Health care providers and people with mental illness: An integrative review on anti-stigma interventions.

Peer-reviewed article
(2021 Nov) Int J Soc Psychiatry, 67 840-853


Carrara BS, Fernandes RHH, Bobbili SJ, Ventura CAA



Health care providers are an important target group for anti-stigma interventions because they have the potential to convey stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illness. This can have a detrimental impact on the quality and effectiveness of care provided to those affected by mental illness.


Whittemore & Knafl's integrative review method (2005) was used to analyze 16 studies investigating anti-stigma interventions targeting health care providers.


The interventions predominantly involved contact-based educational approaches which ranged from training on mental health (typically short-term), showing videos or films (indirect social contact) to involving people with lived experiences of mental illness (direct social contact). A few studies focused on interventions involving educational strategies without social contact, such as mental health training (courses/modules), distance learning via the Internet, lectures, discussion groups, and simulations. One study investigated an online anti-stigma awareness-raising campaign that aimed to reduce stigmatizing attitudes among health care providers.


Anti-stigma interventions that involve social contact between health care providers and people with mental illness, target specific mental illnesses and include long-term follow-up strategies seem to be the most promising at reducing stigma towards mental illness among health care providers.