Effectiveness of enhancing contact model on reducing stigma of mental illness among family caregivers of persons with schizophrenia in rural China: A cluster randomized controlled trial

Mao Sheng Ran, Yi Zhou Wang, Pei Yi Lu, Xue Weng, Tian Ming Zhang, Shu Yu Deng, Ming Li, Wei Luo, Irene Yin Ling Wong, Lawrence H. Yang, Graham Thornicroft, Lin Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Contact-based intervention has been documented and proved effective on reducing stigma of mental illness in high-income countries, but it is still unclear about the effectiveness of the contact-based intervention among family caregivers of persons with schizophrenia (FCPWS) in low- and middle-income countries including rural China. Methods: We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in FCPWS in eight rural townships in Xinjin district of Chengdu city in Southwest China. The FCPWS in these townships were randomly allocated to the Enhancing Contact Model (ECM), Psychoeducational Family Intervention (PFI), or Treatment as Usual (TAU) group. FCPWS in three groups were provided specific interventions and follow-ups. By using a mixed-effect model, our goal was to examine the differences in affiliate self-stigma scale (ASSS) scores among three groups with the data collected at baseline (T0), post-intervention (T1), 3-month (T2), and 9-month (T3) follow-up timepoints, respectively. This trial is registered with ChiCTR, number ChiCTR2000039133. Findings: In April 2019, 253 FCPWS from 8 townships were randomly assigned to receive either ECM (cluster=3, n=90), PFI (cluster=2, n=81), or TAU (cluster=3, n=82). Compared with participants in the TAU group, participants in the ECM group had statistically significantly lower ASSS scores at 9-month follow-up (estimated parameter [EP]= -5.51, 95% CI -10.27 to -0.74, p=0.02). There were no statistically significantly different ASSS scores at 9-month follow up between ECM and PFI groups. Compared with participants in the PFI group, younger (<60 years old), with higher monthly income and other caregiver (e.g., parent, sibling, child) participants in the ECM group had statistically significantly lower ASSS scores in the 3-month follow-up (EP = -5.66, 95% CI -10.13 to -1.19, p<0.01; EP = -7.82, 95% CI -11.87 to -3.78, p<0.001; EP = -6.79, 95% CI -10.69 to -2.90, p<0.001, respectively). Interpretation: This first trial in rural China shows that ECM intervention, a new anti-stigma intervention model, is a promising method for reducing affiliate stigma among FCPWS. The ECM intervention is more effective and stable than the PFI on reducing affiliate stigma among FCPWS. Further research needs to explore whether a long-term intervention could produce a more positive anti-stigma outcome trajectory. Funding: General Research Fund, University Grants Committee, Hong Kong SAR (GRF, Grant No. 17605618, 2018-2021, PI: Dr. M.S. Ran).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100419
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • China
  • Enhancing contact model
  • Family caregivers
  • Intervention
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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