Healthcare providers' attitudes toward persons with schizophrenia

Dinesh Mittal, Patrick Corrigan, Michelle D. Sherman, Lakshminarayana Chekuri, Xiaotong Han, Christina Reaves, Snigdha Mukherjee, Scott Morris, Greer Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric rehabilitation journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • provider attitudes
  • schizophrenia
  • serious mental illness
  • stigma
  • vignette study

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