Level of Stigma Towards Mental Illness among the Caregivers of Clients With Mental Illness and Other Chronic Medical Illness
Background: Mental illness is considered to be associated with high level of stigma. The stigmatizing
experience is not only limited to the patients but is also experienced by their close relatives. Due to the stigma,
people often avoid the use of mental health services because of the fear of being labeled as a “mentally ill
patient” and thus avoid the negative consequences connected with the stigma of mental illness.
Aim: The aim of the study was to compare the level of stigma towards mental illness between the caregivers
of clients with mental illness and other chronic illness.
Methods and Materials: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted that included 200 subjects of
which 100 from group I (caregivers of clients with mental illness) and 100 from group II (caregivers of
clients with other chronic illness). Convenient sampling method was used. Fear and Behavioural Intention
scale was used to assess the level of stigma.
Results: Group I had positive attitude towards mental illness with the mean score of 37.21±7.13 whereas
Group II had less positive attitude towards mental illness with the mean score of 27.48±7.98.
Conclusion: The study results indicate that caregivers who have their family member under treatment for
mental illness were more likely to have behaviourally favourable attitude towards mental illness when
comparing with the caregivers who do not have a family member with mental illness. Educating the public
on mental illness may reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.