ResearchBlogging.orgThis is awesome. I’ve been waiting for the paper to show up ever since I saw the poster presentation at a meeting last year. Or maybe I just saw a related type of poster because I seem to recall the analysis being particularly critical of general medical doctors? At any rate, this is a pretty important finding because it speaks to the stigma that surrounds certain types of medical problems. This stigma might have serious implications for judicial decision making when crimes are involved, personal health care recommendations / efforts from physicians, etc. The paper is in the queue at the International Journal of Drug Policy.
Does it matter how we refer to individuals with substance-related conditions? A randomized study of two commonly used terms
John F. Kelly and Cassandra M. Westerhof, International Journal of Drug Policy, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 December 2009, [DOI]
I was alerted to the publication by the description here at Science Daily.

The investigators randomly distributed surveys to more than 700 mental health professionals attending two 2008 conferences focused on mental health and addiction. The surveys began with a paragraph describing the current situation of “Mr. Williams,” who is having trouble adhering to a court-ordered treatment program requiring abstinence from alcohol and other drugs. On half of the surveys, he is referred to as a “substance abuser;” on the others, he is described as having “a substance use disorder,” with the rest of the narrative being exactly the same. The survey consisted of 32 statements about Mr. Williams’ situation, and participants were asked to indicate how much they agreed or disagreed with those statements.

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