The impact of recovery-orientated day clinic treatment on internalized stigma: preliminary report

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Sibitz, I, Provaznikova, K, Lipp, M, Lakeman, R & Amering, M 2013, 'The impact of recovery-orientated day clinic treatment on internalized stigma: preliminary report', Journal of Psychiatric Research, vol. 209, no. 3, pp. 326-332.

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Internalized stigma is a complicating feature in the treatment of schizophrenia spectrum disorders and considerably hinders the recovery process. The empowerment and recovery-oriented program of our day clinic might contribute to a reduction in internalized stigma. The aim of the study was to explore the influence of this day clinic program on internalized stigma and other subjectively important outcome measures such as quality of life and psychopathology. Data from two groups of patients had been collected twice, at baseline and after 5 weeks. The experimental group attended the day clinic treatment (N=40) and the control group waited for the day clinic treatment (N=40). The following significant differences between the two groups were found: Patients in day clinic treatment showed a reduction in internalized stigma while the control group showed a minimal increase (Cohen's d=0.446). The experimental group as compared with the control group also showed a greater improvement in the quality of life domain psychological health (Cohen's d=0.6) and in overall psychopathology (Cohen's d=0.452). Interestingly, changes in internalized stigma and psychological quality of life were not associated with changes in psychopathology. Results are encouraging but have to be confirmed in a randomized design.

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