A systematic examination of the nature and content of vignettes in schizophrenia research.

TitleA systematic examination of the nature and content of vignettes in schizophrenia research.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAldersey HM, Huynh DChinh, Whitley R
JournalJ Ment Health
Date Published2016 Jun
KeywordsAttitude to Health, Female, Humans, Male, Research Design, Schizophrenic Psychology, Social Stigma

BACKGROUND: Vignettes are often used in psychiatric research, yet there are few systematic studies on their content, creation, and use.AIMS: This article describes a study of: (a) how researchers create vignettes in research on schizophrenia and (b) how these vignettes portray individuals with schizophrenia.METHOD: We conducted a systematic search of the PubMed database for articles between 2008 and 2012 that used vignettes to measure attitudes about schizophrenia. We analyzed the identified vignettes using a tool developed in reference to DSM criteria.RESULTS: Within the vignettes, 98% of individuals portrayed demonstrated delusions, 91% demonstrated hallucinations and 29% demonstrated disorganized speech. The majority of vignettes portrayed individuals under 25 years and when both genders were not depicted, researchers chose to depict men much more frequently than women (41% vs. 8%). A majority of articles did not use original vignettes (55%), and many of the articles (53%) contained vignettes created by one team of researchers. Most vignettes did not include positive language or recovery-oriented information.CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights a need for critical thought on vignette development and utilization, especially as psychiatry is now moving towards a recovery-based understanding of mental illness.

Alternate JournalJ Ment Health
PubMed ID26439609