“It’s Tough to Be a Black Man with Schizophrenia”: Randomized Controlled Trial of a Brief Video Intervention to Reduce Public Stigma

Doron Amsalem, Samantha E. Jankowski, Shannon Pagdon, Stephen Smith, Lawrence H. Yang, Linda Valeri, John C. Markowitz, Roberto Lewis-Fernández, Lisa B. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Hypothesis: Racial discrimination and public stigma toward Black individuals living with schizophrenia create disparities in treatment-seeking and engagement. Brief, social-contact-based video interventions efficaciously reduce stigma. It remains unclear whether including racial identity experiences in video narrative yields greater stigma reduction. We hypothesized that we would replicate findings showing sustained stigma reduction in video-intervention groups vs control and that Black participants would show greater stigma reduction and emotional engagement than non-Black participants only for a racial-insights video presenting a Black protagonist. Study Design: Recruiting using a crowdsourcing platform, we randomized 1351 participants ages 18–30 to (a) brief video-based intervention, (b) racial-insights-focused brief video, or (c) non-intervention control, with baseline, post-intervention, and 30-day follow-up assessments. In 2-minute videos, a young Black protagonist described symptoms, personal struggles, and recovery from schizophrenia, with or without mentioning race-related experiences. Study Results: A 3 × 3 ANOVA showed a significant group-by-time interaction for total scores of each of five stigma-related domains: social distance, stereotyping, separateness, social restriction, and perceived recovery (all P < .001). Linear mixed modeling showed a greater reduction in stigma from baseline to post-intervention among Black than non-Black participants in the racial insights video group for the social distance and social restriction domains. Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial replicated and expanded previous findings, showing the anti-stigma effects of a brief video tailored to race-related experiences. This underscores the importance of personalized, culturally relevant narratives, especially for marginalized groups who, more attuned to prejudice and discrimination, may particularly value identification and solidarity. Future studies should explore mediators/moderators to improve intervention efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-704
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2024


  • rvention/video
  • stigma/public
  • stigma/race/schizophrenia/inte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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