A Novel Stigma Reduction Intervention for Caregivers of Chinese immigrants with Psychotic Disorders

An innovative, short-term intervention to decrease stigma among family caregivers was recently developed and pilot-tested. Based on Previous work on types and roots of stigma and on methods for stigma reduction, the intervention consists of three 90-minute group Psychoeducation sessions designed for relatives of Chinese immigrants with psychotic disorders. The intervention consisted of one session per week, for a total of 3 weeks. Sessions were conducted in Mandarin Chinese by a team with two co-leaders: a clinician and a trained relative caregiver. Caregivers’ level of internalized stigma was assessed one  week prior to the intervention and immediately post intervention.

A total of 11 caregivers participated in the pilot intervention. The mean age of the caregivers was 59 years; 10 participants were the parents and one was the spouse of a Chinese immigrant with psychosis. Results showed that caregivers who did not endorse internalized stigma prior to the intervention did not evidence a change in their stigma scores. However, the subgroup of 6 caregivers who endorsed pre-intervention stigma showed a significant reduction post intervention in their internalized stigma scores. Evaluation of the sessions also found that the caregiver co-leader and the group participants were able to share emotional support with each other and come up with concrete strategies for coping with stigma, thereby improving caregivers’ understanding of the illness, instilling hope, and augmenting their strategies in dealing with discrimination.

Population of focus: Caregivers of Chinese immigrants with mental health issues

Link to resource: Cultural Competence Matters Reports: Issue 11 — A Novel Stigma Reduction Intervention for Caregivers of Chinese Immigrants with Psychotic Disorders

Organization: Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, New York State Psychiatric Institute

Date: 2012