An exploratory study on the perception of stigma and coping strategies of people with mental illness in an acute psychiatric setting in Hong Kong

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An exploratory study on the perception of stigma and coping strategies of people with mental illness in an acute psychiatric setting in Hong Kong

 

Author: Chong, Bo-wah
Title: An exploratory study on the perception of stigma and coping strategies of people with mental illness in an acute psychiatric setting in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2005
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Mentally ill -- China -- Hong Kong
Stigmatization
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: 69 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1968132
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5875
Abstract: Being stigmatised is a common experience of people with mental illness and this affects their social reintegration. Therefore it is essential for health care professional to have better understanding about this issue in order to prepare the people with mental illness when they reintegrate back in the society. This study aimed at exploring the subjective perception of stigmatisation and the coping strategies of stigma among people with mental illness in Hong Kong. Qualitative research approach was adopted and semi-structured interviews were conducted on 10 participants who were in-patients in a psychiatric unit of a regional hospital in Hong Kong. Their age ranged from 23 to 47 and nine of them were female and one was male. They were invited by the researcher to participate in this study according to the inclusion guidelines. Results showed that experience of being stigmatised was common among people with mental illness. A triangular relationship is found between the stigmatisation from the public, stigmatisation from significant others and self-stigmatization. Concerning about the coping strategies of stigmatisation among the participants, common coping strategies were found, which could be classified into (1) avoidance, (2) suicidal ideation, (3) deception, (4) cognitive readjustment, (5) spiritual support, and (6) active engagement in activities. It was concluded that stigmatisation should be approached by professional personnel in three different perspectives, namely, (1) stigmatisation from the public, (2) stigmatisation from significant others, and (3) self-stigmatisation. In order to facilitate people with mental illness to cope with stigmatisation, positive coping strategies should be included as one of the important training components in their rehabilitation programmes.

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