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Exploring Stigma Experiences Using Group Therapy Amongst People Living with Schizophrenia in a Psychiatric Day Care Center

Author(s): Yu-Hui Ku, Rei-Mei Hong


To explore the lived experiences of stigma among people with schizophrenia in a psychiatric day care center.


Stigmatization can create negative feelings in people with schizophrenia and exacerbate the symptoms of their illness. People in society of Taiwan try to understand the disease of schizophrenia; however, the past perspectives (e.g. crazy, violence, etc.) to people with schizophrenia still exist in people’s mind. The management of stigma among people with schizophrenia is an important issue worldwide.


A descriptive qualitative approach was used to study the stigma experiences among patients with schizophrenia using group therapy and two pre-post personal face-to-face interviews at a psychiatric day care center in Taiwan.


Nine focus groups with six patients were facilitated by a psychiatric nurse practitioner and psychologist. Each group meeting lasted approximately 90 minutes. The research data were collected through participant notes, observation, and twelve informal conversational interviews. The collected data were analyzed using content analysis.


Three core themes were derived from the analysis of the data: 1) stigma due to illness; 2) antistigma coping methods, and 3) strategies for fighting stigma.


According to the findings, we understood the feelings and experiences of stigma among people with schizophrenia through the nine focus groups and pre-post interviews. The findings could be utilized by mental health nursing staff when caring for patients with schizophrenia in a clinical setting, and by health educators when teaching nursing students, in order to assist with changing perspectives about people with schizophrenia.

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