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Nervenarzt. 2007 Jul;78(7):787-8, 790-5.

[Changes in the public's social distance toward individuals with schizophrenia in six German cities. Results of representative pre- and postinterventional telephone surveys from 2001 to 2004].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Rheinische Kliniken Düsseldorf, 40629 Düsseldorf.



In several German cities various programmes and initiatives have been conducted during recent years aimed at reducing the stigma attached to mental illness, especially schizophrenia. So far only single interventions in specific target groups have been evaluated but not their effectiveness in the general population.


Two representative telephone surveys with repeated measurements were conducted in six German cities (n 7,225/4,622). Social distance towards people with schizophrenia and knowledge of antistigma projects were assessed.


Between 2001 and 2004 the social distance toward persons with schizophrenia decreased in the general population. Persons familiar with antistigma projects or who lived in cities with such projects showed lower social distance.


For the first time evidence has been found that antistigma interventions are successful in reducing the stigma attached to schizophrenia in the general population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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