METHODS: In the present study, nine young people (aged 16-23 years) from low-income backgrounds participated in a semi-structured interview about their perspectives on mental health problems, unusual psychological experiences and help-seeking.
RESULTS: Four themes were developed using thematic analysis. "Is it that they [have] family problems?" reflected participants' explanatory models of mental health problems. "Maybe in Malaysia" was concerned with perceptions of Malaysian culture as both encouraging of open sharing of problems and experiences, but also potentially stigmatizing. "You have to ask for help" emphasized the importance of mental health help-seeking despite potential stigma. "It depends on the person" addressed the challenges of engaging with psychological therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that young people in Malaysia may hold compassionate, non-stigmatizing views towards people experiencing mental health problems and a desire to increase their knowledge and understandings. Yet societal stigma is a perceived reputational risk that may affect mental health problem disclosure and help-seeking. We suggest that efforts to improve mental health literacy would be valued by young Malaysians and could support reduced stigma and earlier help-seeking.
Objective: This study was conducted to identify stigmatizing attitudes toward people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their determinants among primary health care providers in Kinta District, Perak.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 36 primary care clinics in Kinta District, Perak. Using stratified random sampling, 365 primary health care providers were recruited into the study. A validated self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain sociodemographic data as well as information on the healthcare experiences of healthcare providers, their knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and attitudes toward PLWHA. Determinants were identified using multiple linear regression.
Results: More than half of the respondents (54.1%) had never provided care to HIV/AIDS patients. A minority (29.9%) had received training on HIV/AIDS. This study shows that doctors (Coef.= -9.50, 95% CI: -18.93, -0.07, p= 0.048), respondents with HIV-positive relatives, (Coef.= -5.61, 95% CI: -10.57, -0.65, p= 0.027), those who had provided care to HIV/AIDS patients (Coef.= -2.38, 95% CI: -4.31, -0.45, p= 0.016), and those with a higher knowledge score on HIV/AIDS (Coef.= -0.86, 95% CI: -1.59, -0.13, p= 0.021) were less likely to show stigmatizing attitudes toward PLWHA.
Conclusion: The issue of stigmatizing attitudes toward PLWHA among primary health care providers needs to be addressed. This study finds that knowledge, profession, experiences with caring for PLWHA, gender, and having HIV-positive relatives are significant predictors of stigmatizing attitudes toward PLWHA among primary health care providers in Kinta District, Perak. Interventional programs to improve knowledge and awareness, as well as decrease stigma toward PLWHA, should be implemented among all health care providers, especially those who have no opportunity to provide direct care.
METHODS: Medline, Embase, ERIC/Proquest, ScienceDirect, Pubmed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Scopus, EBM Reviews - Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ovid Emcare and reference lists of included studies were searched in February 2020. Studies that evaluated at least one of the main components of MHL, including (1) knowledge related to mental health issues, and (2) stigma, were included irrespective of study design. As secondary findings, the review also synthesized results related to facilitators and barriers to seeking mental health services. Depending on the research design, the quality of each study was assessed through checklists.
RESULTS: Forty six studies published between 1995 to 2019 were included. Most studies used cross-sectional designs to investigate MHL. Findings indicate that most Malaysians have stigmatizing attitudes towards mental health problems. Participants in the included studies endorsed multifactorial explanations of mental health issues with a dominance of supernatural and religious aetiologies. Likewise, the commonest barrier was considering sources other than professional sources of mental-health services. Presence of adequate knowledge and considering providers as competent facilitated help-seeking. Additionally, there was considerable heterogeneity in studies and a lack of standardized measures assessing MHL.
CONCLUSIONS: There is an increase in studies on MHL in Malaysia. A few of these studies, based on experimental design, have shown positive effects. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers should develop standardized measures and interventional studies based on all the components of MHL.