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Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology
Year : 2014, Volume : 41, Issue : 2
First page : ( 94) Last page : ( 101)
Print ISSN : 0303-2582. Online ISSN : 2249-7889.

Reducing Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness among Patients with Schizophrenia Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Chowdhary Minkesh, Junior Research Fellow (UGC), Jahan Masroor*Additional Professor

Department of Clinical Psychology, RINPAS, Kanke, Ranchi (Jh) - 834006

*Corresponding Author: Masroor Jahan, e-mail: masroorjahan@yahoo.com


Schizophrenia is still considered to be a chronic and debilitating illness. Stigma refers to loss of status and discrimination triggered by negative stereotypes about people labeled as having mental illness. It produces more harmful consequences to the patient when it is internalized and this internalized form of stigma is regarded as ‘internalized stigma’. Acceptance and commitment therapy is a type of mindfulness therapy which aims to maximize human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life through acceptance, defusion, mindfulness, and values methods. Present study is aimed to reduce internalized stigma of mental illness among patients with schizophrenia using acceptance and commitment therapy. 24 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia according to ICD-10 DCR were chosen from different inpatient departments of RINPAS, Kanke using the simple random sampling technique. After taking informed consent from the patients, socio-demographic and clinical data sheet, PANSS, BPRS and ISMI were administered and then they were randomly assigned to TAU+ACT group and TAU group. Acceptance and commitment therapy was given to TAU+ACT group, total 10–12 sessions of 45 minutes each with a frequency of twice a week. After completion of the therapy sessions, post assessment was done and follow up assessment was done after four months of post assessment. Data was analyzed with the help of Mann-Whitney U test, Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test and Chi-square Test was used for statistical analysis. The significant reduction was found in internalized stigma of the schizophrenic patients in the post intervention phase which was maintained at follow up. Results have been discussed in the light of supportive studies, limitations and future directions.



Schizophrenia, Internalized Stigma, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.


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