A population study of public stigma about psychosis and its contributing factors among Chinese population in Hong Kong

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2016 May;62(3):205-13. doi: 10.1177/0020764015621941. Epub 2015 Dec 31.


Purpose: Public stigma is an important barrier to the recovery of patients with psychosis. This study aimed to explore public stigma associated with a newly adopted Chinese name for psychosis 'si-jue-shi-tiao' in a representative Chinese population in Hong Kong, focusing on factors contributing to public stigma. Exposure to mass media and its relationship with the stigma were explored in detail.

Methods: Random telephone survey of general population in Hong Kong was conducted. Information including basic demographics, psychosis literacy, recent news recall about psychosis and stigma, measured with the revised Link's Perceived Discrimination-Devaluation Scale (LPDDS) were obtained. Univariate analysis of LPDDS score and demographic variables, news exposure, previous contacts with people with psychosis and knowledge about psychosis were conducted. Further hierarchical regression analysis was performed.

Results: A total of 1,016 subjects were interviewed. The sample was comparable with the whole Hong Kong population aged 18 years and above. Those of female gender, with higher educational level and better knowledge about symptoms and treatment of psychosis had higher score of LPDDS. The model significantly explained 8.3% of variance of LPDDS score (F(7, 895) = 12.606, p < .0001, p < .0001). The negative news recall had trend significance in the model.

Conclusion: The finding suggested that discrimination among the general public against people with psychosis was still common. Specific strategies will need to be established in targeting media news reporting about psychosis, knowledge disseminating and needs of specific population. Further researches should be conducted to understand the mechanisms of the stigma development in relation to these factors so that more focused and effective strategies could be developed.

Keywords: Public stigma; discrimination; media; psychosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Discrimination / psychology*
  • Social Stigma*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult