Gender effect on public stigma changes towards psychosis in the Hong Kong Chinese population: a comparison between population surveys of 2009 and 2014

  • S. K. W. Chan
  • K. W. Lee
  • C. L. M. Hui
  • W. C. Chang
  • E. H. M. Lee
  • E. Y. H. Chen
Original Paper



Public stigma is an important barrier to the recovery of patients with psychosis. The current study aimed to investigate the change in stigma towards psychosis and knowledge about psychosis between 2009 and 2014 among the Chinese population in Hong Kong, with a specific focus on gender role.


Random telephone survey of general population in Hong Kong was conducted in 2009 and 2014. Stigma was measured with the revised Link’s Perceived Discrimination-Devaluation Scale (LPDDS). Logistic regression was used to explore the effect of time on the change of knowledge of psychosis, and linear regression was used to explore the effect of time on the change of stigma. Change of knowledge and stigma based on gender was specifically explored.


In total, 1016 and 1018 subjects completed the survey in 2009 and 2014, respectively. Significantly, more people agreed with medication treatment for psychosis and fewer people had misunderstanding about psychosis. However, there was no significant change in stigma levels. Males were found to have a significant deterioration of stigma (B = 0.099, SE = 0.033, β = 0.100, p = 0.003) but not females. Significantly, more males endorsed medication treatment for psychosis (χ 2 = 5.850, df = 1, p = 0.016) but no change for females (χ 2 = 1.401, df = 1, p = 0.238).


Results of this study suggested that there was an improvement in the biological understanding of psychosis but no change of public stigma within the Hong Kong Chinese population. The specific role of gender in relation to stigma and level of knowledge about psychosis indicates that this should be a consideration in designing future anti-stigma campaigns.


Public stigma Psychosis Chinese population Gender effect 



The current study was funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust as part of the Jockey Club Early Psychosis Project in Hong Kong. We thank the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong for supporting the field work of the telephone survey.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors of the study report no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

127_2016_1317_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. W. Chan
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. W. Lee
    • 1
  • C. L. M. Hui
    • 1
  • W. C. Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. H. M. Lee
    • 1
  • E. Y. H. Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary HospitalHong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)China
  2. 2.The State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive SciencesThe University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary HospitalHong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)China

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