Sustained Effect of a Brief Video in Reducing Public Stigma Toward Individuals With Psychosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Young Adults

Doron Amsalem, John C. Markowitz, Samantha E. Jankowski, Lawrence H. Yang, Linda Valeri, Sarah A. Lieff, Yuval Neria, Lisa B. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Public stigma is a barrier to care and increases the duration of untreated psychosis among individuals with first-episode psychosis. The authors recently demonstrated the efficacy of a 90-second social contact–based video intervention in reducing such stigma. That proof-of-concept study was the first to employ so brief an antistigma intervention in a sample of young adults. The authors now present a randomized controlled replication study with baseline, postintervention, and 30-day follow-up assessments. The authors aimed to replicate their previous findings and to show a persisting benefit for the video intervention. Methods: Using a crowdsourcing platform (Amazon Mechanical Turk), the authors recruited and assigned 1,055 participants ages 18–30 years to a brief video-based intervention, to a written vignette intervention containing the same material, or to a nonintervention control condition. In the 90-second video, a 22-year-old African American woman with schizophrenia humanized the illness through her emotional description of living a meaningful and productive life. Results: A three-by-three group-by-time multivariate analysis of variance showed a significant group-by-time interaction for the total scores of all five stigma-related domains: social distance, stereotyping, separateness, social restriction, and perceived recovery. Post hoc pairwise tests showed greater reductions in the video group compared with the vignette and control groups at the postintervention and 30-day follow-up assessments, while the vignette group differed from the control group at the postintervention assessment but not at the 30-day assessment. Conclusions: This randomized controlled study replicated and strengthened the authors’ earlier findings, further showing month-long sustained stigma reduction in the social contact–based video intervention arm. A 90-second video sufficed to humanize schizophrenia and reduce stigma. Further research should examine longer-term sustainability, assess changes in behavior, and determine optimal effective video length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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