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Emergency departments (ED) in the United States receive many patients who have mental health or substance use issues. This population often reports experiences of stigma when seeking emergency healthcare. Stigma is a negative biased perception based on a socially undesirable characteristic. Stigmatization in healthcare can lead to apoor quality of life and psychological distress for stigmatized groups along with reduced rates of treatment completion and treatment seeking in the future. The goal of the current study is to examine the relationship between mental illness and substance abuse patients’ experiences of stigmatization in the ED and their patient satisfaction, treatment adherence, and mental health outcomes. This study takes a mixed methods approach to collect data via a survey and follow-up interviews. The interviews will further investigate the lived emergency healthcare experiences of patients with mental health and/or substance use issues to add context to the survey data. Results are expected to highlight the consequences of stigma messages in the ED and inform health communication education efforts for ED healthcare workers that care for patients with a history of mental illness and/or substance abuse. Ideally, the information gathered from this research will be used by ED healthcare workers to better their relationships with their patients and to improve patient satisfaction.

Publication Date



Logan, UT


emergency department, mental health, treatment adherence, stigmatization



Patients' Perceptions of Stigma During Emergency Department Visits: Measuring Impacts on Healthcare Satisfaction, Treatment Adherence, and Mental Health

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