One of the steps to change stigmatised attitudes involves identifying the concerns of people whose attitude is to be changed. This paper presents the Attitudes to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ), a short instrument aimed at systematically obtaining this information, and examines the feasibility, test–retest reliability as well as face and construct validity of the AMIQ on the UK general public. A postal survey of a random sample of 1079 adults was conducted. A self-reported questionnaire with 5-point Likert scale responses was validated in response to short fictional vignettes. A second subsample of 256 was used for a reliability test.
The AMIQ is a short instrument with good psychometric properties. It shows good stability, test–retest reliability, alternative test reliability, face, construct and criterion validity. The self-selecting sample of 1079 UK adults showed highly stigmatised attitudes to people with addictive disorders but more positive attitudes to those with depression or self-harm. Results from a smaller follow-up sample showed that attitudes towards people with alcohol dependence and schizophrenia were intermediate.
The AMIQ can be used in various medical and mental health stigma research and intervention settings.
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