Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 167

Search results for: stigma

167 The Impact of Stigma on the Course of Mental Illness: A Brief Review

Authors: Mariana Mangas, Yaroslava Martins, Ana Matos Pires

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Introduction: Stigmatization is a common problem to overcome for people suffering from chronic diseases. It usually follows mental disorders and complicates the course of illness and reduces quality of life for people with mental illness. Objective: unsystematic review concerning stigma and mental illness, its impact on psychiatric disease and strategies to eradicate stigma. Methods: A search was conducted on PubMed, using keywords 'stigma' and 'mental illness'. Results and Discussion: Stigma is a psychosocial process that identifies individuals by the negative label of their differences. Stigma often brings a loss of occupational success and social support, reduced functioning and lower quality of life. The sense of stigma is common in individuals with mental illness and has considerable negative repercussions: delays treatment achievement, promotes social isolation, stress and maladaptive coping behaviors and it is associated with higher symptom levels, placing these individuals at higher risk for a poorer outcome and prognoses. Conclusion: Given the interrelation between stigma, symptoms, treatment seeking and disease management, stigma is a key construct in mental illness upon which anti-stigma initiatives may have considerable therapeutic potential. It will take multidisciplinary interventions to overcome mental illness stigma, including changes in social policy, attitudes and practices among mental health professionals, liaison between general public and people with a mental illness under conditions of equity and parity, family support, and easy access to evidence-based treatments.

Keywords: discrimination, stigma, mental illness, quality of life

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166 Mental Health Literacy in Ghana: Consequences of Religiosity, Education, and Stigmatization

Authors: Peter Adu

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Although research on the concept of Mental Health Literacy (MHL) is growing internationally, to the authors’ best of knowledge, the beliefs and knowledge of Ghanaians on specific mental disorders have not yet been explored. This vignette study was conducted to explore the relationships between religiosity, education, stigmatization, and MHL among Ghanaians using a sample of laypeople (N = 409). The adapted questionnaire presented two vignettes (depression and schizophrenia) about a hypothetical person. The results revealed that more participants were able to recognize depression (47.4%) than schizophrenia (15.9%). Religiosity was not significantly associated with recognition of mental disorders (MHL) but was positively related with both social and personal stigma for depression and negatively associated with personal and perceived stigma for schizophrenia. Moreover, education was found to relate positively with MHL and negatively with perceived stigma. Finally, perceived stigma was positively associated with MHL, whereas personal stigma for schizophrenia related negatively to MHL. In conclusion, education but not religiosity predicted identification accuracy, but both predictors were associated with various forms of stigma. Findings from this study have implications for MHL and anti-stigma campaigns in Ghana and other developing countries in the region.

Keywords: depression, education, mental health literacy, religiosity, schizophrenia

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165 Structural and Histochemical Alterations in the Development of the Stigma in Vibirnum tinus

Authors: Aslihan Cetinbas Genc, Meral Unal

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This study presents the structural and cytochemical alterations of stigma at the stages of pre-anthesis, anthesis and post-anthesis in Vibirnum tinus. Capitate stigma continues with a closed style. The receptive surface of stigma is composed of unicellular papillae which are short and flattened at pre-anthesis stage. The papillae in this stage have dense cytoplasm with small vacuoles and a centrally located nucleus. With the start of anthesis, the stigma widens, papillae lengthen and become cylindrical. At anthesis stage, vacuoles enlarge, and nucleus moves to the base of the cell. At post-anthesis stage, the boundaries of the papillae become less noticeable. As proved by Periodic Acid Schiff procedure, the cytoplasm of papillae is rich in insoluble polysaccharides at all stages of development but it becomes remarkable at post-anthesis, particularly at the sub-papillar area. Although there is no significant difference in the content of protein in all stages of the development, it is more abundant at post-anthesis stage, as in Coomassie Brillant Blue stained sections. The surface of papillae is covered by a cuticle which becomes thicker at post-anthesis, and it gives positive reaction with Sudan Black B and Auramine O. The cuticle is covered by a pellicle stained by Coomassie Brillant Blue, indicating dry type of stigma.

Keywords: develeopmental features, histochemistry, stigma, Vibirnum tinus

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164 Stigma Associated with Living in a Care Home: Perspectives of Older Residents Living in Care Homes in Thailand

Authors: Suhathai Tosangwarn, Philip Clissett, Holly Blake

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Background: High prevalence of depression has been reported among older adults living in care homes in Thailand, associated with physical impairment, low social support, low self-esteem and particularly stigma associated with living in a care home. However, little is understood about how such stigma is experienced among Thai care home residents. This study examines residents’ perceptions of stigma and their strategies for coping with stigma. Method/Design: Case study research was used to gain an in-depth view about the stigma of residents’ perspectives and experiences from two care homes in the northeast of Thailand by conducting an in-depth interview and non-participant observation. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 older residents (aged >60 years), purposively sampled from both care homes. Non-participant observation was conducted in various public spaces of the care homes, including the dining room, corridors, and activities areas for approximately one to two hours per day at different times; morning and afternoon including weekdays and weekend in both care homes for one month. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: The study identified three major themes related to the causes of stigma, the reactions towards stigma and the mitigating factors. Negative beliefs about care homes, negative attitudes, and stereotypes toward the elderly and perceptions of unequal power relations between staff and residents were the main factors precipitating stigma. Consequently, residents exhibited negative emotions and behaviours, including depressive symptoms, while living in care homes. Residents reported the use of particular coping strategies, including accessing support from the public and staff and engaging in care home activities which these helped them to cope with their perception of stigma. Conclusion: Improved understanding of the underlying factors behind perceived stigma in care home residents may help to prevent depression and reduce perceptions of stigma associated with living in a care home, by informing strategy, supportive intervention and guidelines for appropriate care for older Thai residents.

Keywords: care home, depression, older adult, stigma, Thailand

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163 The Effect of Stigma on Attitudes towards Seeking Help from Social Workers

Authors: Hend Al-Ma'seb, Anwar Alkhurinej

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In the field of social work, social workers understand that it is very difficult for individuals to ask for help from therapists. Therefore, it is important to study the variables associated with seeking professional help. A total of 478 undergraduate students from Kuwait University participated voluntarily in the study. The findings for this study showed that the participants of the study have a slightly high degree of public stigma, low self–stigma, and positive attitude toward seeking professional help. In addition, the findings of the study reveal that there are significant relationships between gender, taking social work classes, thinking about receiving counseling and having social problems and participants' attitude towards seeking professional help. Furthermore, the findings of the study showed that there were significant relationships between gender, and thinking about receiving counseling, and self-stigma. The findings of the current study have implications for the field of social work in Kuwait that would help to improve the knowledge in this area.

Keywords: attitude towards help, social work, social workers, stigma

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162 Disability, Stigma and In-Group Identification: An Exploration across Different Disability Subgroups

Authors: Sharmila Rathee

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Individuals with disability/ies often face negative attitudes, discrimination, exclusion, and inequality of treatment due to stigmatization and stigmatized treatment. While a significant number of studies in field of stigma suggest that group-identification has positive consequences for stigmatized individuals, ironically very miniscule empirical work in sight has attempted to investigate in-group identification as a coping measure against stigma, humiliation and related experiences among disability group. In view of death of empirical research on in-group identification among disability group, through present work, an attempt has been made to examine the experiences of stigma, humiliation, and in-group identification among disability group. Results of the study suggest that use of in-group identification as a coping strategy is not uniform across members of disability group and degree of in-group identification differs across different sub-groups of disability groups. Further, in-group identification among members of disability group depends on variables like degree and impact of disability, factors like onset of disability, nature, and visibility of disability, educational experiences and resources available to deal with disabling conditions.

Keywords: disability, stigma, in-group identification, social identity

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161 Evaluation of University Students of a Video Game to Sensitize Young People about Mental Health Problems

Authors: Adolfo Cangas, Noelia Navarro

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The current study shows the assessment made by university students of a video game entitled Stigma-Stop where the characters present different mental disorders. The objective is that players have more real information about mental disorders and empathize with them and thus reduce stigma. The sample consisted of 169 university students studying degrees related to education, social care and welfare (i.e., Social Education, Psychology, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and Social Work). The participants valued the video game positively, especially in relation to utility, being somewhat lower the score awarded to the degree of entertainment. They detect the disorders and point out that in many occasions they felt the same (particularly in the case of depression, being lower in agoraphobia and bipolar disorder, and even lower in the case of schizophrenia), most students recommend the use of the video game. They emphasize that Stigma-Stop offers intervention strategies, information regarding the symptomatology and sensitizes against stigma.

Keywords: schizophrenia, social stigma, students, mental health

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160 Studying Perceived Stigma, Economic System Justification and Social Mobility Beliefs of Socially Vulnerable (Poor) People: The Case of Georgia

Authors: Nazi Pharsadanishvili, Anastasia Kitiashvili

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The importance of studying the social-psychological features of people living in poverty is often emphasized in international research. Building a multidimensional economic framework for reducing poverty grounded in people’s experiences and values is the main goal of famous Poverty Research Centers (such as Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab). The aims of the proposed research are to investigate the following characteristics of socially vulnerable people living in Georgia: 1) The features of the perceived stigma of poverty; 2) economic system justification and social justice beliefs; 3) Perceived social mobility and actual attempts at upward social mobility. Qualitative research was conducted to address the indicated research goals and descriptive research questions. Conducting in-depth interviews was considered to be the most appropriate method to capture the vivid feelings and experiences of people living in poverty. 17 respondents (registered in the unified database of socially vulnerable families) participated in in-depth interviews. According to the research results, socially vulnerable people living in Georgia perceive stigma targeted toward them. Two sub-dimensions were identified in perceived stigma: experienced stigma and internalized stigma. Experienced stigma reflects the instances of being discriminated and perceptions of negative treatment from other members of society. Internalized stigma covers negative personal emotions, the feelings of shame, the fear of future stigmatization, and self-isolation. The attitudes and justifications of the existing economic system affect people’s attempts to cope with poverty. Complex analysis of those results is important during the planning and implementing of social welfare reforms. Particularly, it is important to implement poverty stigma reduction mechanisms and help socially vulnerable people to see real perspectives on upward social mobility.

Keywords: coping with poverty, economic system justification, perceived stigma of poverty, upward social mobility

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159 Understanding Parental Style and Its Effect on the Wellbeing of Adolescents with Epilepsy

Authors: Arthy Vinayakam, Emilda Judith Ezhil Rajan

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Adolescents with epilepsy living in developing country like India face many difficulties on stigma towards the disease. The psychological wellbeing of adolescents who are living with epilepsy has a varied influence on their daily activities and decision-making. Parental involvement with adolescents has always been a subject of caution. The dynamics in adolescents with epilepsy is much varied as their parental aspects has been known to have an impact on their education, socialization and wellbeing. The current study aims to identify the effect of parental styles, how they tend to effect the perception of self-concept that relate to the stigma in adolescents with epilepsy. A sample of 30 adolescents with epilepsy and their parents were taken; a control group of 30 adolescents and their parents were also taken. The General Health Questionnaire -12 was used as a screening for both groups to be included in the study. Parents were evaluated with Parenting Practices Questionnaire (PPQ). Adolescents were administered the Epilepsy Stigma Scale (ESS), Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSS) and Adolescent Wellbeing Scale (AWS). Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. The findings of the study highlight the challenges of both parent and their influence on adolescent’s wellbeing. The findings also establish the impact of parenting style on the stigma in adolescents having epilepsy and how this influences their self-concept whereby their emotional strength.

Keywords: epilepsy, parenting style, stigma, wellbeing

Procedia PDF Downloads 133
158 A Study on Assertiveness, Stigmatization, Gender Role Beliefs and Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help among Young Adults in South East Asian

Authors: Chee Kwan Foong, Foong Mei Kei

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This study aimed to investigate the influence of self-stigma, perceived public stigma, assertiveness and gender role beliefs on attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. Two hundred and fifty young adults from universities in Brunei were recruited through convenience sampling to complete a survey. Individuals facing higher stigmatisation (both self-stigma and public-stigma) had less positive attitude towards seeking professional psychological help. Individuals who were more assertive had more positive attitude towards seeking professional psychological help. For males, individuals with more traditional gender role belief showed less positive attitude towards seeking professional psychological help. For female, there was no relationship between gender role beliefs and attitude towards seeking professional psychological help. Results confirmed there was a significant mediating effect between public stigma and attitude toward seeking professional psychological help. This study could guide the mental-health professionals in promoting more positive help-seeking attitude and raise the awareness about mental challenges which could assist in reducing stigmatization, and therefore, gain a deeper understanding.

Keywords: assertiveness, attitude towards seeking professional psychological help, gender role beliefs, stigmatization

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157 Meeting the Pedophile: Attitudes toward Pedophilia among Psychology Students

Authors: Rebecca Heron, Julie Karsten, Lena Schweikert

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Adverse consequences of stigma towards pedophilia can, among other things, increase dynamic risk factors for sexual offending. Decreasing stigma, therefore, is a plausible approach in the attempt to prevent child sexual abuse. Stigma research suggests that providing direct contact to a stigmatized individual is the most efficient way of reducing stigma. The present study involved an educational intervention, followed by direct contact to a pedophile, to maximize effectiveness. It aimed at finding out whether a dichotomous anti-stigma intervention can change psychology students' attitudes towards pedophiles regarding perceived dangerousness, intentionality, deviance, and punitive attitudes. In a one sample pre-post design, 162 students of the University of Groningen attended a lecture about pedophilia, which was held by a psychology master’s student. Participants learned about child sex offending and pedophilia in addition to the importance of distinguishing between pedophiles and child sex offenders (CSOs). The guest lecturer Gabriel, shared his experiences about growing up, coping, and living with pedophilia. Results of the Wilcoxon signed-rank test revealed significantly diminished negative attitudes towards pedophiles after the intervention. Students perceived pedophiles as less dangerous, having less intent, and being less psychologically deviant. Additionally, students' punitive attitudes towards pedophiles diminished significantly. Also, a thematic analysis revealed that students were highly interested in the topic of pedophilia and greatly appreciative of Gabriel sharing his story. This study was the first to provide direct contact with a pedophile within an anti-stigma intervention.

Keywords: pedophilia, anti-stigma intervention, punitive attitudes, attitude change

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156 A Qualitative Exploration of the Beliefs and Experiences of HIV-Related Self-Stigma Amongst Young Adults Living with HIV in Zimbabwe

Authors: Camille Rich, Nadine Ferris France, Ann Nolan, Webster Mavhu, Vongai Munatsi

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Background and Aim: Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV rates in the world, with a 12.7% adult prevalence rate. Young adults are a key group affected by HIV, and one-third of all new infections in Zimbabwe are amongst people ages 18-24 years. Stigma remains one of the main barriers to managing and reducing the HIV crisis, especially for young adults. There are several types of stigma, including enacted stigma, the outward discrimination towards someone and self-stigma, the negative self-judgments one has towards themselves. Self-stigma can have severe consequences, including feelings of worthlessness, shame, suicidal thoughts, and avoidance of medical help. This can have detrimental effects on those living with HIV. However, the unique beliefs and impacts of self-stigma amongst key groups living with HIV have not yet been explored. Therefore, the focus of this study is on the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma, as experienced by young adults living in Harare, Zimbabwe. Research Methods: A qualitative approach was taken for this study, using sixteen semi-structured interviews with young adults (18-24 years) who are living with HIV in Harare. Participants were conveniently and purposefully sampled as members of Africa, an organization dedicated to young people living with HIV. Interviews were conducted over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recorded and then coded using the software NVivo. The data was analyzed using both inductive and deductive Thematic Analysis to find common themes. Results: All of the participants experienced HIV-related self-stigma, and both beliefs and experiences were explored. These negative self-perceptions included beliefs of worthlessness, hopelessness, and negative body image. The young adults described believing they were not good enough to be around HIV negative people or that they could never be loved due to their HIV status. Developing self-stigmatizing thoughts came from internalizing negative cultural values, stereotypes about people living with HIV, and adverse experiences. Three main themes of self-stigmatizing experiences emerged: disclosure difficulties, relationship complications, and being isolated. Fear of telling someone their status, rejection in a relationship, and being excluded by others due to their HIV status contributed to their self-stigma. These experiences caused feelings of loneliness, sadness, shame, fear, and low self-worth. Conclusions: This study explored the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma of these young adults. The emergence of negative self-perceptions demonstrated deep-rooted beliefs of HIV-related self-stigma that adversely impact the participants. The negative self-perceptions and self-stigmatizing experiences caused the participants to feel worthless, hopeless, shameful, and alone-negatively impacting their physical and mental health, personal relationships, and sense of self-identity. These results can now be used to pursue interventions to target the specific beliefs and experiences of young adults living with HIV and reduce the adverse consequences of self-stigma.

Keywords: beliefs, HIV, self-stigma, stigma, Zimbabwe

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155 Mental Health Stigma: Barriers to Treatment and Participation in Mental Health Care among University Students in Kenya

Authors: Scholastic Nangila Adeli, Francisca Mbutitia Ngithi

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Stigma is commonly associated with mental health patients and may act as a barrier to individuals who may seek or engage in treatment services. Stigmatization among university students is common whether they know someone with a mental health problem, or have a good knowledge and experience of mental health issues. The objective of this study was to establish the various barriers that prevent university students who have mental health challenges from seeking treatment and care. The study was a descriptive in nature where 320 respondents helped to establish the barriers to treatment or participation in mental health care among university students. A questionnaire was used to help establish the barriers and attitude towards mental illness among the respondents. Results from this study revealed that mental illnesses are common among university students and they are manifested in different forms like; anxiety and panic attacks, mood and eating disorders, Impulse control leading to gambling, alcohol and drug addictions, anger and depression leading to loneliness. Mental stigma (both social and self) was the major barrier with 62% of the respondents stating that social stigma was worse than self-stigma. This is because of the social discrimination towards the victim of mental challenges. On issues of attitude, 71% of the respondents said that they can never admit that they have a mental issue and would rather secretly seek clinical or psychological help for fear of being discriminated or excluded by peers. This view is informed by the societal belief that people with mental health challenges were dangerous (associating them with criminal behavior) and hard to socialize with or help. From the findings of this study, it is concluded that mental health problems are real among university students in Kenya and it is important for the university environment to minimize or eradicate stigma within the social circles. Stigma can be minimized or eradicated by creating awareness among university students and fostering social inclusion so that the students who have mental health challenges can experience a sense of belonging and acceptance hence build their self-esteem.

Keywords: disorders, impulse control, mental health problems, stigma

Procedia PDF Downloads 151
154 Beyond Recognition: Beliefs, Attitudes, and Help-Seeking for Depression and Schizophrenia in Ghana

Authors: Peter Adu

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Background: There is a paucity of mental health research in Ghana. Little is known about the beliefs and attitudes regarding specific mental disorders in Ghana. Method: A vignette study was conducted to examine the relationship between causal attributions, help-seeking, and stigma towards depression and schizophrenia using lay Ghanaians (N = 410). This adapted questionnaire presented two unlabelled vignettes about a hypothetical person with the above disorders for participants to provide their impressions. Next, participants answered questions on beliefs and attitudes regarding this person. Results: The results showed that causal beliefs about mental disorders were related to treatment options and stigma: spiritual causal attributions associated positively with spiritual help-seeking and perceived stigma for the mental disorders, whilst biological and psychosocial causal attribution of the mental disorders was positively related with professional help-seeking. Finally, contrary to previous literature, belonging to a particular religious group did not negatively associate with professional help-seeking for mental disorders. Conclusion: In conclusion, results suggest that Ghanaians may benefit from exposure to corrective information about depression and schizophrenia. Our findings have implications for mental health literacy and anti-stigma campaigns in Ghana and other developing countries in the region.

Keywords: stigma, mental health literacy, depression, schizophrenia, spirituality, religion

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153 Destigmatising Generalised Anxiety Disorder: The Differential Effects of Causal Explanations on Stigma

Authors: John McDowall, Lucy Lightfoot

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Stigma constitutes a significant barrier to the recovery and social integration of individuals affected by mental illness. Although there is some debate in the literature regarding the definition and utility of stigma as a concept, it is widely accepted that it comprises three components: stereotypical beliefs, prejudicial reactions, and discrimination. Stereotypical beliefs describe the cognitive knowledge-based component of stigma, referring to beliefs (often negative) about members of a group that is based on cultural and societal norms (e.g. ‘People with anxiety are just weak’). Prejudice refers to the affective/evaluative component of stigma and describes the endorsement of negative stereotypes and the resulting negative emotional reactions (e.g. ‘People with anxiety are just weak, and they frustrate me’). Discrimination refers to the behavioural component of stigma, which is arguably the most problematic, as it exerts a direct effect on the stigmatized person and may lead people to behave in a hostile or avoidant way towards them (i.e. refusal to hire them). Research exploring anti-stigma initiatives focus primarily on an educational approach, with the view that accurate information will replace misconceptions and decrease stigma. Many approaches take a biogenetic stance, emphasising brain and biochemical deficits - the idea being that ‘mental illness is an illness like any other.' While this approach tends to effectively reduce blame, it has also demonstrated negative effects such as increasing prognostic pessimism, the desire for social distance and perceptions of stereotypes. In the present study 144 participants were split into three groups and read one of three vignettes presenting causal explanations for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): One explanation emphasized biogenetic factors as being important in the etiology of GAD, another emphasised psychosocial factors (e.g. aversive life events, poverty, etc.), and a third stressed the adaptive features of the disorder from an evolutionary viewpoint. A variety of measures tapping the various components of stigma were administered following the vignettes. No difference in stigma measures as a function of causal explanation was found. People who had contact with mental illness in the past were significantly less stigmatising across a wide range of measures, but this did not interact with the type of causal explanation.

Keywords: generalised anxiety disorder, discrimination, prejudice, stigma

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152 Facilitating Familial Support of Saudi Arabians Living with HIV/AIDS

Authors: Noor Attar

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This paper provides an overview of the current situation of HIV/AIDS patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and a literature review of the concepts of stigma communication, communication of social support. These concepts provide the basis for the proposed methods, which will include conducting a textual analysis of materials that are currently distributed to family members of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV/A) in KSA and creating an educational brochure. The brochure will aim to help families of PLWHIV/A in KSA (1) understand how stigma shapes the experience of PLWHIV/A, (2) realize the role of positive communication as a helpful social support, and (3) develop the ability to provide positive social support for their loved ones.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Saudi Arabia, social support, stigma communication

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151 Addressing Stigma on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consultation Service Through Use of Video

Authors: Rachel Talbot, Nasuh Malas

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Stigma in child and adolescent psychiatry continues to be a significant barrier for youth to receive much needed psychiatric care. Parents misperceptions regarding mental health may interfere with their child’s care and negatively influence their child’s view of mental health. For some children, their first experience with psychiatry may occur during medical hospitalization when they are seen by the Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison (C/L) Service. Despite this unique role, there is limited data on how to address mental health stigma with patients and families within the context of Child and Adolescent C/L Psychiatry. This study explores the use of a brief introductory video with messages from the psychiatry C/L team, families who have accessed mental health consultation in the hospital, as well as clips of family and C/L team interactions to address parental stigma of psychiatry. Common stigmatized concerns shared by parents include concerns about confidentiality, later ramifications of mental healthcare, outsider status, and parental self-blame. There are also stigmatized concerns about psychiatric medication use including overmedication, sedation, long-term effects, medicating ‘real problems’ and personality blunting. Each of these are addressed during the video parents will see with the intent of reducing negative parental perceptions relating to mental healthcare. For this study, families are given a survey highlighting these concerns, prior to and after watching the video. Pre-and post-video responses are compared with the hypothesis that watching the video will effectively reduce parental stigma about psychiatric care. Data collection is currently underway and will be completed by the end of November 2017 with data analysis completed by January 2018. This study will also give vital information about the demographic differences in perceptions of stigma so future interventions can be targeted towards those with higher perceived stigma. This study posits that use of an introductory video is an effective strategy to combat stigma and help educate and empower families. In this way, we will be reducing further barriers for patients and families to seek out mental health resources and supports that are often desperately needed for these youths.

Keywords: child and adolescent psychiatry, consult-liaison psychiatry, media, stigma

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150 Mental Health and Well-Being: Capacity Building of Community to Respond to Mental Health Needs of Transgender Populations

Authors: Harjyot Khosa

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In India and south Asia, stigma and discrimination against transgender community remain disproportionately high. Lack of mental health care restricts effective treatment and care for both physical and mental health. Knowledge assessment of 80 counsellors across India reflected that only 28% counsellors knew about the transgender community. Whereas, only 6% of them felt, that transgender community require a specific mental health support, considering the stigma they face in day to day life. Lastly, 62% did agree that they require specific training to address unmet needs of transgender community. A robust counselling module was developed with focus on technical counselling skills and strategies, specific counselling issues, identity and sexuality, disclosure, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Mental health related support should be an integral part of government and non-government programs for the overall well-being of transgender community who face stigma and discrimination at every level. Needs based capacity building and technical assistance is required towards providing mental health support for transgender populations and their partners.

Keywords: identity and sexuality, mental health, stigma, transgender

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149 Services, Stigma and Discrimination: Perceptions of African Descendant Men Living with HIV/AIDS in Brazil and in the US

Authors: Aparecida De Fatima Dutra, Freddie Avant, Wilma Cordova

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People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have benefited from advances in treatment. Medical costs are a challenge for some, but the real challenge is the stigma and discrimination PLWHA continue to face, even though the disease has festered for the last four decades. Few studies regarding stigma and discrimination give voice to those affected by these practices. This study provides a voice to PLWHA in Brazil and in the US as to how they perceive stigma and discrimination, as well as services they access. The methodology of this study was designed based on phenomenological research, which is a research that aims to identify what individuals facing the same situation have to share about their experiences. Qualitative research using in- depth interviews was used in order to gather participants’ perceptions about services they access, and stigma and discrimination they experience as PLWHA (hypothesis). The target population was a minority group of 13 Afro-descendant men, mean age of 48.3, residents in East Texas, United States and Salvador, Brazil. Our findings indicate that in both countries, overall, participants have reasonable access to medication and qualified services, except for some specialties, such as dentistry. With regard to stigma and discrimination the majority of participants have not disclosed their diagnosis. They state they prefer not to disclose for fear of being ostracized and rejected. Participants who did reveal their status indicate that stigma and discrimination is a daily occurrence. These experiences tend to occur within their own families, neighborhoods, and in public health agencies where HIV/AIDS is not the focus. Participants who did offer suggestions for social change indicated they would have to reveal their status even if it means being stigmatized and discriminated against. Other factors contributing to this discrimination include skin color and poverty. This study concludes that even after decades since the spread of this epidemic, nothing has changed regarding stigma and discrimination towards PLWHA. Lack of awareness, empathy and education continue to be a major challenge, not only at a local level but across the globe. In conclusion, as documented in previous studies while stigma and discrimination towards this population prevail, negative attitudes will continue to jeopardize all individuals from receiving equal access to prevention, treatment and care. It is crucial to face stigma and discrimination not only as individual experiences, but as social practices that violate and restrict human rights and that as a result, reinforce inequality and social exclusion. Policies should be at the forefront to eliminate the stigma and discrimination PLWHA experience. Health professionals and societies must take a stand in order to promote mindfulness about the negative effect of oppression towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and the potential global impact of these practices.

Keywords: discrimination, HIV/AIDS, human rights, stigma

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148 Reducing Stigma and Discrimination among Islamic Religious Officers Towards People Living with HIV/AIDS in Malaysia

Authors: Hazlin Kadir Shahar, Razaleigh Muhamat Kawangit, Badlihisham Mohd Nasir, Rosmawati Mohamad Rasit

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Stigma and discrimination have become the main topic of discussion when dealing with HIV/AIDS issues. They affect the daily life of People Living With HIV(PLHIV), families, friends and people around them indirectly. This paper discusses the potential measurement in helping to reduce stigma and discrimination existence among Islamic Religious Officers towards PLHIV in Malaysia. These people have been trained with special programmes to tackle the HIV/AIDS issues by using a manual, namely as ‘The Manual of Islam and HIV/AIDS’, specifically designed by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM). The objectives of the training programmes are to give the accurate information about HIV/AIDS and to suggest ways on how to handle the PLHIV issues in Islamic perspective. This research used quantitative methodology by survey. A pilot test had been done over thirty (30) trained Islamic Religious Officers in Malaysia. The findings have shown that the trainings have given a positive impact for them as they managed to acquire the knowledge of HIV/AIDS from both primer and authorized sources such as medical practitioners, Muslim chaplains and social workers. The knowledge they have acquired from the trainings has guided them in changing their perception, thus helping to reduce their own stigma and discrimination towards PLHIV. The training programmes have given them opportunities to practice what they have learned through several outreach sessions as they have had the opportunities to approach PLHIV directly.

Keywords: Islamic religious officers, people with HIV, stigma and discrimination, training programmes

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147 Perceived Stigma, Perception of Burden and Psychological Distress among Parents of Intellectually Disable Children: Role of Perceived Social Support

Authors: Saima Shafiq, Najma Iqbal Malik

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This study was aimed to explore the relationship of perceived stigma, perception of burden and psychological distress among parents of intellectually disabled children. The study also aimed to explore the moderating role of perceived social support on all the variables of the study. The sample of the study comprised of (N = 250) parents of intellectually disabled children. The present study utilized the co-relational research design. It consists of two phases. Phase-I consisted of two steps which contained the translation of two scales that were used in the present study and tried out on the sample of parents (N = 70). The Affiliated Stigma Scale and Care Giver Burden Inventory were translated into Urdu for the present study. Phase-1 revealed that translated scaled entailed satisfactory psychometric properties. Phase -II of the study was carried out in order to test the hypothesis. Correlation, linear regression analysis, and t-test were computed for hypothesis testing. Hierarchical regression analysis was applied to study the moderating effect of perceived social support. Findings revealed that there was a positive relationship between perceived stigma and psychological distress, perception of burden and psychological distress. Linear regression analysis showed that perceived stigma and perception of burden were positive predictors of psychological distress. The study did not show the moderating role of perceived social support among variables of the present study. The major limitation of the study is the sample size and the major implication is awareness regarding problems of parents of intellectually disabled children.

Keywords: perceived stigma, perception of burden, psychological distress, perceived social support

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146 Effects of the Age, Education, and Mental Illness Experience on Depressive Disorder Stigmatization

Authors: Soowon Park, Min-Ji Kim, Jun-Young Lee

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Motivation: The stigma of mental illness has been studied in many disciplines, including social psychology, counseling psychology, sociology, psychiatry, public health care, and related areas, because individuals labeled as ‘mentally ill’ are often deprived of their rights and their life opportunities. To understand the factors that deepen the stigma of mental illness, it is important to understand the influencing factors of the stigma. Problem statement: Depression is a common disorder in adults, but the incidence of help-seeking is low. Researchers have believed that this poor help-seeking behavior is related to the stigma of mental illness, which results from low mental health literacy. However, it is uncertain that increasing mental health literacy decreases mental health stigmatization. Furthermore, even though decreasing stigmatization is important, the stigma of mental illness is still a stable and long-lasting phenomenon. Thus, factors other than knowledge about mental disorders have the power to maintain the stigma. Investigating the influencing factors that facilitate the stigma of psychiatric disease could help lower the social stigmatization. Approach: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a multi-clustering sample. A total of 700 Korean participants (38% male), ranging in age from 18 to 78 (M(SD)age= 48.5(15.7)) answered demographical questions, Korean version of Link’s Perceived Devaluation and Discrimination (PDD) scale for the assessment of social stigmatization against depression, and the Korean version of the WHO-Composite International Diagnostic Interview for the assessment of mental disorders. Multiple-regression was conducted to find the predicting factors of social stigmatization against depression. Ages, sex, years of education, income, living location, and experience of mental illness were used as the predictors. Results: Predictors accounted for 14% of the variance in the stigma of depressive disorders (F(6, 693) = 20.27, p < .001). Among those, only age, years of education, and experience of mental illness significantly predicted social stigmatization against depression. The standardized regression coefficient of age had a negative association with stigmatization (β = -.20, p < .001), but years of education (β = .20, p < .001) and experience of mental illness (β = .08, p < .05) positively predicted depression stigmatization. Conclusions: The present study clearly demonstrates the association between personal factors and depressive disorder stigmatization. Younger age, more education, and self-stigma appeared to increase the stigmatization. Young, highly educated, and mentally ill people tend to reject patients with depressive disorder as friends, teachers, or babysitters; they also tend to think that those patients have lower intelligence and abilities. These results suggest the possibility that people from a high social class, or highly educated people, who have the power to make decisions, help maintain the social stigma against mental illness patients. To increase the awareness that people from high social classes have more stigmatization against depressive disorders will help decrease the biased attitudes against mentally ill patients.

Keywords: depressive disorder stigmatization, age, education, self-stigma

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145 Stigma and Discrimination toward Mental Illness: Translation and Validation of the Attribution Questionnaire-27 (AQ-27)

Authors: Gokcen Akyurek, Hulya Kayihan, Deniz Yuce, Selen Yilmaz

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The stigma towards mental illness is still very rooted in our society, despite the number of studies, campaigns, and anti-stigma programs developed in recent years. Stigma represents a serious obstacle to recovery and social integration for people who experience a mental illness, affecting directly their well-being and quality of life. It implies that these persons have to deal with many other barriers apart from the disease symptoms (1-5). Convergent, recent literature suggests that less positive attitudes by mental health professionals interfere with the self-determination and recovery process (4-10).The aim of this study was to translate the Attribution Questionnaire-27 (AQ-27) to the Turkish language (AQ-27-T), and to examine the reliability and validity of this new Turkish version. Cultural adaptation was implemented according to the internationally suggested method. To determine the understandability and appropriateness of this measure for the Turkish culture, a pretest was administered and the final form was generated. Then, 424 randomly chosen people took part in the study. Participant’s mean age was 36.9±12.7 years and %52 of them female. Cronbach's alpha and intra-class coefficients were used to estimate instrument reliability. The AQ-27-T was assessed again 14 days later for test retest reliability. The AQ-27-T demonstrated acceptable internal consistency, with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.88 for the total scale and ranging between 0.86 and 0.89 for the items. The test-retest reliability was good, with Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.79 for the total scale and ranging between 0.35 and 0.77 for the items (p<0.05). Correlation between subscales was moderate-good, with Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.18-0.88 (p<0.05). Fit indices of the model supported the factor structure and paths. The AQ-27-T is a reliable measure to assess stigmatizing attitudes in Turkish.

Keywords: attribution questionnaire, validity, reliability, stigma

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144 The Story of a Spoiled Identity: Blogging on Disability and Feminity

Authors: Anna Ślebioda

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The paper discusses intersections between disability and femininity. Their imbrication may impede negotiation of identity. The analysis of a blog of a women with disability aims to prove this hypothesis. It involves 724 entries written in the span of six years. The conceptual framework for the considerations constitute the concepts of stigma and spoiled identity, and overlapping elements of femininity and disability. The empirical part comprises content analysis. It allows to locate the narrative on femininity and disability within the dimensions of imbricated categories described in the theoretical part. The results demonstrate aspects to consider in further research on identity in women with disabilities.

Keywords: disability, femininity, spoiled identity, stigma

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143 Stigma Impacts the Quality of Life of People Living with Diabetes Mellitus in Switzerland: Challenges for Social Work

Authors: Daniel Gredig, Annabelle Bartelsen-Raemy

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Social work services offered to people living with diabetes tend to be moulded by the prevailing understanding that social work is to support people living with diabetes in their adherence to medical prescription and/or life style changes. As diabetes has been conceived as a condition facing no stigma, discrimination of people living with diabetes has not been considered. However, there is growing evidence of stigma. To our knowledge, nevertheless, there have been no comprehensive, in-depth studies of stigma and its impact. Against this background and challenging the present layout of services for people living with diabetes, the present study aimed to establish whether: -people living with diabetes in Switzerland experience stigma, and if so, in what context and to what extent; -experiencing stigma impacts the quality of life of those affected. It was hypothesized that stigma would impact on their quality of life. It was further hypothesized that low self-esteem, psychological distress, depression, and a lack of social support would be mediating factors. For data collection an anonymous paper-and-pencil self-administered questionnaire was used which drew on a qualitative elicitation study. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling. To generate a large and diverse convenience sample the questionnaire was distributed to the readers of journal destined to diabetics living in Switzerland issued in German and French. The sample included 3347 people with type 1 and 2 diabetes, aged 16–96, living in diverse living conditions in the German- and French-speaking areas of Switzerland. Respondents reported experiences of discrimination in various contexts and stereotyping based on the belief that diabetics have a low work performance; are inefficient in the workplace; inferior; weak-willed in their ability to manage health-related issues; take advantage of their condition and are viewed as pitiful or sick people. Respondents who reported higher levels of perceived stigma reported higher levels of psychological distress (β = .37), more pronounced depressive symptoms (β=.33), and less social support (β = -.22). Higher psychological distress (β = -.29) and more pronounced depressive symptoms (β = -.28), in turn, predicted lower quality of life. These research findings challenge the prevailing understanding of social work services for people living with diabetes in Switzerland and beyond. They call for a less individualistic approach, the consideration of the social context service users are placed in their everyday life, and addressing stigma. So, social work could partner with people living with diabetes in order to fight against discrimination and stereotypes. This could include identifying and designing educational and public awareness strategies. In direct social work with people living with diabetes, this could include broaching experiences of stigma and modes of coping with. This study was carried out in collaboration with the Swiss Diabetes Association. The association accepted the challenging conclusions from this study. It connected to the results and is currently discussing the priorities and courses of action to be taken.

Keywords: diabetes, discrimination, quality of life, services, stigma

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142 Internalized HIV Stigma, Mental Health, Coping, and Perceived Social Support among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Aizawl District, Mizoram

Authors: Mary Ann L. Halliday, Zoengpari Gohain

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The stigma associated with HIV-AIDS negatively affect mental health and ability to effectively manage the disease. While the number of People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) has been increasing day by day in Mizoram (a small north-eastern state in India), research on HIV/AIDS stigma has so far been limited. Despite the potential significance of Internalized HIV Stigma (IHS) in the lives of PLHIV, there has been very limited research in this area. It was therefore, felt necessary to explore the internalized HIV stigma, mental health, coping and perceived social support of PLHIV in Aizawl District, Mizoram. The present study was designed with the objectives to determine the degree of IHS, to study the relationship between the socio-demographic characteristics and level of IHS, to highlight the mental health status, coping strategies and perceived social support of PLHIV and to elucidate the relationship between these psychosocial variables. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, six hypotheses were formulated and statistical analyses conducted accordingly. The sample consisted of 300 PLWHA from Aizawl District, 150 males and 150 females, of the age group 20 to 70 years. Two- way classification of “Gender” (male and female) and three-way classification of “Level of IHS” (High IHS, Moderate IHS, Low IHS) on the dependent variables was employed, to elucidate the relationship between Internalized HIV Stigma, mental health, coping and perceived social support of PLHIV. The overall analysis revealed moderate level of IHS (67.3%) among PLHIV in Aizawl District, with a small proportion of subjects reporting high level of IHS. IHS was found to be significantly different on the basis of disclosure status, with the disclosure status of PLHIV accounting for 9% variability in IHS.  Results also revealed more or less good mental health among the participants, which was assessed by minimal depression (50.3%) and minimal anxiety (45%), with females with high IHS scoring significantly higher in both depression and anxiety (p<.01). Examination of the coping strategies of PLHIV found that the most frequently used coping styles were Acceptance (91%), Religion (84.3%), Planning (74.7%), Active Coping (66%) and Emotional Support (52.7%). High perception of perceived social support (48%) was found in the present study. Correlation analysis revealed significant positive relationships between IHS and depression as well as anxiety (p<.01), thus revealing that IHS negatively affects the mental health of PLHIV. Results however revealed that this effect may be lessened by the use of various coping strategies by PLHIV as well as their perception of social support.

Keywords: Aizawl, anxiety, depression, internalized HIV stigma, HIV/AIDS, mental health, mizoram, perceived social support

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141 [Keynote Speech]: Facilitating Familial Support of Saudi Arabians Living with HIV/AIDS

Authors: Noor Attar

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The paper provides an overview of the current situation of HIV/AIDS patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and a literature review of the concepts of stigma communication, communication of social support. These concepts provide the basis for the proposed methods, which will include conducting a textual analysis of materials that are currently distributed to family members of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV/A) in KSA and creating an educational brochure. The brochure will aim to help families of PLWHIV/A in KSA (1) understand how stigma shapes the experience of PLWHIV/A, (2) realize the role of positive communication as a helpful social support, and (3) develop the ability to provide positive social support for their loved ones.

Keywords:

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140 'Critical Performance,' an Arts-Based Method for Exploring HIV-Related Stigma, Social Support, and Access to Care among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Rural China

Authors: Chiao-Wen Lan, David Gere

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Background and Significance: Performance has a rich history of imparting information and encouraging reflection, yet there is a paucity of literature on applying performance as a method of analysis and not as a medium for health education. This study aimed to apply ethnodrama strategies to the issue of HIV-related stigma in rural China and to use a critical performance as a vehicle for communication of health research. Methods: The program, titled 'STOP STIGMA,' included dance, narratives and original quotes from people living with HIV/AIDS in China, and spectacle such as photographs, set, and props corresponding to the history of HIV in rural China. Results: The performance represented a step away from a completely textual interpretation of data towards a theatrical style that begins to privilege what arts-based research scholars Rossiter and colleagues have termed 'an embodied, theatrical representation of data.' It offered an opportunity to deliver individual and collective stories that represent how HIV-positive people experience living with HIV/AIDS in China, which could play an integral part in the formulation of actions to effect change. Discussion: This method of communicating health research has implications for fostering dialogue among researchers, community members, and medical practitioners. Although arts-based approaches are not new to the scientific community, the integration of dance, video, ethnodrama, and sciences provides opportunities to innovate in non-traditional research dissemination and communication.

Keywords: health communication, HIV/AIDS, stigma, vulnerable populations

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139 Computer-Aided Depression Screening: A Literature Review on Optimal Methodologies for Mental Health Screening

Authors: Michelle Nighswander

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Suicide can be a tragic response to mental illness. It is difficult for people to disclose or discuss suicidal impulses. The stigma surrounding mental health can create a reluctance to seek help for mental illness. Patients may feel pressure to exhibit a socially desirable demeanor rather than reveal these issues, especially if they sense their healthcare provider is pressed for time or does not have an extensive history with their provider. Overcoming these barriers can be challenging. Although there are several validated depression and suicide risk instruments, varying processes used to administer these tools may impact the truthfulness of the responses. A literature review was conducted to find evidence of the impact of the environment on the accuracy of depression screening. Many investigations do not describe the environment and fewer studies use a comparison design. However, three studies demonstrated that computerized self-reporting might be more likely to elicit truthful and accurate responses due to increased privacy when responding compared to a face-to-face interview. These studies showed patients reported positive reactions to computerized screening for other stigmatizing health conditions such as alcohol use during pregnancy. Computerized self-screening for depression offers the possibility of more privacy and patient reflection, which could then send a targeted message of risk to the healthcare provider. This could potentially increase the accuracy while also increasing time efficiency for the clinic. Considering the persistent effects of mental health stigma, how these screening questions are posed can impact patients’ responses. This literature review analyzes trends in depression screening methodologies, the impact of setting on the results and how this may assist in overcoming one barrier caused by stigma.

Keywords: computerized self-report, depression, mental health stigma, suicide risk

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138 Effects of Bed Type, Corm Weight and Lifting Time on Quantitative and Qualitative Criteria of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.)

Authors: A. Mollafilabi, A. Koocheki, P. Rezvani Moghaddam, M. Nassiri Mahalati

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In order to study the effects of corm weights and times of corm lifting saffron in different planting beds, an experiment was conducted as Factorial layout based on a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications at the Fadak Research Center of Agricultural Research in Food Science during 2010. Treatments were two corm weights (8-10, 10 < g), two planting beds (stone wool and peat moss) and five levels of lifting time (mi-June, early July, mid-July, early August and mid-August). No. of corms were 457 corms.m-2 and for 40 days and were stored for 90 days in incubation, 85% relative humidity and 25°C temperature in the darkness. Then, saffron corms were transferred to growth chamber with 17 °C in 8 hours light and 16 hours darkness. Characteristics were number of flower, fresh weight of flower, dry weight of flower, fresh and dry weight of stigma, fresh and dry weight of style, fresh and dry weight of stigma+style and Picrocrocin, Safronal and Crocin contents of saffron were measured. Results showed that the corm weight, bed type and time of corm lifting had significant effects on economical yield of saffron such as picked flowers, dry weight of stigma and fresh weight of flowers. The highest saffron economical yield was obtained in interaction of corm weight, 10 g, peat moss and lifting time in mid-June as much as 5.2 g.m-2. This yield is 11 fold of average yield of Iranian farms. Picrocrocin, Safranal and Crocin contents was graded as excellent thread in peat moss under controlled conditions compared with ISO Standard of 203.

Keywords: corm density, dry stigma, safranal-flowering, yield saffron

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