Anticipated discrimination among people with schizophrenia

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012 Jan;125(1):77-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01772.x. Epub 2011 Oct 24.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of anticipated discrimination in people with schizophrenia (n = 732) from 27 countries in the International Study of Discrimination and Stigma Outcomes (INDIGO).

Method: Anticipated discrimination was assessed through four questions of Discrimination and Stigma Scale. Twenty-five individuals were identified at each site who were reasonably representative of all such treated cases within the local area.

Results: Sixty-four per cent of the participants reported that they had stopped themselves from applying for work, training or education because of anticipated discrimination. Seventy-two per cent of them reported that they felt the need to conceal their diagnosis. Expecting to be avoided by others who know about their diagnosis was highly associated with decisions to conceal their diagnosis. Those who concealed their diagnosis were younger and more educated. The participants who perceived discrimination by others were more likely to stop themselves from looking for a close relationship. Anticipated discrimination in finding and keeping work was more common in the absence than in the presence of experienced discrimination, and the similar findings applied to intimate relationships.

Conclusion: This study shows that anticipated discrimination among people with schizophrenia is common, but is not necessarily associated with experienced discrimination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Social Stigma*
  • Socioeconomic Factors