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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.54 (3) (May - June, 2013) (267-275)

RELIABILITY OF THE STIGMA SCALE IN THE INDIAN SETTING

Rohit Garg
M.D. Psychiatry, Ex. Senior Research Associate
Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Priti Arun
M.D. Psychiatry, Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Bir Singh Chavan
M.D. Psychiatry, Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry
Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Abstract

There are no scales available in Hindi to measure experienced and internalized stigma among persons with psychiatric disorders and their caregivers. The present study was aimed to test the reliability of a Hindi translated version of Stigma Scale for the first time in India.

The 28 item Stigma Scale was translated into Hindi for patients and further modified to make the items relevant for the caregivers. The translated version of the scale was administered to 218 patients and 202 caregivers of patients diagnosed as schizophrenia, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, psychotic disorders other than schizophrenia and substance dependence. The test retest reliability was measured in 30 patients in remission and 30 caregivers of patients in remission. Appropriate statistical analysis was applied.

For both the patients and the caregivers, the complete scale as well as the domains of discrimination and disclosure were found to be highly reliable. The domain on positive aspects has less reliability. The test retest reliability was adequate in both the groups.

Since the areas of life affected by stigma are similar across the world, it is possible to develop instruments that can be used in different settings with some modifications. Data obtained from such instruments can be helpful in measuring the determinants of stigma in the population, planning and evaluation of interventions against stigma.

Keywords: disclosure, discrimination, hindi, stigma scale

Introduction

Stigma is a complex psychosocial phenomenon having a severe impact on affected individuals and their family members, as well as on the effectiveness of public health intervention programmes (Van Brakel, 2006). Assessment with regard to stigma has mainly focused on the attitudes of the general public towards persons with mental disorders and their family members (King et al., 2007). Surprisingly, not much effort has been made to study the stigma among patients themselves and their family members, especially in India.

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