Tackling discrimination, stigma and inequalities in mental health is a major UK government objective. Surveys have suggested that mental health services are institutionally racist. Most research has focused on stigma associated with schizophrenia despite well‐documented prejudice against people with other psychiatric disorders.The aim of this study was to assess stigmatised attitudes towards people from two ethnic groups with substance use disorder and learning disability. The 20‐point Attitude to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ) was used to assess stigmatised attitudes. A representative panel of members of the general public were randomised to receive a questionnaire with a picture of a European or African‐Caribbean man and a fictitious description of alcoholism (first round) or Down's syndrome (second round) six months later. Results were received for over 198 subjects (response rate 79‐84%). There was no difference between the score for the African‐Caribbean vignette or the European vignette for either alcoholism (mean AMIQ score 0.43 standard error = 0.39; n = 100 Vs 0.98 standard error = 0.53; n = 110; effect size r = 0.11; p = 0.2059;) or learning disability (mean 1.71 standard error = 0.22; n = 100 Vs 1.98; standard error = 0.30; n = 98; effect size r = 0.07; p = 0.2559).The study showed that ethnic origin had no significant difference on stigmatised attitudes towards someone with alcoholism or learning disability. Although a larger study would have increased power to detect a statistically significant difference it seems unlikely that a difference of the observed magnitude would be of any practical relevance.
Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 19, 2009
Keywords: Stigmatised attitudes; Ethnic origins; Alcoholic; Learning disabilities; Mental health