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Healthcare providers' attitudes toward persons with schizophrenia.

Mittal D, Corrigan P, Sherman MD, Chekuri L, Han X, Reaves C, Mukherjee S, Morris S, Sullivan G. Healthcare providers' attitudes toward persons with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 2014 Dec 1; 37(4):297-303.

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OBJECTIVE: This study compared the attitudes of mental health and primary care providers toward persons with schizophrenia at 5 Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. METHOD: This study utilized a cross-sectional anonymous survey, including clinical vignettes describing identical patient scenarios for a hypothetical patient with and without schizophrenia, to examine the differences in attitudes of primary care and mental health providers. The survey was distributed in 3 waves from August 2011 to April 2012. Participants included 351 VA providers from 5 VA medical centers, including 205 mental health providers (psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health nurses) and 146 primary care providers (nurses and physicians). Providers' attitudes were assessed on 3 domains, including social distance, stereotyping, and attribution of mental illness. RESULTS: Primary care providers had significantly more negative attitudes toward the vignette patient with schizophrenia compared with the patient without schizophrenia on 2 of 3 attitude measures (stereotyping and attribution of mental illness); however, this difference was not observed for mental health providers on the 2 measures. Conclusions and Implication for Practice: Primary care providers' negative attitudes toward individuals with schizophrenia represent a potential target for interventions to reduce disparities in care for individuals with schizophrenia.

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