The Role of Stigmas in Mental Health: A Comparative Study.

The role of stigmas in mental health: A comparative study.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Curationis. 2012; 35(1): E1-8
Idemudia ES, Matamela NA

Background: HIV (Human immunodeficiency Virus), AIDS and cancer are feared terminal diseases. HIV sufferers are known to be stigmatized. The stigma surrounding cancer, unfortunately, is hardly the focus of psychological investigations, and hence this provoked the need to compare the stigma suffered by both groups, and how these have impacted on the psychological functioning of the disease sufferer. Objectives: The study had two main objectives, firstly, to explore whether HIV patients suffer more stigma than cancer patients or not, and secondly, to understand the most common type of stigma and if stigma is associated with psychopathology. Psychopathology is measured with GHQ-28 which evaluates somatic complaints, anxiety, depression and social dysfunction.Method: The study was a survey, and descriptive in nature, and anchored on two hypotheses: Firstly, that HIV patients will experience more stigmas than cancer patients and consequently report more psychological dysfunctions. Secondly that there will be a significant difference between types of stigma and the symptoms reported about them. Data were collected from a conveniently sampled group of 50 HIV positive patients and another 50 patients diagnosed with cancer, in two clinics and a hospital around the Gauteng Province. The majority of the participants were females, numbering 62 (62, 0%), whilst 38 (38.0%) were males. The age of the respondents ranged from 20-73 years with a mean age of 44.4 years (s.d. = 11.6).Results: Results revealed a significant main effect for enacted stigma F = (1.98), = 17.629, p < .001 and anxiety F = (1.98) = 5.750, p < .001. A post hoc Bonferroni also showed that HIV patients had a higher mean score of enacted stigma (X-bar = 4.22) than cancer patients (X-bar = 1.28) and also HIV patients reported more anxiety (X-bar = 8.81) than cancer patients (X-bar = 6.42). Enacted stigma significantly influenced the GHQ Total (F = (98) = 1.700, p < .05); anxiety (F = (97) = 2.578, p < .004); and depression (F = (97) = 3.390 p < .001). The perceived community stigma had one main effect for depression (F = (1.98) = 1.452, p < .05). There were no significant main effects for internally felt stigma and psychological dysfunctions. Both hypotheses were partially supported.Conclusion: Recommendations included tailoring interventions to meet the cultural needs of patients. Other recommendations were made in accordance with the findings of the study.
HubMed – depression


The significance of at-risk or prodromal symptoms for bipolar I disorder in children and adolescents.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Can J Psychiatry. 2013 Jan; 58(1): 22-31
Hauser M, Correll CU

While in the early identification and intervention of psychosis-specific instruments and risk criteria have been generated and validated, research into indicated preventive strategies for bipolar I disorder (BD I) has only recently gained momentum. As the first signs of BD I often start before adulthood, such efforts are especially important in the vulnerable pediatric population. Data are summarized regarding the presence and nature of potentially prodromal, that is, subsyndromal, symptoms prior to BD I, defined by first-episode mania, focusing on pediatric patients. Research indicates the possibility of early identification of youth at clinical high risk for BD. Support for this proposition comes from retrospective studies of BD I patients, as well as prospective studies of community samples, offspring of BD I subjects, youth with depressive disorders, and patients at high risk for psychosis or with bipolar spectrum disorders without lifetime history of mania. These data provide essential insight into potential signs and symptoms that may enable presyndromal identification of BD I in youth. However, except for offspring studies, broader prospective approaches that focus on youth at clinical high risk for BD I and on developing specific interviews and (or) rating scales and risk criteria are mostly missing, or in their early stage. More work is needed to determine valid and sufficiently specific clinical high-risk criteria, to distinguish risk factors, endophenotypes, and comorbidities from prodromal symptomatology, and to develop phase-specific interventions that titrate the risk of intervention to the risk of transition to mania and to functional impairment or distress. Moreover, studies are needed that determine potential differences in prodromal symptoms and trajectories between children, adolescents, and adults, and the best phase-specific interventions.
HubMed – depression


Influence of psychosocial risk factors on the trajectory of mental health problems from childhood to adolescence: a longitudinal study.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

BMC Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 17; 13(1): 31
Fatori D, Bordin IA, Curto BM, de Paula CS

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Longitudinal epidemiological studies involving child/adolescent mental health problems are scarce in developing countries, particularly in regions characterized by adverse living conditions. We examined the influence of psychosocial factors on the trajectory of child/adolescent mental health problems (CAMHP) over time. METHODS: A population-based sample of 6- to 13-year-olds with CAMHP was followed-up from 2002–2003 (Time 1/T1) to 2007–2008 (Time 2/T2), with 86 out of 124 eligible children/adolescents at T1 being reassessed at T2 (sample loss: 30.6%). Outcome: CAMHP at T2 according to the Child Behavior Checklist/CBCL’s total problem scale. Psychosocial factors: T1 variables (child/adolescent’s age, family socioeconomic status); trajectory of variables from T1 to T2 (child/adolescent exposure to severe physical punishment, mother exposure to severe physical marital violence, maternal anxiety/depression); and T2 variables (maternal education, child/adolescent’s social support and pro-social activities). RESULTS: Multivariate analysis identified two risk factors for child/adolescent MHP at T2: aggravation of child/adolescent physical punishment and aggravation of maternal anxiety/depression. CONCLUSIONS: The current study shows the importance of considering child/adolescent physical punishment and maternal anxiety/depression in intervention models and mental health care policies.
HubMed – depression



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