Occupational Stress: Mental Health Professionals & Stigma

Research Paper Title

Development of a measure of stigma towards occupational stress for mental health professionals.

Background

Stigma is a common barrier to mental health professionals (MHPs) seeking help for occupational stress and burnout, although there is a lack of psychometrically sound tools to measure this construct.

The current study aimed to develop and validate a scale (the Mental Health Professional Stigma Scale; MHPSS) for this purpose.

Methods

The MHPSS and related measures were completed by 221 Australian MHPs via online survey, with a sub-sample completing the MHPSS again 2 weeks after initial completion.

Results

Exploratory factor analysis revealed a four-factor solution, comprising of 13 items and accounting for 50.16% of variance.

Factors were:

  • Perceived Other Stigma;
  • Perceived Structural Stigma;
  • Personal Stigma; and
  • Self stigma.

The internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and validity of the scale were supported.

Conclusions

The MHPSS has utility to capture stigmatising attitudes and beliefs related to occupational stress and burnout among MHPs.

It may be used to assist in the development and evaluation of initiatives to reduce stigma and increase help-seeking among MHPs.

Reference

Clough, B.A., Hill, M., Delaney, M. & Casey, L.M. (2020) Development of a measure of stigma towards occupational stress for mental health professionals. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. doi: 10.1007/s00127-019-01820-9. [Epub ahead of print].

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