The relationship between self-stigma and quality of life among people with mental illness who participated in a community program

Wen-Yi Huang, Chung-Ying Lin

Department of Occupational Therapy, Jianan Psychiatric Center, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Tainan, Taiwan. Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between self-stigma and quality of life (QoL) in people with mental illness who participate in a community program.

Methods: Using medical records, data including 28 people with mental illness who participated in a community program in 2014 were analyzed. All participants were classified into either a community program group (CG; n=17) or a non-community program group (NCG; n=11). The classification was based on when the participant engaged in the community program: The CG participated since January, 2014, while NCG participated since October, 2014. Scores for the Self-Stigma Scale-Short (SSS-S) and the WHO questionnaire on the Quality of Life, Brief Form (WHOQOL-BREF) measured in October, 2014 were converted into Rasch scores and analyzed.

Results: SSS-S domain scores of Affect and Behavior for the CG were negatively correlated with all WHOQOL-BREF domain scores (r = −0.634 to −0.741, p <0.01). In contrast, the SSS-S Cognitive scores were not correlated to any WHOQOL-BREF domain score in either group. In addition, the SSS-S domain scores for Affect and Behavior in the NCG were negatively and moderately correlated with all WHOQOL-BREF domain scores (r = −0.438 to −0.685) although only the r between the SSS-S Behavior domain score and the WHOQOL-BREF Psychological domain score was significant.

Conclusions: Cognitive self-stigma may not impact the QoL of patients with mental illness; however, affect and behavioral self-stigma are very likely to jeopardize their QoL. The effects of self-stigma on QoL were more obvious in the people who participated in the community program than in those in participants who did not. It is suggested that mental healthcare providers put additional effort into reducing self-stigma in people with mental illness. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(7):e135, 2015.



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