Stigma in young people at ultra-high risk of psychosis and mental health practitioners

Poster C120, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Andrea Polari1, Fritha Melville1, Bridget Moller1, Patrick McGorry2, Barnaby Nelson2, Sung-Wan Kim3; 1Orygen Youth Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence In Youth Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Republic Of Korea

Objective This study assessed UHR patients’ (aged 15-24) and youth mental health clinicians’ opinions about potential stigma associated with terms like Ultra High Risk (UHR), At Risk Mental State (ARMS), and Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome (APS). Method 50 UHR individuals from the PACE clinic and 58 clinicians from Orygen Youth Health, Melbourne, Australia, completed questionnaires regarding opinions about stigma associated with terms such as ARMS, UHR and APS. Results In comparison with mental health clinicians, patients were less likely to associate stigma with the terms UHR (65.5% vs 42.0%, p=0.014) and APS (62.1% vs 36.7%, p=0.009). Patients were less afraid and ashamed if the term APS was used (58.6% vs 38.8%, p=0.041). Individuals with a family history of psychiatric disorders agreed significantly more, than those without family history, that people may be afraid and ashamed as a result of using the UHR term (57.6% vs 17.6%, p=0.007). Patients who transitioned to psychosis agreed significantly more with possible stigma when using the UHR term than those who did not transition (72.7% vs 35.9%, p=0.030). Among clinicians, 52.8% used the term 'psychosis' at the beginning of the episode of care, 28.3% during the episode of care, 7.5% when transition to psychosis occurred, and 11.3% did not use it at all. Conclusions This study suggests that UHR individuals might experience less stigma related to the term UHR and APS compared with mental health clinicians. However, clients with family history of psychiatric disorder and who transitioned to psychosis seem to be exposed to greater stigma when facing those terms.

Topic Area: Ultra High Risk / Prodromal Research

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