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Impact of positive images of a person with intellectual disability on attitudes: randomised controlled trial

  • Sabu John Varughese (a1), Vania Mendes (a2) and Jason Luty (a3)
Abstract
Aims and method

Tackling discrimination, stigma and inequalities in mental health is a major UK government objective yet people with intellectual disability (also known as learning disability in UK health services) continue to suffer serious stigma and discrimination. We examine the effect of viewing pictures of a person with intellectual disability on stigmatised attitudes. The 20-point Attitude to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ) was used to assess stigmatised attitudes. Members of the general public were randomised to complete the questionnaire having looked at a good (attractive) or bad (unattractive) photograph of a person with intellectual disability.

Results

Questionnaires were received from 187 participants (response rate 74%). The mean AMIQ stigma score for the bad photo group was 1.3 (s.e. = 0.3, median 1, interquartile range (IQR) = 0–3, n = 82). The mean AMIQ score for the good photo group was 2.8 (s.e. = 0.3, median 3, IQR = 1–5, n = 105). The difference in AMIQ stigma score was highly significant (two-sided P = 0.0001, median difference 2, Mann–Whitney U-test).

Clinical implications

Looking at a good (attractive) picture of a person with intellectual disability significantly reduces reported stigmatised attitudes, whereas a bad (unattractive) picture has no effect.

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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.
Corresponding author
Jason Luty (jason.luty@yahoo.co.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Impact of positive images of a person with intellectual disability on attitudes: randomised controlled trial

  • Sabu John Varughese (a1), Vania Mendes (a2) and Jason Luty (a3)
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