Previous studies have noted that as self-stigma in patients with schizophrenia increases, their quality of life and self-esteem decrease. Considering the cultural differences and scarcity of self-stigma intervention research in Asia, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the intervention effects of the Against Stigma Program on reducing self-stigma and increasing self-esteem among patients with schizophrenia. In this study, 70 patients with schizophrenia were recruited from 3 community psychiatric rehabilitation institutions in Taiwan and assigned to the experimental and control groups. Controls received their usual treatment, and those in the experimental group participated in the Against Stigma Program (60-minute weekly sessions for 6 weeks). The participants were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and 1-month follow-up, using the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale (ISMIS) and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RES). Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to analyze the changes in scores over time and differences between the experimental and control groups. Self-stigma significantly decreased and self-esteem significantly increased after participation in the Against Stigma Program. The GEE analysis revealed significant group and time interactions such that self-stigma reduction effect (B = −0.291) was stronger in the experimental group at post-intervention, and self-esteem promotion effects at post-intervention (B = 0.823) and 1-month follow-up (B = 0.543) were both greater in the experimental group. In conclusion, these findings suggest that the Against Stigma Program can help reduce self-stigma and increase self-esteem of patients with schizophrenia. This study can be used as an empirical reference to inform future clinical care of patients with schizophrenia in Taiwan.
- Against Stigma Program