Public perception of mental illness in Oman: a cross sectional study

Mohammed Al-Alawi, Hamed Al-Sinawi, Samir Al-Adawi*, Lakshmanan Jeyaseelan, Sathiya Murthi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies worldwide have shown that people with mental illnesses (PWMI) tend to be stigmatized and thus suffer social exclusion. The authors investigated the attitudes of Omani people toward PWMI, and classified their responses on the basis of socio-demographic variables (age, gender, place of residence, place and type of employment, and previous exposure to PWMI) that were expected to correlate with their perceptions and attitudes towards PWMI. The data were collected by means of an online cross-sectional survey among the general Omani public, using the Attitude toward Mental Illness (AMI) Questionnaire. The online method via social media was selected in view of the high levels of literacy (93.97%), Internet usage (66.4%), and social media participation among Omanis. Of the 601 participants, 41.4% were men and 58.6% were women. The subjects were categorized in the age groups of 20–30 years (48%) and 31–45 years (46%). Nearly 90% of the participants were employed, while 10% were college students. The results indicated that Omanis share the worldwide tendency to harbor stigmatizing attitudes towards PWMI. The results further suggested that socio-demographic variables (such as urban–rural dichotomy and previous encounters with PWMI have significant correlation with Omanis’ attitudes towards the mentally ill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Culture and Mental Health
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2017

Keywords

  • Attitude towards mental illness
  • Attitude towards Mental Illness (AMI) questionnaire
  • Oman
  • online research methods
  • public perception
  • stigma
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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