HCR.20.044 – Reducing stigma towards psychosis and autism using a cross-diagnostic, participatory approach

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 076 What are the consequences of chronic disorders, stress, and disabilities and what is the best way to deal with them?

Individuals with psychosis or autism share characteristics in terms of deviations in thought, affect, behavior and genes. Stigma related to these conditions significantly impacts societal integration, quality of life and empowerment of affected individuals. Both psychosis and autism could benefit from reducing societal stigma. We, a collaboration of psychosis and autism researchers, aim to (1) assess stigma towards psychosis and autism in a general population sample and self-ascribed stigma in clinical samples, (2) develop an anti-stigma intervention in conjunction with self-advocates with psychosis and autism using innovative and attractive, state-of-the-art video and social media content, (3) test the effectiveness of interventions in general population samples, and (4) disseminate destigmatizing information about psychosis and autism targeted at a wide audience to improve knowledge about and attitudes towards psychosis and autism. The key assets of this study are a) access to the largest Dutch psychosis and autism databases, b) active involvement of individuals with psychosis and autism, c) unique cross-pollination of knowledge and experience between psychosis and autism research, d) development and assessment of anti-stigma interventions, and e) broad dissemination of information on psychosis and autism aimed at the general public. The outcomes of this study advance knowledge on stigma and offer practical tools to tackle it, contributing to an inclusive society and improving well-being and quality of life of individuals with psychosis and autism.


Autism, intervention, psychosis, public image, stigma


Organisation Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Name Dr. Sander Begeer
E-mail S.Begeer@vu.nl
Website https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/sm-begeer