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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 0717-9227


ZARATE P, Carolina; CEBALLOS V, María E; CONTARDO P, María V  and  FLORENZANO U, Ramón. Health education and close contact as factors involved in the attitude towards the mentally ill. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.44, n.3, pp.205-214. ISSN 0717-9227.

Introduction: Either out of personal experiences, fear, or other reasons, people tend to stigmatize the mentally ill. This stigma affects in a negative manner these patients. Our primary objective was to evaluate the existence of differences in attitudes towards the mentally ill among different people, grouped according to four characteristics: health care providers, general population, people who know mentally ill, and those who do not. Methods: The Community Attitudes toward Mentally Ill Scale (CAMI) was applied to 126 participants, which were classified in four groups: "know-health", "do not know- health", "know-general population", "do not know-general population". Each scale item was analyzed for each of the groups: authoritarianism, benevolence, social restriction, and perception. Results: Health care providers report less authoritarianism, less social restriction, and better perception towards the mentally ill when compared to general population. Those who know a mentally ill also have a better perception and less social restriction than those who do not know a mentally ill patient. The positive effects on stigma reduction among health care providers and those who know mentally ill patients had an additive effect. Conclusion: When common people know a mentally ill, the stigma is diminished. This contributes to better support, leading to improved treatment and better prognosis

Keywords : Stigma; mental illness; CAMI Scale.

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