Reducing Mental Illness Stigma in Mental Health Professionals Using a Web-based Approach

Bayar M. R. , POYRAZ B. Ç. , Aksoy-Poyraz C., Arikan M. K.

ISRAEL JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY AND RELATED SCIENCES, vol.46, no.3, pp.226-230, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Page Numbers: pp.226-230


Objective: This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of a web-based mental disorder stigma education program for mental health professionals. Methods: The sample consisted of 205 individuals who were either residents or specialists in psychiatry. Participants were contacted through a national web-based e-mail group that consisted of professionals in psychiatry, who were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received an informative e-mail which contained a general account of "stigma" before they were asked to respond to an Internet-based questionnaire which was designed to predict their stigmatizing attitudes towards individuals with mental disorders. Control subjects, on the other hand, were asked to respond to the same Internet-based questionnaire without having been given the aforementioned informative e-mail. Results: The experimental group, compared to the control group, demonstrated a lesser stigmatizing attitude towards individuals with mental illness, as measured by the Internet-based survey which utilized the "social distance" concepts of stigma. Conclusions: These data suggest that such "anti-stigma" campaigns using the potential of the Internet might be an effective tool in the fight against the stigmatization of persons with mental illness.