IBIS – Understanding the impact and context of family burden and stigma on caregivers of people with mental illness 2015-2016

Individuals with mental health disorders are highly stigmatized. Common beliefs are that they are dangerous, hard to talk to or that the mental disorder is self-inflicted. Caregivers, most commonly family members of mental health patients, also endure stigma by association also known as ,,courtesy stigma”. Thus, they experience high level of burden and psychological distress, which leads to poor health outcomes and interpersonal relations for the mental health patient and his/her family. Courtesy stigma needs to be addressed to improve these outcomes.
The IBIS study aims to understand the impact of courtesy stigma for family of patients with mental disorders in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, two Eastern European countries which, to our knowledge, lack data on this topic. The results of this study have the potential to inform interventions focused on providing psychological and social support for the caregivers of patients with mental health disorders and aiming to reduce family burden.

Ob1: Comparatively assess family burden (objective and subjective) in caring for a person with mental illness in Romania and Moldova.
Ob2: Explore family’s stigma-related narratives, in first episode and non-first episode admissions.
Ob3: Assess the role of courtesy stigma in overall burden and the caregivers’ quality of life.
Ob4: Identify and map areas of care-giving of most concern for families.
Ob5: Identify effective coping strategies for stigma to inform interventions.

Coordinator: Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca

Funder: The Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the University of California Berkeley

Total budget: 13300 Euro