Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 2007

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Sandra Tweed

Abstract

Research has shown that clients with severe and persistent mental illness often suffer from the effects of stigma (Angermeyer, Link, & Majcher-Angermeyer, 1987; Brockington, Hall, Levings, & Murphy, 1993; Corrigan, 1998; Goodwin & Madell, 2002; Link, Mirotznik, & Cullen, 1991; Thesen, 2001). Often, mentally ill persons struggle with social awkwardness, demoralization, and unemployment due to their mental illness (Corrigan, 1998; Link et aI., 1991; Thesen, 2001). In addition, in rural communities it is very difficult for the mentally ill clients to keep their diagnosis confidential compared to mentally ill persons in urban communities where anonymity is more common. This non-experimental study was designed to examine differences in level of perceived stigma for mentally ill clients who live in rural compared to urban settings. Roy's Adaptation Model was the theoretical framework that guided this study. The research questions were (1) Is there a significant difference in the level of perceived stigma for clients with a mental illness living in a rural environment compared to those living in an urban environment? (2) Is there a relationship between level of perceived stigma and number of readmissions to an in-patient psychiatric hospital? (3) Is there a significant difference in level of perceived recovery for clients with a mental illness living in a rural environment compared to those living in an urban environment? Independent t-tests and Spearman's Rank Order Correlation were the statistical analyses used to analyze the research questions. Findings indicated a significant difference between level of perceived stigma for rural compared to urban mentally ill clients. The clients living in an urban environment indicated a higher level of perceived stigma compared to those living in a rural environment. However, there was no significant correlation in the level of perceived stigma and number of readmission to an in-patient psychiatric hospital. Also, there was not a significant difference in the level of perceived recovery for clients with a mental illness living in rural environments compared to those living in urban environments. Implications of the findings in relation to prior research are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research. Also, implications for nursing research, theory, and education based on findings of this investigation are examined.

Rights

Copyright 2007 Jeri K. Meier

Comments

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