Measuring discrimination experienced by people with a mental illness: Replication of the short-form DISCUS in six world regions


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Brohan E., Thornicroft G., Rüsch N., Lasalvia A., Campbell M. M. , Yalçlnkaya-Alkar Ö. , ...More

Psychological Medicine, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0033291722000630
  • Title of Journal : Psychological Medicine
  • Keywords: Discrimination, DISCUS, Global mental health, Psychometrics, Stigma

Abstract

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.Background The Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC) is a patient-reported outcome measure which assesses experiences of discrimination among persons with a mental illness globally. Methods This study evaluated whether the psychometric properties of a short-form version, DISC-Ultra Short (DISCUS) (11-item), could be replicated in a sample of people with a wide range of mental disorders from 21 sites in 15 countries/territories, across six global regions. The frequency of experienced discrimination was reported. Scaling assumptions (confirmatory factor analysis, inter-item and item-total correlations), reliability (internal consistency) and validity (convergent validity, known groups method) were investigated in each region, and by diagnosis group. Results 1195 people participated. The most frequently reported experiences of discrimination were being shunned or avoided at work (48.7%) and discrimination in making or keeping friends (47.2%). Confirmatory factor analysis supported a unidimensional model across all six regions and five diagnosis groups. Convergent validity was confirmed in the total sample and within all regions [ Internalised Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI-10): 0.28-0.67, stopping self: 0.54-0.72, stigma consciousness: -0.32-0.57], as was internal consistency reliability (α = 0.74-0.84). Known groups validity was established in the global sample with levels of experienced discrimination significantly higher for those experiencing higher depression [Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-2: p < 0.001], lower mental wellbeing [Warwick-Edinburgh Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): p < 0.001], higher suicidal ideation [Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS)-4: p < 0.001] and higher risk of suicidal behaviour [Suicidal Ideation Attributes Scale (SIDAS): p < 0.001]. Conclusions The DISCUS is a reliable and valid unidimensional measure of experienced discrimination for use in global settings with similar properties to the longer DISC. It offers a brief assessment of experienced discrimination for use in clinical and research settings.