To assess stigmatising attitudes towards mental illness and psychiatric professionals experienced by UK liaison psychiatry staff. A questionnaire asked about the impact of these events on patient care and for suggestions for tackling stigma in the general hospital.
Out of 72 multidisciplinary respondents, over three-quarters had experienced stigmatising attitudes towards mental illness by general hospital colleagues at least monthly. Two-thirds reported instances where stigmatisation had an adverse impact on patient care, and over a quarter reported stigmatising attitudes towards mental health professionals. Suggestions for combating stigma included educational initiatives, clear clinical communication, and the provision of high-quality liaison services.
Liaison psychiatry is well placed to both recognise and combat stigma in the general hospital. This can help to ensure that patient care is comprehensive, safe and respectful.
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