A critical synthesis of interventions to reduce stigma attached to mental illness

  • KB Seroalo
  • E Du Plessis
  • MP Koen
  • V Koen


Background: Interventions have been developed and implemented to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. However, mental healthcare users are still stigmatised.
Objective: The objective of this study was to critically synthesise the best available evidence regarding interventions to reduce stigma attached to mental illness.
Method: An exploratory and descriptive research design was followed to identify primary studies; systematic review identified primary studies answering this research question: What best evidence is available  regarding interventions to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness? A search was done on selected electronic databases. Seventeen studies (n = 17) were identified as providing evidence that answered the research question. The following instruments were used: Critical Appraisal Skills Programme, John Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice research evidence appraisal tool and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Manual. The study was submitted to the Post-graduate Education
and Research Committee of the School of Nursing Science at Potchefstroom Campus of North-West University for approval.
Results: Results indicated some interventions that reduce the stigma  attached to mental illness, such as web-based approaches, printed  educational materials, documentary and antistigma films, as well as live and video performances.
Conclusions: Humanising interventions seems to have a positive effect on reducing stigma attached to mental illness. From the results and  conclusions recommendations were formulated for nursing practice, nursing education and research.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848