Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Nov;114(5):303-18.

Prejudice and schizophrenia: a review of the 'mental illness is an illness like any other' approach.

Author information

Department of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.



Many anti-stigma programmes use the 'mental illness is an illness like any other' approach. This review evaluates the effectiveness of this approach in relation to schizophrenia.


The academic literature was searched, via PsycINFO and MEDLINE, to identify peer-reviewed studies addressing whether public espousal of a biogenetic paradigm has increased over time, and whether biogenetic causal beliefs and diagnostic labelling are associated with less negative attitudes.


The public, internationally, continues to prefer psychosocial to biogenetic explanations and treatments for schizophrenia. Biogenetic causal theories and diagnostic labelling as 'illness', are both positively related to perceptions of dangerousness and unpredictability, and to fear and desire for social distance.


An evidence-based approach to reducing discrimination would seek a range of alternatives to the 'mental illness is an illness like any other' approach, based on enhanced understanding, from multi-disciplinary research, of the causes of prejudice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center