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Research has identified stigmatization as a major threat to successful treatment of individuals with mental illness. As a consequence several anti-stigma campaigns have been carried out. The results have been discouraging and the field suffers from lack of evidence about interventions that work. There are few reports on psychometric data for instruments used to assess stigma, which thus complicates research efforts. The aim of the present study was to investigate test-retest reliability of the Swedish versions of the questionnaires: FABI and "Changing Minds" and to examine the internal consistency of the two instruments.
Two instruments, fear and behavioural intentions (FABI) and "Changing Minds", used in earlier studies on public attitudes towards persons with mental illness were translated into Swedish and completed by 51 nursing students on two occasions, with an interval of three weeks. Test-retest reliability was calculated by using weighted kappa coefficient and internal consistency using the Cronbach's alpha coefficient.
Both instruments attain at best moderate test-retest reliability. For the Changing Minds questionnaire almost one fifth (17.9%) of the items present poor test-retest reliability and the alpha coefficient for the subscales ranges between 0.19 - 0.46. All of the items in the FABI reach a fair or a moderate agreement between the test and retest, and the questionnaire displays a high internal consistency, alpha 0.80.
There is a need for development of psychometrically tested instruments within this field of research.