Effectiveness of an Education Program to Reduce Negative Attitudes Toward Persons With Mental Illness Using Online Media
Purpose The purpose of this study was to develop an educational program to reduce negative attitudes toward persons with mental illness (PMIs) using online media and to test its effectiveness. Methods A nonequivalent control group with a pre-posttest was employed in this study. A total of 143 lay people were enrolled. The study variables were knowledge and attitudes about mental illness, and social distance. The four domains of attitudes were authoritarianism, benevolence, social restrictiveness and community mental health ideology. Results Phase 1: In an attempt to develop an educational program, the researcher conducted interviews with lay people and families of PMIs, and reviewed the pertinent literature. Three mental health professionals were consulted after developing the program. The program consisted of eight sessions. Phase 2: Community mental health ideology differed significantly between groups after the experiment. Knowledge tended to increase in the experimental group, while social restrictiveness showed a tendency to decrease. However, the changes were not significant in either case. Authoritarianism, benevolence, and social distance were not significantly different between groups. There was a significant difference in the pattern of change over time for both groups regarding authoritarianism, benevolence, and social restrictiveness. Conclusions The program developed here was partially effective at changing negative attitudes. The online video program can be used by community mental health nurses to enhance general knowledge and help reduce stigma.
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