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Stigmatised attitudes towards intellectual disability: a randomised crossover trial

  • Sabu John Varughese (a1) and Jason Luty (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

Tackling discrimination, stigma and inequalities in mental health is a major UK government objective yet people with intellectual disabilities continue to suffer serious stigma and discrimination. The project aimed to determine the effect of viewing a picture of a person with intellectual disability on stigmatised attitudes. The 20-point Attitude to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ) was used and a representative panel of members of the general public were randomised to complete the questionnaire either with (experimental) or without (control) looking at a picture of a man with Down syndrome. Six months later the same experiment was performed with the groups crossed over.

Results

Results were received for 360 participants (response rate 87–93%). The sequence (control or experimental) had no significant effect on the outcome. The mean AMIQ score in the control groups was 1.56 (s.d. = 2.85, s.e. = 0.21, n =186) and in the experiment group (after looking at the pictures) was 2.43 (s.d. = 2.59, s.e. = 0.12, n = 174; median difference 1, P = 0.0016 Mann-Whitney U-test; effect size 0.23).

Clinical implications

Looking at a picture of a man with Down syndrome significantly reduces reported stigmatised attitudes.

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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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Stigmatised attitudes towards intellectual disability: a randomised crossover trial

  • Sabu John Varughese (a1) and Jason Luty (a2)
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