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Destigmatising schizophrenia: does changing terminology reduce negative attitudes?

  • David Kingdon (a1), Selvarej Vincent (a2), Sylvia Vincent (a2), Yoshihiro Kinoshita (a2) and Douglas Turkington (a3)...
Abstract
Aims and Method

Health promotion campaigns using current terminology have had limited success in reducing stigma to schizophrenia. Terminology and subgroups based on historical precedent, clinical experience and psychosocial research have been developed to provide an alternative to existing terminology, and the attitudes to schizophrenia and alternative terminology of a sample of medical students (n=241) were compared.

Results

Overall attitudes were significantly less negative with the alternatives. the students were less negative about the potential for recovery in relation to all the subgroups than for schizophrenia. Concerns about dangerousness were also less prominent with the exception of the drug-related group.

Clinical Implications

Subgroups and alternative terminology should be further explored in programmes to destigmatise schizophrenia.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Destigmatising schizophrenia: does changing terminology reduce negative attitudes?

  • David Kingdon (a1), Selvarej Vincent (a2), Sylvia Vincent (a2), Yoshihiro Kinoshita (a2) and Douglas Turkington (a3)...
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eLetters

Renaming Mental Disorders

Andrew Al-Adwani, Psychiatrist
23 November 2008

I believe that a name change for schizophrenia would be a good idea. Whether a lumper or a splitter though, the four types of schizophrenia tentatively proposed by the authors (Kingdon, et.al., 2008) do not seem to cleave at the joint and would cause serious problems for atheoretical classification systems. The idea, for instance, of traumatic schizophrenia might become hopelessly entangled with emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD). In some ways EUPD is more stigmatising than schizophrenia due to the reaction of dread and therapeutic nihilism it causes amongst a number of psychiatrists. Maybe the inclusion of EUPD in 'bipolar spectrum disorder' was, in part, motivated by similar concerns, but here the reverse problem applies of the eitiologies being so obviously different. I talk to patients with EUPD about 'developmental emotional instability' and maybe we ought to have a taxonomy, as in many fields, of a common and a scientific name for disorders.

KINGDON D,VINCENT S,VINCENT S, KINOSHITA Y, TURKINGTON D (2008) Destigmatising schizophrenia: does changing terminology reduce negative attitudes? Psychiatric Bulletin,32,419-422.
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