1Feras Al Saif, 1Hussain Al Shakhoori, 1Suad Nooh, 1Haitham Jahrami
1Psychiatric Hospital – Ministry of Health, Manama, Bahrain; 2College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain
The health care system is one of the key areas where people with mental illnesses could experience stigma. Clinicians can hold stigma attitudes during their interactions with patients with mental illness. Exploratory investigation on healthcare providers attitudes toward stigma and adoption of Evidence-Based Practice was conducted.
Material(s) and Method(s):
A large cross-sectional study with self-report questionnaire was distributed among all health care providers across 12 primary health care centers and the main psychiatric hospital in the country. Two validated tools to assess the attitudes of stigma toward mental illness and attitudes toward adoption of evidence-based practice were used; the Opening Minds Stigma Scale for Health care Providers (OMS-HC) and Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS).
A total of 547 health care providers participated, with 274 from mental health services and 273 from primary care services with a total sample response rate of 80.1% (see Pie Charts). OMS-HC scores indicated differences between both main groups and subgroups. Those in frequent contact with people with mental illness showed fewer stigma attitudes. Years of experience had a remarkable impact on the total sum score of participants, showing statistically significant differences for those who worked more than five years (p < 0.001); however, it was not statistically significant for those with less than one year of experience or between one and five years (p = 0.556, p = 0.051, respectively). A weak but statistically significant negative association was reported between both scales (see figure). Providers who were more open to adopting evidence-based practices showed less stigma.
We recommend when working to reduce stigma that EBPs are included, as proposed model by Papish et al. that included three main methods: the right knowledge, professional balanced process, and a contact-based educational program.