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This study investigates the associations between perceived stigma, depressive symptoms and coping among caregivers of people with bipolar disorder. Caregivers of 500 people with DSM-IV bipolar disorder responded to measures of these constructs at study entry. Patients' clinical and functional status were evaluated within 30 days of the caregiver assessment. Perceived stigma was positively associated with caregiver depressive symptoms, controlling for patient status and socio-demographic factors. Social support and avoidance coping accounted for 63% of the relationship between caregiver stigma and depression. Results suggest that caregivers' perceptions of stigma may negatively affect their mental health by reducing their coping effectiveness.

Original publication

DOI

10.1192/bjp.bp.105.020826

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date

06/2007

Volume

190

Pages

535 - 536

Keywords

Adaptation, Psychological, Attitude to Health, Bipolar Disorder, Caregivers, Female, Health Status, Humans, Male, Stereotyping