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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2001 Summer;47(2):43-51.

Labeling effect of Seishin-bunretsu-byou, the Japanese translation for schizophrenia: an argument for relabeling.

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School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Stigma attached to individuals with schizophrenia may be derived from its diagnostic label. Two forms of a questionnaire were distributed to 189 Japanese university students. Each questionnaire contains case vignettes of schizophrenia and major depression. In one form, the students were told at the close of each vignette the diagnostic label assigned to that case (the label group) whereas in another form, they were not done so (the control group). The students were also asked to rate negative image of the case in four items each. The label group was significantly higher than the control group in three of the four negative image items for the vignette of schizophrenia. They did not differ in any of the negative image items for the vignette of depression. This suggests that the label of schizophrenia (the Japanese translation Seishin-bunretsu-byou) has stigmatizing effect. We discussed these findings in the light of the implications of a relabeling, and argued for a change of name.

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