This study aims to examine whether psychiatric diagnosis is associated with likelihoods of experienced and anticipated workplace discrimination and the concealment of psychiatric diagnoses.
5924 mental health service users in England were interviewed as part of the Viewpoint survey between 2009 and 2014 using the Discrimination and Stigma Scale. Associations of psychiatric diagnosis with experienced and anticipated work-related discrimination or the concealment of mental illness were examined with the use of logistic regression models.
25.6% of the participants reported experiencing discrimination in at least one work-related domain, contrasting with the 53.7% who anticipated workplace discrimination and the 72.9% who had concealed their mental illness. There was strong evidence that patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder had a decreased risk of experienced discrimination in keeping a job compared to those with depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder or personality disorder. Furthermore, patients with depression were more likely to report anticipated discrimination in applying for education or training compared to those with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. In addition, patients with depression were more likely to conceal their mental illness compared to those with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder.
This study suggests that psychiatric diagnosis is a predictor of experienced and anticipated workplace discrimination and the concealment of mental illness and that more support is needed for employees with common mental disorders and their employers to enable better workplace outcomes for this group.
Yusaku Yoshimura, Ioannis Bakolis, Claire Henderson
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, October 2018, Volume 53, Issue 10