Stigma Arising From Family Members Of The Mentally Ill Patients In Hospital Taiping

Tuti MD, Norsyuhaida MN, Nik Siti Fatimah M, Farihah Hanim Z, Nor Akmar S, CT Effa FMF, Khairunnisa MZ, Marhani M, Ruzanna Z


Although public stigma towards the mentally ill is a known challenge, stigma from within the family has not been widely studied. This study aimed to compare the experience of stigma between mentally ill patients and diabetic controls, particularly focusing on stigma arising from family members. This is a cross sectional case control study. The case group consisted of 63 patients who attended the outpatient psychiatric clinic of Hospital Taiping. The control group consisted of 78 diabetic patients attending the outpatient medical clinic, Hospital Taiping and Selama Health Clinic. Patients completed questionnaire assessing stigma experienced by patients. Significantly higher percentage of psychiatric patients (55.6%) experienced stigma compared to diabetic patients (15.4%) (X2 = 25.3, p-value < 0.0001). In addition, significantly higher percentage of patients with psychiatric illness received negative comments during the relapse of illness (57.1% vs 16.7%, chi-square = 5.12, p-value = 0.024) compared to diabetic patients. This study demonstrates that family members themselves could be a source of stigma. The findings support current family psycho-education programs in caring for the mentally ill.


stigma, family, diabetes, mental illness

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