Seda Kirci Ercan, Dursun Hakan Delba


Introduction: It is common knowledge that individuals with mental illness face many negative  consequences of stigmatization. They are also super sensitive to the attitudes of  health  professionals. This study aims to investigate the stigmatizing attitudes and language usage of  mental health professionals and to compare them with non-mental health professionals.

Material and Methods: A total of 722 healthcare professionals were asked to complete the  sociodemographic characteristics data form, the questionnaire including the list of stigmatizing  words for mental illnesses, and the Attitudes Towards Mentally Ills Scale (ATMIS).

Results: Research shows that mental health professionals have less stigmatizing attitudes when  compared to other healthcare professionals (p=.000). However, it is determined that there is no  difference in terms of the number of stigmatizing words used by both groups, and the most  frequently used psychiatric diagnostic expressions with stigmatizing purposes are personality  disorders. The number of stigmatizing words used by physicians is more than nurses (p=.000).  Mental healthcare professionals have more positive attitudes in both short-term and the long term relationship scale scores. Both groups show that the mean score is lower in long-term than in short-term relationships.

Conclusion: Working in the mental health field does not lead to a positive change in terms of  language use in stigmatizing purposes and reducing stigmatizing attitudes in a long-term  relationship with individuals with mental illness. It is recommended to increase the awareness of  physicians about the use of stigmatizing language.


Stigmatization, attitudes, doctor, nurse, mental illness, language

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