OBJECTIVE: To identify socio-demographic correlates of stigma attached to psychiatric illnesses
METHOD: This is a retrospective study. Data of the patients who had attended psychiatry department;
either as a referral or direct consultation; and as in-patient or outpatient; at Isra University
Hospital at Hyderabad during the years 2001 to 2004, were reviewed and presence or
absence of stigma feelings were compared to their socio-demographic backgrounds. Demographic
characteristics of a total of 1208 patients with different psychiatric illnesses were recorded.
Data obtained, was subjected to analysis using SPSS 13th version.
RESULTS: Feelings of stigma was present in forty seven percent of the studied population.
Males had slightly more feelings of stigma. People from urban areas were also carrying more
feelings of stigma but it was statistically insignificant. Apart from people with no formal education
who had maximum stigma feelings; education level was found to increase such feelings, in
the population studied.
CONCLUSION: In our studied population, feeling of stigma seems to prevail in every demographic
class; this is specially so among neurotics, male gender, urban patients. Level of education
has interesting relation with the feeling of Stigma, which is found to increase with level of
Key words: Mental Illness, Socio-demographic, Stigma.