The Experiences of Stigma As Described by Taiwanese People Living with Schizophrenia

Friday, 25 July 2014

Yu-Hui Ku, RN, BSN
Graduate Institute of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Chiayi, Taiwan
Rei-Mei Hong, RN, PhD
Chronic Diseases and Health Promoting Center, Chiayi, Taiwan
Ji-An Su, MD, MS
Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Chiayi, Taiwan, Chiayi, Taiwan


People with schizophrenia have chronic and regressive features which make patients remain partial residual symptoms even if patients have received regularly medication treatment. These symptoms not only cause discrimination and stigma but also influence patients’ psychology, marriage, interpersonal relationship, and occupation. For Chinese people, stigma may be much more serious and particularly significant than Western people because of social culture and family structure. The purpose of this study is to investigate the experience of stigma as described by Taiwanese people living with schizophrenia and understand the interaction between patient and sociality.  


12 people with schizophrenia at psychiatric day care in south Taiwan were recruited.  Each participant investigated with 25-item Psychiatric Stigma Scale and twice in-depth 40-minute interviews. 


The average score of Psychiatric Stigma Scale was lower in people with schizophrenia. This meant that people with schizophrenia felt they seldomly had experiences of stigma. A narrative qualitative approach to inquiry formed the theoretical framework. Four core categories were explicated from the analysis of data: feeling isolation, caught in a dilemma, seeking religion, family desire. 


The findings could not only help psychiatric professional understood the experiences of stigma, but also provide timely interventions to reduce the phenomenon of stigma in our society.