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Symposium

Meta-Analysis of Mental Illness Stigma Reduction Interventions and Examination of Moderators and Mediators

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom E & F, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Stigma | Mediation / Mediators | Statistics
Presentation Type: Symposium

Stigmatizing attitudes toward mental illness have harmful effects on the lives of people experiencing clinical disorders, such as increased maladjustment, reluctance to seek treatment, and reduced well-being. To address these concerns, several interventions for reducing stigma toward mental illness have been designed. A nuanced meta-analysis of stigma reduction interventions is needed to inform improvement of existing interventions and development of new ones. Importantly, explication of when, where, and under what conditions (moderators), and how (mediators) stigma interventions work is crucial for maximizing their efficacy. Furthermore, because stigma is a multifaceted construct composed of cognitive, affective, and behavioral components, it is important to assess the relative efficacy of interventions on each component.


We report results from a meta-analysis conducted to provide effect sizes for interventions on reducing disparate aspects of stigma (cognitive, affective, and behavioral), and to examine moderators and mediators of stigma reduction interventions.


A comprehensive literature search in January of 2017 identified 28 controlled studies with pre- and post-intervention outcomes that met the inclusion criteria. Preliminary analyses indicate small but significant change in cognitive component, specifically stereotypic beliefs about mental illness (k=26; Hedge’s g =.30, p < .001), and behavioral intentions toward individuals with mental illness (k=17; g =.37, p < .001) associated with intervention receipt. Effects of intervention on affective responses to mental illness were non-significant in the small subsample of studies (k=5; g=.23, p=.22).


Participant population, age, type of mental illness, and time of post-intervention measures emerged as significant moderators, whereas intervention type, format, duration, location, setting, type of control group, and publication status were not significant moderators. Additional analyses will be conducted to explore other potential moderators. Most studies did not examine potential mediators of treatment effects; however, directions for exploring mechanisms of change in future intervention studies will be suggested.

Jennifer J. Na

University of British Columbia

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