Objective: The aim of the present study was to measure stigma among community pharmacists
regarding patients with depression, using social distance as a proxy measure. Furthermore, factors
influencing stigmatization were identified.
Methods: A survey consisting of questions regarding social distance, cognitive attitude components,
stereotypical beliefs and behavioural tendencies towards pharmaceutical care for patients with
depression was carried out. The survey was completed by 149 community pharmacists with a
response rate of 82%. Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to the results of the survey.
Results: Most pharmacists endorsed social distance towards patients with depression. The social
distance further increased the more the situation described implied ‘social closeness’. Age, depression
care attitude, the stereotypical belief “danger to others” and the level of involvement pharmacists
showed towards patients with depression were found to predict social distance. The present model
explains 32.3% of the variance in social distance.
Conclusion: The results showed that community pharmacists have a stigmatizing attitude towards
patients with depression. The determinants found to influence these stigmatizing attitudes might be
addressed when trying to reduce stigmatization of patients with depression.