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Public beliefs about and attitudes towards people with mental illness: a review of population studies

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Angermeyer MC, Dietrich S. Public beliefs about and attitudes towards people with mental illness: a review of population studies.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005: 1–17. © 2005 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objective: 

To provide a review of population-based attitude research in psychiatry during the past 15 years. Method: 

An electronic search using PubMed, Medline, and Academic Search Premier plus a hand search of the literature was carried out for studies on public beliefs about mental illness and attitudes towards the mentally ill published between 1990 and 2004. Results: 

Thirty-three national studies and 29 local and regional studies were identified, mostly from Europe. Although the majority are of descriptive nature, more recent publications include studies testing theory-based models of the stigmatization of mentally ill people, analyses of time trends and cross-cultural comparisons, and evaluations of antistigma interventions. Conclusion: 

Attitude research in psychiatry made considerable progress over the past 15 years. However, there is still much to be done to provide an empirical basis for evidence-based interventions to reduce misconceptions about mental illness and improve attitudes towards persons with mental illness.
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Keywords: attitudes; mental disorders; population

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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