Prejudice and schizophrenia: a review of the `mental illness is an illness like any other' approach
Source: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Volume 114, Number 5, November 2006 , pp. 303-318(16)
Abstract:Read J, Haslam N, Sayce L, Davies E. Prejudice and schizophrenia: a review of the `mental illness is an illness like any other' approach. Objective: Many anti-stigma programmes use the `mental illness is an illness like any other' approach. This review evaluates the effectiveness of this approach in relation to schizophrenia. Method: The academic literature was searched, via PsycINFO and MEDLINE, to identify peer-reviewed studies addressing whether public espousal of a biogenetic paradigm has increased over time, and whether biogenetic causal beliefs and diagnostic labelling are associated with less negative attitudes. Results: The public, internationally, continues to prefer psychosocial to biogenetic explanations and treatments for schizophrenia. Biogenetic causal theories and diagnostic labelling as `illness', are both positively related to perceptions of dangerousness and unpredictability, and to fear and desire for social distance. Conclusion: An evidence-based approach to reducing discrimination would seek a range of alternatives to the `mental illness is an illness like any other' approach, based on enhanced understanding, from multi-disciplinary research, of the causes of prejudice.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 2: Department of Psychology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia 3: Disability Rights Commission, London, UK 4: Institute of Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Publication date: 2006-11-01