Online Program

Evaluation of anti-stigma interventions with sixth grade students: A 2 x 2 x 2 pre post-test factorial randomized controlled study

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Kris Painter, PhD, LCSW, MHMR of Tarrant County, Forth Worth, TX
Melissa DuPont-Reyes, MPH, Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Kay Barkin, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX
Camille Patterson, PhD, MHMR of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX
Jo C. Phelan, PhD, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Bruce Link, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors toward individuals experiencing mental health problems result in serious consequences including social isolation, discrimination, and delay of treatment. Research suggests these negative attitudes about mental illness are formulated during childhood and endure into adulthood. This gives rise to the importance of a widely disseminated, effective intervention targeted to this critical time of development. We developed and tested such an intervention. This study is part of a larger, four year stigma study designed to evaluate the short and long term effectiveness of curriculum, contact, and supplemental material. Methods: We utilized a 2 x 2 x 2 pre post-test factorial group, randomized controlled design. The uniquely diverse sample, consisting of sixth graders (n = 721), was derived from 16 schools matched based on SES and standardized test scores and randomly assigned to one of eight conditions comprising three factors. We assembled a comprehensive assessment package consisting of open-ended questions, vignettes, and self-report measures adapted from established and our newly developed instruments. Results: A significant effect of curriculum only was found on increased help-seeking (p = 0.016) and talking about MH (p = .013). Curriculum/contact showed a stronger, significant effect on help-seeking and talking than curriculum alone (p = .013, p < 0.001). Contact significantly improved social distance with a vignette on anxiety, but not about bipolar. Significance was not found for negative attitudes. Conclusions: The curriculum shows promise. We will follow students for two years to further evaluate changes in attitude, social distance, help-seeking and other behavioral changes.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of school-based anti-stigma curriculum, contact with a person who has a mental illness, and use of supplemental materials on knowledge acquisition, social and attitudinal and help seeking behavior for sixth grade students Evaluate the differential effects of anti-stigma curriculum, contact, and supplemental materials on knowledge acquisition, social and attitudinal and help seeking behavior for sixth grade students Describe assessment measures for school-based anti-stigma interventions

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Painter, PhD, LCSW, has extensive administrative and clinical expertise in community mental health. She has been lead evaluator on several state and federally funded research projects. Her interests reside in the areas of improving health outcomes for persons experiencing a mental illness and bridging the gap between academic research, applied community-based research, and practice. Her ultimate goal is to contribute to improving the lives of children and adults experiencing a severe mental illness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.