Updated in 12/24/2009 2:44:55 AM      Viewed: 627 times      (Journal Article)
Psychiatry Research 149 (1-3): 89-95 (2007)

Stigma, social function and symptoms in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: Associations across 6 months

PH Lysaker , LW Davis , DM Warman , A Strasburger , N Beattie
Research suggests stigma is a barrier to self-esteem and the attainment of resources in schizophrenia. Less clear is the association of stigma experiences with symptoms and social function both concurrently and prospectively. To assess this, symptoms were measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, social function was measured using the Quality of Life Scale and stigma experience was assessed using the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale among 36 persons with schizophrenia at two points, 6 months apart. Correlations found stigma was associated with concurrent levels of positive and emotional discomfort symptoms and degree of social contact. When initial stigma levels were controlled for, stigma at 6 months was predicted by baseline levels of positive symptoms. Greater initial stigma predicted greater emotional discomfort at follow-up. Results suggest internalized stigma is linked with social function and symptoms. Positive symptoms may make some persons with schizophrenia more vulnerable to ongoing stigma experience. © 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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