“Unfortunately, We Treat the Chart:” Sources of Stigma in Mental Health Settings

“Unfortunately, We Treat the Chart:” Sources of Stigma in Mental Health Settings Background Stigma within mental health settings may be equally detrimental to people with mental illnesses as societal stigma. Aims This study investigated stigma in mental health settings through a mixed qualitative–quantitative design. Method Practitioners at a community mental health center indicated (1) their subjective experience of treating people with mental illness, and (2) descriptive features of people with mental illness. Results Interpretive phenomenological analysis found that a primary theme across practitioners was the causes and effects of labeling patients, a process practitioners attributed to other practitioners and/or to systemic pressures to “treat the chart” instead of the patient. Beyond symptoms and deficits, practitioners rated people with mental illnesses as “insightful” and “able to recover.” Conclusions These data suggest that stigma in mental health settings may be due to structural, systemic pressures on practitioners, with practitioners’ emphasis on symptoms and deficits as a secondary factor. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

“Unfortunately, We Treat the Chart:” Sources of Stigma in Mental Health Settings

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
ISSN
0033-2720
eISSN
1573-6709
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11126-009-9093-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background Stigma within mental health settings may be equally detrimental to people with mental illnesses as societal stigma. Aims This study investigated stigma in mental health settings through a mixed qualitative–quantitative design. Method Practitioners at a community mental health center indicated (1) their subjective experience of treating people with mental illness, and (2) descriptive features of people with mental illness. Results Interpretive phenomenological analysis found that a primary theme across practitioners was the causes and effects of labeling patients, a process practitioners attributed to other practitioners and/or to systemic pressures to “treat the chart” instead of the patient. Beyond symptoms and deficits, practitioners rated people with mental illnesses as “insightful” and “able to recover.” Conclusions These data suggest that stigma in mental health settings may be due to structural, systemic pressures on practitioners, with practitioners’ emphasis on symptoms and deficits as a secondary factor.

Journal

Psychiatric QuarterlySpringer Journals

Published: Feb 4, 2009

References

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