Schizophrenia literacy: the effects of an educational intervention on populations with and without prior health education

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Background: Mental health literacy is an important predictor of appropriate help-seeking behaviour. Aims: This study investigated (a) the effects of an educational intervention on schizophrenia mental health literacy, beliefs about causes, discrimination, treatment, and attitudes that promote recognition, and (b) whether schizophrenia literacy would be higher in people with prior education in a health-related area than people without such education. Method: A randomised control design tested the effects of an educational intervention on schizophrenia literacy relative to a control group. Participants (N = 260; mean age = 31.18 years, SD = 11.43, female = 78.8%) answered a mental health literacy questionnaire, based on a vignette of a person with schizophrenia, before and after watching either an educational video on schizophrenia or a control video. Results: The intervention significantly increased schizophrenia identification and literacy, reduced personal stigma, and increased perceived discrimination in society. The health background group reported significantly greater schizophrenia identification than the no health background group. Participants thought help should be sought from health care professionals and through psychotherapy, close friends and physical activity. Conclusions: Targeted education can significantly improve the ability to identify schizophrenia which may have positive implications for reducing the time individuals take to seek help. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Journal of Mental Health
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Journal Article
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Participants Two hundred and sixty adults (78.8% females) aged from 18 to 67 years (M = 31.18, SD = 11.43) participated in the present study [...] Most of the participants (65.8%) lived in Australia or New Zealand, 19.6% in Europe, 11.9% in North America, and the remainder in other areas (2.7%). [...]

Intervention Participants were randomly allocated to one of two intervention groups [...] In the educational intervention group, participants (mean age = 31.82 years, SD = 11.80) watched an 8-minute video that explained the symptoms and possible causes of schizophrenia, including both psychosocial and biological, and the stigma about schizophrenia. [...] In the control group, participants (mean age = 30.55 years, SD = 11.07) watched a 10- minute video presented by the same host as the educational video explaining the relationship between our emotions, stress, and health. [...]

Procedure [...] Participants were invited to complete the survey via distribution of the survey URL on Facebook. [...] participants answered general demographic questions including, “Do you have any education, work or training in a health-related setting?” Answers to this question determined participants’ membership in either the health background group or the no health background group. Participants then read a vignette describing John and answered the MHLQ (pre-intervention). For the intervention, participants were randomly allocated to either the educational intervention or the control group and again completed the MHLQ (post-intervention). [...]

Type of Prejudice/Bias