Stigma refers to the discrediting, devaluing, and shaming of a person because of characteristics or attributes that they possess. Generally, stigma leads to negative social experiences such as isolation, rejection, marginalization, and discrimination. If related to a health condition such as mental illness, stigma may affect a person’s illness and treatment course, including access to appropriate and professional medical treatment. Stigma has also been reported to affect patients’ families or relatives, along with professionals who work in mental healthcare settings. Stigma is strongly influenced by cultural and contextual value systems that differ over time and across contexts. However, limited information is available on how types of stigma are experienced by patients with mental illness and mental health nurses in Indonesia.Method
We explored the stigma-related experiences of 15 nurses and 15 patients in Indonesia. The study design and analysis of interview data were guided by deductive (directed) content analysis.Results
Five themes emerged. Four themes were patient-related: personal/patients’ stigma, public/social stigma, family stigma, and employment stigma. The fifth theme related to stigma toward healthcare professionals working with patients with mental illnesses, which we categorized as professional stigma.Conclusions
This study has achieved a deep understanding of the concept of stigma in the Indonesian context. This understanding is a prerequisite for developing appropriate interventions that address this phenomenon and thereby for the development of mental health services in Indonesia. This study may also be transferable to other countries that share similar cultural backgrounds and adhere to traditional and religious value systems.