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Validation of the Mental Illness Sexual Stigma Questionnaire (MISS-Q) in a sample of Brazilian adults in psychiatric care

Wainberg, Milton L.; Norcini Pala, Andrea; Cournos, Francine; McKinnon, Karen

Objective: We evaluated the psychometric properties of a new instrument "Mental Illness Sexual Stigma Questionnaire" (MISS-Q).

Methods: We interviewed 641 sexually active adults (ages 18-80) attending public outpatient psychiatric clinics in Rio de Janeiro about their stigma experiences.

Results: Nine factors were extracted through exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and labeled: 'individual discrimination by others'; 'staff willingness to talk about sexuality'; 'staff and family prohibitions'; 'sexual devaluation of self'; 'perceived attractiveness'; 'mental illness concealment'; 'perceived sexual role competence'; 'withdrawal'; and 'locus of social-sexual control'. 'Withdrawal' and 'locus of social-sexual control' showed poor psychometric properties and were excluded from further analysis. The remaining seven factors had high factorial loadings (.39 to .86), varying from sufficient to optimal reliability (Ordinal α ranged from .57 to .88), and good convergent and discriminant validity.

Conclusions: The resulting MISS-Q is the first instrument assessing mental illness sexual stigma with demonstrated psychometric properties. It may prove useful in reducing stigma, protecting sexual health, and promoting recovery.

Keywords: Stigma; psychometric assessment; severe mental illness; sexual and romantic relationships.

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Also Published In

Title
Jornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1590/0047-2085000000162

More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychiatry
Published Here
May 20, 2021