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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Aug;16(6):516-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01418.x.

Are stigma experiences among persons with mental illness, related to perceptions of self-esteem, empowerment and sense of coherence?

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Health Sciences Centre, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. bertil.lundberg@med.lu.se

Abstract

The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between stigmatizing rejection experiences and self-related variables. Our hypothesis was that rejection experiences would be negatively associated with perceptions of self-esteem, empowerment and sense of coherence. A cross-sectional study assessing rejection experiences, empowerment, sense of coherence and self-esteem was performed, including 200 persons in current or earlier contact with mental health services. The results showed that experiences of rejection were negatively associated with sense of coherence, empowerment and self-esteem. This exploratory investigation suggests that experiences of rejection might be a target for coping interventions. Mental health nurses are in a key position to identify patients' experiences of stigma and by that to understand what consequences of devaluation/discrimination can have for the afflicted.

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