• Systematic review of the prevalence of mental illness stigma within the Greek culture

      Tzouvara, Vasiliki; Papadopoulos, Chris; Randhawa, Gurch; King’s College London; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2016-02-17)
      BACKGROUND: A number of primary studies have now assessed mental illness stigma within the Greek culture. A synthesis and appraisal of all available evidence is now required and will contribute to our growing understanding of the relationship between the cultural context and the formation of stigmatising attitudes. AIM: To systematically review the prevalence of mental illness public stigma within the Greek and Greek Cypriot culture. METHOD: Empirical articles with primary data pertaining to the prevalence of mental illness public stigma among Greek and/or Greek Cypriot populations were retrieved. Included studies were assessed for quality and extracted data were narratively synthesised. RESULTS: A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria. Methodological quality was highly variable; only 1 study was adequately statistically powered, 10 studies employed at least some element of probability sampling and obtained response rates of at least 70%, while 10 and 13 studies employed reliable and validated prevalence tools, respectively. Studies sampled the general population (n = 11), students (n = 4), healthcare professionals (n = 2), police officers, employers and family members (all n = 1). Stigma was consistently identified in moderate and high proportions across all of these groups, particularly in terms of social discrimination and restrictiveness, social distance and authoritarianism. However, some evidence of benevolence and positivity towards high-quality social care was also identified. CONCLUSION: The review highlights the wide-scale prevalence of mental illness stigma within the Greek culture and the need for further rigorous research including culturally tailored stigma interventions.