Psychosocial Impact of Stigma on Schizophrenic Clients and their Family Members

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Adnan Sarhan / Supervisor
Dr. Wael Abu-Alhasan/ External Examiner
Dr. Jamal Qadoomi Internal Examiner
Dr. Adnan Sarhan / Supervisor
Nida Jawabreh
Introduction: Stigma acts as a barrier for schizophrenic clients and their family members. In fact, it prevents clients and family members from getting the help they need. To date, there are limited studies regarding the impact of stigma on the social life of the schizophrenic clients and their family members in Palestine. This study aims to investigate the extent of stigma on schizophrenic clients and their families, and to investigate the effect of stigma on the interviewees in accordance with their demographic variables. Methods: By following a descriptive non-experimental design, mainly by using face to face structured interviews and a questionnaire methodology for quantitative part of the study, and narrative interviews for qualitative part. This study sample consists of 150 schizophrenic clients and 150 of their family members from the Northern cities of Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm of the West Bank, Palestine. Results: The quantitative results show that the most prevalent stigma among schizophrenia clients was moderate with a degree of 48% and the least prevalence was severe with a degree of 2%. There is no significant correlation between the extent of stigma and: education, and gender, but in relation with age and educational status we found that there is a significant correlation. Also the prevalence of stigma among family members was found to be a round medium and low level with a degree of 21.3%, 40.6% respectively. Which revealed a normal distribution of family impact of stigma and come to the lower impact than their patients. The qualitative results show that the impact of stigma centralized on: inadequate support, burden of caring, and knowledge deficit. Conclusion: The study concluded that schizophrenic clients and their family members experience stigma in their life and this negatively affected their quality of life in different aspects. The findings show that caring for a client with schizophrenia is stressful for the family members so there is need for financial and social support and training programs for the family members.
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