An Instrument to Measure Mental Health Professionals' Beliefs and Attitudes towards Service Users' Rights

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jan 16;16(2):244. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16020244.


We aimed at developing and validating a scale on the beliefs and attitudes of mental health professionals towards services users' rights in order to provide a valid evaluation instrument for training activities with heterogeneous mental health professional groups. Items were extracted from a review of previous instruments, as well as from several focus groups which have been conducted with different mental health stakeholders, including mental health service users. The preliminary scale consisted of 44 items and was administered to 480 mental health professionals. After eliminating non-discriminant and low weighting items, a final scale of 25 items was obtained. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses produced a four-factor solution consisting of the following four dimensions; system criticism/justifying beliefs, freedom/coercion, empowerment/paternalism, and tolerance/discrimination. The scale shows high concordance with our theoretical model as well as adequate parameters of explained variance, model fit, and internal reliability. Additional work is required to assess the cultural equivalence and psychometrics of this tool in other settings and populations, including health students.

Keywords: attitudes; beliefs; coercion; discrimination; mental health services; paternalism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Rights*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult