Self-stigma, empowerment and perceived discrimination among people with schizophrenia in 14 European countries: the GAMIAN-Europe study

Schizophr Res. 2010 Sep;122(1-3):232-8. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.02.1065. Epub 2010 Mar 26.


There is a growing interest in examining self-stigma as a barrier to recovery from schizophrenia. To date, no studies have examined mental health service user's experiences of self-stigma throughout Europe. This study describes the level of self-stigma, stigma resistance, empowerment and perceived discrimination reported by mental health service users with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder across 14 European countries. Data were collected from 1229 people using a postal survey from members of mental health non-governmental organisations. Almost half (41.7%) reported moderate or high levels of self-stigma, 49.2% moderate or high stigma resistance, 49.7% moderate or high empowerment and 69.4% moderate or high perceived discrimination. In a reduced multivariate model 42% of the variance in self-stigma scores was predicted by levels of empowerment, perceived discrimination and social contact. These results suggest that self-stigma appears to be common and sometimes severe among people with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders in Europe.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia* / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia* / physiopathology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires