Study results support eliminating the term 'schizophrenic' from clinical practice

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain imaging technologies allow for the study of differences in brain activity in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The image shows two levels of the brain, with areas that were more active in healthy controls than in schizophrenia patients shown in orange, during an fMRI study of working memory. Credit: Kim J, Matthews NL, Park S./PLoS One.

New research published in the Journal of Counseling & Development found a difference in tolerance toward individuals with schizophrenia depending on whether mental health counselors and counselors-in-training received a survey using the term "schizophrenic" or "person with schizophrenia."

Participants who received the version with the term "schizophrenic" had attitudes that were more authoritarian, more socially restrictive, and less benevolent.

"Language matters. The we use can either reduce stigma and improve the quality of care that our clients receive, or our words can make counselors less likely to treat their clients with basic human dignity and respect," said lead author Darcy Haag Granello, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University. "The take-home message is clear—all people, even , are affected by the words and labels that we use. We now have that taking the time to utter a few more syllables and include the word 'person' has real potential to make a difference in the lives of our clients."

More information: Journal of Counseling & Development, DOI: 10.1002/jcad.1239
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Study results support eliminating the term 'schizophrenic' from clinical practice (2021, September 22) retrieved 1 December 2022 from
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