Stigma Among Nursing Home Staff Towards Nursing Home Residents with a Mental Illness

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Gail Frankle

Committee Member

Jesse Florang

Committee Member

Jennifer Harris


Individuals with a mental illness is a group that is considered a vulnerable and underserved population. They face bias, discrimination, and stigma. This is not only by those in their own communities, but also by those who work in the healthcare profession. Individuals with a mental illness have become homeless, jailed, or reside in nursing homes. Much of this was due to the deinstitutionalization of the mental hospitals. Stigma is a cause for unequal treatment and/or inadequate care towards people with a mental illness. It is also believed that the younger a person is, the more diverse or empathetic that individual will be towards those who are different then him/her (Gaidhani et al., 2019). This study focused on residents diagnosed with a mental illness that reside in the nursing homes. The staff in these facilities are trained to aid those that are elderly and need assistance with basic life skills, such as dressing, bathing, eating, and mobility, but lack the ability to complete some or all of these modalities without assistance. The staff lack the knowledge and training to deal with the idiosyncrasies and behaviors of those with a mental illness (Molinari et al., 2017). This study examined if there was a difference in stigma between the different generations, working in nursing homes, towards those with a mental illness.