Attitude towards psychiatric patients: A pilot study in a northern Italian town

R. Vezzoli, L. Archiati, C. Buizza, P. Pasqualetti, G. Rossi, R. Pioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stigmatisation of the psychiatric patient is still a strong barrier to the integration process of these subjects in our society. Therefore, it is necessary to identify what types of prejudices exist and the types of variables with which they are linked, in order to plan strategies to reduce them. In this exploratory study we administered a semi-structured interview to 303 subjects in order to examine the relationships between social attitudes towards mental disorders and some social demographic variables, the information about mental disorders and the previous 'contacts' with psychiatric patients. The data analysis shows that there is a relationship between knowledge of psychiatric patients and a more positive attitude towards them (i.e., less fear, more integration and work opportunities). This study is to be considered preliminary as far as people's attitudes towards psychiatric patients are concerned. This result encourages the planning and implementation of sensitisation and information programs concerning mental disorders, in the sense that increasing the knowledge of mental disorders could lead to significant achievements in the important fight against the stigma surrounding psychiatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Attitudes toward the mentally ill
  • Community care
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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