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Cross-sectional study of mental health related knowledge and attitudes among care assistant workers in Guangzhou, China

Li, Jie, Duan, Xiao Ling, Zhong, Hua Qing, Chen, Wen, Evans‑Lacko, Sara ORCID: 0000-0003-4691-2630 and Thornicroft, Graham (2021) Cross-sectional study of mental health related knowledge and attitudes among care assistant workers in Guangzhou, China. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 15 (1). ISSN 1752-4458

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s13033-021-00441-7


Background: Care assistant workers (CAWs) are a part of a new pattern of mental health care providers in China and play a significant role in bridging the human resource shortage. CAWs in China mainly include community cadres, community mental health staff, and community policemen. The mental health related knowledge and attitudes of CAWs could influence their mental health care delivery. This study aimed to assess mental health related knowledge and attitudes of CAWs in Guangzhou, China. Methods: In November 2017, a study was conducted among 381 CAWs from four districts of Guangzhou, China. Participants were assessed using the Perceived Devaluation and Discrimination Scale (PDD), the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS), and the Mental illness: Clinicians’ Attitudes (MICA) Scale. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Bonferroni corrections and multivariable linear regression. Results: The mean scores (standard deviation) of PDD, MAKS and MICA were 36.45 (6.54), 22.72 (2.56), and 51.67 (7.88), respectively. Univariate analyses showed that the older CAWs, community policemen and those who were less willing to deliver care to people with mental illness had significant higher MICA scores when compared with other staff (P < 0.001). Multivariable linear regression showed that after controlling for key variables, care willingness and PDD total score were positively associated with the MICA total score (all P < 0.05), while attitudes on additional items were significant negatively with the MICA total score (all P < 0.01). Conclusion: These findings suggest negative attitudes towards people with mental disorders among CAWs are common, especially among older staff. Community policemen suggest that they applied stereotypes of “violent mentally ill” people to all people they deal with who have mental disorders. The results also indicate human rights are being paid some attention to now, but need to be further continually improved in the future. Strategies for improving such negative attitudes and reducing the perceived stigma and discrimination should be carried out towards particular staff groups in an anti-stigma programme in Guangzhou, China.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021 10:42
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 04:57

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