Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the brief Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale (ISMI-10).

OBJECTIVES: A significant number of psychiatric patients stigmatize themselves because of their mental struggles. Such self-stigmatization has an adverse impact on patients' well-being and effectiveness of the treatment of mental disorders. The goal of this study was to standardize the brief Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale (ISMI-10), which could be used in studies targeting the self-stigma among the psychiatric patients.

METHOD: 354 psychiatric patients participated in the study between the years 2012 and 2014. All individuals were undergoing treatment in the outpatient care or the psychotherapeutic ward of the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Olomouc. The mean age of the participants was 41.5±13.3 years. The majority of them were women (n=195). The patients suffered from various mental disorders - neurotic disorders (n=166), mood disorders (n=65), substance use disorders (n=47), psychoses (n=40), personality disorders (n=32), and organic mental illness (n=4). Each patient completed a demographic questionnaire and the ISMI-10.

RESULTS: The ordinal alpha of the scale was 0.86, indicating its good internal consistency. The overall scores of the full and abbreviated version of the scale were almost perfectly correlated (r=0.95, p<0.001). The factor analysis confirmed a good internal structure of the scale. The created norms for the scale score were based on stens.

CONCLUSION: The ISMI-10 may be a useful method for measuring the self-stigma among adults with a mental disorder. The area of its use lies mainly in research.

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