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Experience of stigma among Chinese mental health patients in Hong Kong

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

K. F. Chung
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China (tel: 852 2855 4487; fax: 852 28551345; e-mail:
M. C. Wong
Department of Psychiatry, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, China
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Aims and Method

The study was intended to rectify the lack of data on how Chinese people experience the stigma of mental illness. A questionnaire on perceived stigmatisation, experiences of rejection and ways of coping with stigma was completed by 193 persons attending a psychiatric out-patient clinic in Hong Kong.


Most of the participants were aware of the stigma associated with mental illness, but experiences of rejection were relatively less frequent. Eleven per cent of the respondents indicated that they were neglected by health care professionals and 8% had been avoided by family members. The most frequently reported coping method was maintaining secrecy about the illness.

Clinical Implications

In China, people with mental health problems experience stigma in various degrees. However, some of the people surveyed expressed feelings of relief that others were supportive and sympathetic towards their illness. Mental health professionals should maintain optimism in helping their patients to cope with the stigma.

Original Papers
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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright © 2004. The Royal College of Psychiatrists.


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