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Attitudes to mental illness
Examining the attitudes of nurses is a well-trod route for nurse researchers: such papers are common in our journals, describing nurses' perspectives on topics from complementary medicine to assisted suicide. These studies may involve focus groups, interviews or non-validated question sets; alternatively they may be scale development studies or may use validated scales to examine attitudes in a particular area.
The paper by Chambers and colleagues is an example of the latter: it uses the Community Attitudes to Mental Illness questionnaire (developed in Canada in the late 1970s in response to deinstitutionalisation) to identify the attitudes of nurses working in mental health inpatient and community settings in five European countries.
Measuring attitudes is important in the field of mental health. Mental health problems are common and associated with stigma – that is, problems in the areas of knowledge (ignorance), attitudes (prejudice) and behaviour (discrimination). The …
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