Stigma-related mental health knowledge and attitudes among primary health workers and community health volunteers in rural Kenya

Victoria N. Mutiso, Christine W. Musyimi, Sameera S. Nayak, Abednego M. Musau, Tahilia Rebello, Erick Nandoya, Albert K. Tele, Kathleen Pike, David M. Ndetei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The study was conducted in rural Kenya and assessed stigma in health workers from primary health facilities. Aims: This study compared variations in stigma-related mental health knowledge and attitudes between primary health workers (HWs) and community health volunteers (CHVs). Methods: Participants (n = 44 HWs and n = 60 CHVs) completed the self-report Mental Health Knowledge Schedule and the Reported and Intended Behavior Scale, along with sociodemographic questions. Multiple regression models were used to assess predictors of mental health knowledge and stigmatizing behaviors. Results: HWs had significantly higher mean mental health knowledge scores than CHVs, p <.001, and significantly higher mean positive attitudes scores than CHVs, p =.042. When controlling for relevant covariates, higher positive attitudes was the only significant predictor of higher mental health knowledge, and self-rating of sense of belonging to the community and mental health knowledge remained the main predictors of positive attitudes. Conclusion: Results suggest that stigma-related mental health knowledge and attitudes are associated, and interventions should target these areas with health workers. There is scope for intervention to increase knowledge and positive attitudes for individuals who feel a strong sense of community belonging. Future studies should test feasible ways to reduce stigma in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • community health
  • Kenya
  • mental illness
  • rural
  • Stigma

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