Alonso, M., Guillén, A. I., & Muñoz, M.
Interventions to reduce internalized stigma in individuals with mental illness: A systematic review
Internalized stigma has a high prevalence in people with mental health problems and is associated with negative consequences in different areas: work, social, personal, etc. Therefore, it is relevant to systematically study the characteristics and effectiveness of the different psychological and psychosocial interventions aimed at reducing it. Through the databases MEDLINE and PsycINFO, among others, controlled studies on specific interventions to reduce internalized stigma in people with severe mental disorders published between 2008 and 2018 were selected and reviewed. Results showed that the interventions can be grouped into four blocks: (a) psychoeducational interventions about stigma; (b) cognitive-behavioral interventions, mainly aimed at modifying self-stigmatizing beliefs; (c) interventions focused on the revelation of mental illness; and (d) multicomponent interventions that combine several of the above. The interventions had an average of 10 sessions and were predominantly applied in group format. In 9 of the 14 studies reviewed, significant results were obtained in the reduction of internalized stigma with small or moderate effect sizes. There were also significant improvements in other variables, such as subjective recovery or coping. The main methodological limitation of the studies reviewed was the absence of information on the rejection rate. We conclud that there are effective interventions aimed at reducing internalized stigma, with psychoeducational interventions on stigma and multicomponent interventions showing the best results. Cognitive-behavioral interventions and interventions based on disclosure have been studied to a lesser extent and their results are inconclusive. Future research should focus on establishing optimal interventions according to characteristics and objectives of individuals.
Alonso, M., Guillén, A. I., & Muñoz, M. (2019). Interventions to reduce internalized stigma in individuals with mental illness: A systematic review. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 22, 1-14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/sjp.2019.9