Comparing Mental Illness Stigma among Nurses in Psychiatric and Non-Psychiatric Wards in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences


Stigma can complicate people’s mental health problems by affecting different sides of personal life, increasing negative attitudes, causing discriminatory behavior towards them, and reducing the chances of recovery and returning to normal life. This research aims to compare the stigma of mental illness among nurses working in psychiatric and non-psychiatric wards in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. A total of 240 nurses participated in this descriptive and analytic study. The data were collected using a demographic questionnaire and the Community Attitudes towards the Mentally Ill (CAMI) Scale, which is a 40-item self-report questionnaire. All data were analyzed using SPSS 13. The majority of nurses have a medium level of stigma toward people with mental illness, and there is no significant relation between the type of wards and mean stigma scores. After eliminating factors such as mental illness in nurses and their families, it seems that only working with people with mental illness in psychiatric wards is not enough to create a positive attitude toward them. Additionally, the less physical activity and taking advantage of legal benefits of work hardship for psychiatric nurses, low income, and stigma toward psychiatric nursing, probably may make a difference in inclining to work in psychiatry ward between the two groups in spite of relatively equal stigma scores.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Link BG, Phelan JC. Conceptualizing Stigma. Annual Review of Sociology2001; 27: 363–85.

  • 2. Younesi SJ. Stigma and infertility in Iran-coping skills. JRI 2002;. 3: 74-6(In persain).

  • 3. Byrne P. Stigma of mental illness and ways of diminishing it. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 2000; 6: 65–72.

  • 4. Sartorius N. Stigma and mental health. The Lancet 2007; 370: 810-1.

  • 5. Crisp A. Changing minds: every family in the land—an update on the College's campaign. Schizophr Bull 2000; 24: 267-8.

  • 6. Crisp A, Gelder M, Goddard Eet al. Stigmatization of people with mental illnesses: a follow-up study within the Changing Minds campaign of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. World Psychiatry 2005;4: 106-13.

  • 7. Wahl OF. Mental health consumers' experience of stigma. Schizophr Bull 1999;25: 467.

  • 8. Angermeyer MC and Matschinger H. Social distance towards the mentally ill:Results of representative surveys in the Federal Republic of Germany. Psychol Med 1997; 27: 131-41.

  • 9. Phelan JC, Link BG, Stueve A and Pescosolido BA. Public conceptions of mental illness in 1950 and 1996: What is mental illness and is it to be feared? J Health SocBehav 2000;41: 188-207.

  • 10. Socall DW, Holtgraves T. Attitudes toward the mentally ill: The effects of label and beliefs. Sociol Q 1992;33: 435-45.

  • 11. Kongable GL, Tarko M. Psychosocial aspects of medically compromised persons. In: Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian Practice. Austin W, Boyd MA (eds). Lippincott Williams &Wilkins, Philadelphia press, 2006.

  • 12. Landino R. Buckley JM. Stigma of Mental Illness Continues to Impede Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Affective Illness in the United States. 2009.

  • 13. Ebrahimi H, Namdar H, Vahidi M. Mental illness stigma among nurses in psychiatric wards of teaching hospitals in the north-west of Iran. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2012; 17:534-8.

  • 14. Lauber C, Anthony M, Ajdacic-Gross Vet al.. What about psychiatrists' attitudes to mentally ill people? Eur Psychiatry 2004; 19: 423-7.

  • 15. Song LY, Chang LY, Shih CY et al. Community attitudes towards the mentally ill: the results of a national survey of the Taiwanese population. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2005;51:162-76.

  • 16. Llerena A, Cáceres MC, Pe-as-LLedó EM. Schizophrenia stigma among medical and nursing undergraduates. Eu Psychiatry 2002; 17: 298-9.

  • 17. Björkman T, Angelman T, and Jonsson M. Attitudes towards people with mental illness: a cross-sectional study among nursing staff in psychiatric and somatic care. Scand J Caring Sci 2008; 22: 170-7.

  • 18. Angermeyer MC and Dietrich S. Public beliefs about and attitudes towards people with mental illness: a review of population studies. ActaPsychiatriaScandinavica 2006; 113: 163-79.

  • 19. Addison S.J. Thorpe S.J., Factors involved in the formation of attitudes towards those who are mentally ill. Soc Psychiatry PsychiatrEpidemiol 2004; 39: 228-34.

  • 20. Nordt, C, Rössler W, Lauber C. Attitudes of mental health professionals toward people with schizophrenia and major depression. Schizophrenia bulletin 2006; 32: 709-14.

  • 21. Foster K, Usher K, Baker JA, Gadai S, Ali S. Mental health workers' attitudes towards mental illness in Fiji. Aust JAdvNurs 2008; 25: 72-9.

  • 22. Callaghan P, Shan CS, Yu LS et al. Attitudes towards mental illness: testing the contact hypothesis among Chinese student nurses in Hong Kong. J AdvNurs 1997;26:33-40.

  • 23. Taylor SM, Dear MJ. Saling community attitudes toward the mentally ill. Schizophrenia Bulletin 1981; 7: 225-40.

  • 24. Hugo M. Mental health professionals' attitudes towards people who have experienced a mental health disorder. J PSYCHIATR MENT HLT 2001; 8: 419-25.

  • 25. Chambers M, Guise V, Välimäki M et al., Nurses' attitudes to mental illness: a comparison of a sample of nurses from five European countries. Int J Nurs Stud 2010; 47: 350-62.

  • 26. Barczyk AN. Relationship Between the Public's Belief in Recovery, Level of Mental Illness Stigma, and Previous Contact. Community Ment Health J.2015;51:38-47.

  • 27. Surgenor LJ, Dunn J, Horn J. Nursing student attitudes to psychiatric nursing and psychiatric disorders in New Zealand. Int J Ment Health Nurs 2005;14:103-8.

  • 28. West K, Hewstone M, Lolliot S. Intergroup contact and prejudice against people with schizophrenia. J Soc Psychol 2014;154:217-32.

  • 29. Mårtensson G, Jacobsson JW, Engström M. Mental health nursing staff's attitudes towards mental illness: an analysis of related factors. J PsychiatrMent Health Nurs. 2014;21:782-8.

  • 30. Vahidi M. Hosseinzadeh M. Investigation of Seclusion in one of the Psychiatric Wards in Razi Teaching Hospital of Tabriz. J Caring Sci2014; 3:297-300

  • 31. Ahmead MK, Rahhal AA, Baker JA. Baker, The attitudes of mental health professionals towards patients with mental illness in an inpatient setting in Palestine. Int J Ment Health Nurs.2010;19:356-62.

  • 32. Li J, Li J, Thornicroft G, Huang Y. Levels of stigma among community mental health staff in Guangzhou, China. BMC psychiatry 2014; 14: 231.

  • 33. Minas H, Zamzam R, Midin Met al. Attitudes of Malaysian general hospital staff towards patients with mental illness and diabetes. BMC public health 2011; 11: 317.

  • 34. Thornicroft G, Rose D, Mehta N. Discrimination against people with mental illness: what can psychiatrists do? Advances in psychiatric treatment, 2010; 16: 53-9.


Journal + Issues