Retrospective Study
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World J Psychiatr. Sep 22, 2014; 4(3): 62-68
Published online Sep 22, 2014. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v4.i3.62
Preliminary study of associative stigma among trainee psychiatrists in Flanders, Belgium
Kirsten Catthoor, Joost Hutsebaut, Didier Schrijvers, Marc De Hert, Jozef Peuskens, Bernard Sabbe
Kirsten Catthoor, Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatrisch Ziekenhuis Stuivenberg, ZNA Antwerpen, B2060 Antwerp, Belgium
Kirsten Catthoor, Didier Schrijvers, Bernard Sabbe, Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute, Campus Drie Eiken, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
Joost Hutsebaut, De Viersprong (Landelijk Centrum voor Persoonlijkheidsproblematiek), 4661 EP Halsteren, The Netherlands
Marc De Hert, Jozef Peuskens, Department Neurosciences KU Leuven, UPC KULeuven, Campus Kortenberg, 3070 Kortenberg, Belgium
Author contributions: Catthoor K designed the study, collected the data, and drafted the article; Hutsebaut J and Schrijvers D participated in the design of the study, performed statistical analysis, and interpreted the results; De Hert M, Peuskens J and Sabbe B revised the paper critically; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Correspondence to: Kirsten Catthoor, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatrisch Ziekenhuis Stuivenberg, ZNA Antwerpen, ZNA Lange Beeldekensstraat 267, B2060 Antwerp, Belgium.
Telephone: +32-478-353957 Fax: +32-3-2177752
Received: March 28, 2014
Revised: June 17, 2014
Accepted: July 12, 2014
Published online: September 22, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: Associative stigma is an extension of psychiatric stigma to those who care for patients, including psychiatrists. Scientific evidence on associative stigma among trainee psychiatrists is scarce although theoretical considerations are abundant. This study tried to evaluate the degree to which trainees experience stigmatization related to their profession. The results suggest that associative stigmatization is a marked problem for psychiatrists in training. Trainee psychiatrists in Flanders mention feelings of stigmatization within society in general and the medical environment in particular. A better understanding of this complex phenomenon is certainly warranted, to prevent the further evolution of the mental health gap.