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Coping strategies and self-stigma in patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders

Authors Holubova M, Prasko J, Hruby R, Latalova K, Kamaradova D, Marackova M, Slepecky M, Gubova T

Received 15 February 2016

Accepted for publication 31 March 2016

Published 24 June 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1151—1158

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S106437

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Michaela Holubova,1,2 Jan Prasko,1 Radovan Hruby,3 Klara Latalova,1 Dana Kamaradova,1 Marketa Marackova,1 Milos Slepecky,4 Terezia Gubova2

1Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palacký University Olomouc, University Hospital Olomouc, Olomouc, Czech Republic; 2Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Liberec, Liberec, Czech Republic; 3Private Psychiatric Practice, Martin, Slovak Republic; 4Department of Psychology Sciences, Faculty of Social Science and Health Care, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovak Republic

Background: Maladaptive coping strategies may adversely disturb the overall functioning of people with mental disorders. Also, self-stigma is considered a maladaptive psychosocial phenomenon that can affect many areas of patient life. It has a negative impact on self-image, and may lead to dysphoria, social isolation, reduced adherence, using of negative coping strategies, and lower quality of life. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between coping strategies and self-stigma among persons with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.
Subjects and methods: A total of 104 clinically stable outpatients with chronic schizophrenia-spectrum disorders were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. Sociodemographic and clinical data were recorded. Patients were examined by psychiatrists with the Stress Coping Style Questionnaire, the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness scale, and the Clinical Global Impression scale. Correlation and multiple-regression analyses were performed to discover contributing factors to self-stigma.
Results: Positive coping strategies were used by patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders to the same extent as in the healthy population. Negative coping strategies were overused by these patients. There were significant associations between self-stigma, severity of the disorder, and coping strategies in schizophrenia. The ability to use positive coping strategies was connected with lower self-stigma. Use of negative coping strategies predominantly increased the self-stigma of patients with schizophrenia.
Conclusion: This study revealed a significant association among self-stigma, severity of the disorder, and coping strategies in individuals suffering from schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Thinking about coping strategies and self-stigma in practice may play a significant role in understanding people with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, especially for mental health professionals.

Keywords: self-stigma, coping strategies, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, disorder severity, cross-sectional study

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