Association of perceived stigma and mood and anxiety disorders: Results from the World Mental Health Surveys

J. Alonso, A. Buron, R. Bruffaerts, Y. He, J. Posada-Villa, J. P. Lepine, M. C. Angermeyer, D. Levinson, G. De Girolamo, H. Tachimori, Z. N. Mneimneh, M. E. Medina-Mora, J. Ormel, K. M. Scott, O. Gureje, J. M. Haro, S. Gluzman, S. Lee, G. Vilagut, R. C. KesslerM. Von Korff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We assessed the prevalence of perceived stigma among persons with mental disorders and chronic physical conditions in an international study. Method: Perceived stigma (reporting health-related embarrassment and discrimination) was assessed among adults reporting significant disability. Mental disorders were assessed with Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) 3.0. Chronic conditions were ascertained by self-report. Household-residing adults (80 737) participated in 17 population surveys in 16 countries. Results: Perceived stigma was present in 13.5% (22.1% in developing and 11.7% in developed countries). Suffering from a depressive or an anxiety disorder (vs. no mental disorder) was associated with about a twofold increase in the likelihood of stigma, while comorbid depression and anxiety was even more strongly associated (OR 3.4, 95%CI 2.7-4.2). Chronic physical conditions showed a much lower association. Conclusion: Perceived stigma is frequent and strongly associated with mental disorders worldwide. Efforts to alleviate stigma among individuals with comorbid depression and anxiety are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Disability evaluation
  • Epidemiology
  • Health surveys
  • Mental disorders
  • Stereotyping/stigmatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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