD: Perceived stigma (reporting health-related embarrassment and discrimination) was assessed among adults reporting significant disability. Mental disorders were assessed with Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) 3.0. Chronic conditions were ascertained by self-report. Household-residing adults (80,737) participated in 17 population surveys in 16 countries. RESULTS: Perceived stigma was present in 13.5% (22.1% in developing and 11.7% in developed countries). Suffering from a depressive or an anxiety disorder (vs. no mental disorder) was associated with about a twofold increase in the likelihood of stigma, while comorbid depression and anxiety was even more strongly associated (OR 3.4, 95%CI 2.7-4.2). Chronic physical conditions showed a much lower association. CONCLUSION: Perceived stigma is frequent and strongly associated with mental disorders worldwide. Efforts to alleviate stigma among individuals with comorbid depression and anxiety are needed.