Measuring the impact of programs that challenge the public stigma of mental illness

Clin Psychol Rev. 2010 Dec;30(8):907-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jun 30.


Public stigma robs people with mental illnesses from rightful opportunities related to work and other important life goals. Advocates have developed anti-stigma programs meant to address the prejudice and discrimination associated with these conditions. Evidence is now needed to make sense of program impact; this paper looks at measurement issues related to stigma change. Community-based participatory research is central to this research and includes the involvement of a diverse collection of stakeholders in all phases of evaluation. Investigators should be cautious about measures vis-à-vis social desirability effects and should directed by social validity of targeted audiences. Conceptual domains with some research support that correspond with assessments include behavior, penetration, psychological perspective, knowledge, and physiological/information processes. These issues are summarized as ten recommendations for evaluation of anti-stigma programs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Prejudice*
  • Psychology, Clinical
  • Social Change*
  • Social Desirability
  • Social Stigma*