Acute Inpatients’ Experiences of Stigma From Psychosis: A Qualitative Exploration

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Stigma is a common difficulty for those who experience psychosis as they are viewed as most dangerous, unpredictable, and least likely to recover. In particular, experiences of stigma are yet to be explored with inpatients admitted to psychiatric hospital. The aim of this study was to examine subjective experiences of stigma with acute psychiatric inpatients who experience psychosis. Twenty-five psychiatric inpatients with experiences of psychosis were interviewed using a semistructured interview measure to examine their subjective experiences of stigma. The interview schedule enquired about their experiences of stigma and discrimination and the personal impacts this has had. Thematic analysis was employed to analyze the qualitative data. The analysis identified 3 superordinate themes: ‘stigmatizing social environment and networks,’ ‘stigmatized person with psychosis,’ and ‘stigma interactions.’ These themes reflected experiences of stigma during the inpatient stay as well as in the community. A graphical representation of these themes and their interaction was developed. Stigma is a concern for acute psychiatric inpatients with psychosis. This concern should be explored in future research, and where appropriate addressed during admission to an acute psychiatric inpatient hospital.

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