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Wednesday, October 10 • 1:25pm - 1:35pm
Oral 14, Talk 3. "Reducing the Stigmatizing Risks of the ‘At-risk’ State: Promising Pilot Results from Two Experimental Vignette Studies of the Effects of Labeling versus Symptoms Severity"

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Danny Koren1, Dana Carmi1; 1University of Haifa

Aim: The goal of this presentation is to introduce the notion that restructuring the ‘at-risk’ state for psychosis as ‘high-risk health’ has the potential to reduce the stigmatizing risks of this state, and to present pilot data that provide preliminary support for its validity.  Method: In the first study, a sample of 125 adults from the general population read an experimental vignette describing an adolescent experiencing either mild or severe prodromal symptoms who were randomly assigned a ‘psychosis-risk’ or ‘high-risk reality testing’ diagnostic label and answered questions about public stigma. In the second study, a sample of 254 mental health professionals read the same experimental vignette who this time was randomly assigned an ‘attenuated psychosis’ or ‘reality-testing loss’  diagnostic label. Results: In the first study, the ‘high-risk reality testing’ label elicited significantly higher appraisals of self-image, hope, likelihood of seeking help, and need for care than the ‘psychosis risk’ label. Similarly, in the second study, the ‘reality-testing loss’ label elicited higher appraisals of self-image, hope, likelihood of seeking help, and importance of providing care than the ‘attenuated psychosis’ label. In both studies, no effects were found for symptom severity. Discussion: These pilot results provide first empirical support for the social and clinical potential of ‘high-risk health’ formulations in minimizing the potential stigmatizing harms of ‘at-risk’ diagnostic labels and improving help-seeking behaviors. Also, they lay the foundation for future studies that will replicate and extend the above findings using focus-groups and more ecologically valid manipulations among individuals at risk for psychosis.


Wednesday October 10, 2018 1:25pm - 1:35pm EDT
St. George AB Westin Copley Place, third floor

Attendees (6)