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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2008 Fall;32(2):95-104. doi: 10.2975/32.2.2008.95.104.

Self-stigma of people with schizophrenia as predictor of their adherence to psychosocial treatment.

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.



Treatment non-adherence has frequently been noticed among people with schizophrenia. Self-stigma towards one's mental illness is believed to be a contributing factor undermining adherence. This study aimed at obtaining empirical support regarding the relationship between psychosocial treatment adherence and self-stigma. Other significant predictors of adherence to psychosocial interventions were to be identified.


Eighty-six people with DSM IV diagnoses of schizophrenia were recruited from psychiatric hospitals and community settings in Hong Kong. Their level of stigma, self-esteem, self-efficacy, insight, psychosocial treatment adherence and demographic data were collected. Multiple regression was used to investigate the adjusted relationship between psychosocial treatment adherence and the selected independent variables.


Higher level of self-stigma, poorer current insight on the social consequences of having mental illness, and living with others were found to be significant predictors of poor psychosocial treatment attendance. Better self-esteem and current insight about the negative social consequences were significant predictors of better psychosocial treatment participation. Self-stigma and self-esteem exhibited the strongest contributions to psychosocial treatment adherence.


Self-stigmatization is associated with the level of treatment adherence among people with schizophrenia, and its negative effect was found to intensify along the self-stigmatization process. Further studies to enhance understanding of self-stigma and improve treatment adherence are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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