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Industrial Psychiatry Journal
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 70-75

Perceived stigma among attendees of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric outpatients department in an industrial township: A comparative study

Department of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Amitav Banerjee
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune - 411 018,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.160938

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Introduction and Context: Stigma associated with psychiatric disorders and few somatic disorders such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), tuberculosis and leprosy, adversely effects treatment seeking behavior, leads to concealment, and poor compliance with treatment. In busy outpatient departments (OPDs), the issue of stigma is likely to be overlooked. Materials and Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study collecting data on an 8-item stigma scale from patients attending psychiatry and other OPDs of a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in an industrial township. Information was collected by face to face interview from 400 patients attending psychiatry OPD and 401 patients attending other OPDs. Validations of the scale were done by face, content, and construct validity. Reliability was appraised by Cronbach's alpha and Guttmann split-half coefficients. Significant differences in answers to the 8-item questionnaire were explored by Chi-square test for individual responses and Kruskal-Wallis test for difference in total stigma score. Results: Patients attending psychiatry OPD consistently gave responses indicating a greater degree of perceived stigma than those attending OPD for somatic disorders. This difference was almost 3-4 times more on most of the items (P < 0.001). Among somatic disorders, stigma was highest (even higher than psychiatric disorders) among STDs, tuberculosis and leprosy patients among these and psychiatric disorders the score was almost 3 times more compared to other somatic disorders (P < 0.001). The scale demonstrated good face, content, and construct validity. Reliability was also very high with Cronbach's alpha coefficient and Guttmann split-half reliability coefficient 0.932 and 0.901 indicating very good internal consistency of the 8-item scale. Conclusion: Stigma was higher among STD patients, tuberculosis, leprosy, and psychiatry patients as compared to patients suffering from somatic disorders. Assessment of stigma among these groups of patients can help in planning management and intervention to deal with stigma. This in turn can improve patient compliance.

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