Authors: Claire L. O'Reilly, Sumitra Shankar, Alan Rosen, Diane Paul, Rebecca McCahon, Timothy F. Chen, Jing Ye, NSW
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC) , schizophrenia, 2015 Conference Book of Proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Aim: To describe the perceived experiences of stigma and discrimination among people living with severe and persistent mental illness in assertive outreach settings in NSW.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC) to conduct structured face-to-face interviews of people with schizophrenia. The DISC is a reliable and valid, quantitative and qualitative instrument used to explore and measure levels of negative, anticipated and positive discrimination.
Results: Fifty clients participated with 40 participants (80%) reporting experienced negative discrimination in at least one life area. Negative discrimination was most commonly experienced in being avoided or shunned (n=25, 50%), by neighbours (n=24, 48%) and family (n=23, 46%). Anticipated discrimination was common, with half of participants (n=25, 50%) feeling the need to conceal their mental health diagnosis.
Conclusions: Discrimination is highly prevalent amongst people with schizophrenia in everyday aspects of life. Participants often stopped themselves in activities due to anticipated discrimination even without previous experienced discrimination, and positive discrimination seemed rather the lack of negative discrimination.