No study has so far explored differences in discrimination reported by people with major depressive disorder (MDD) across countries and cultures.
To (a) compare reported discrimination across different countries, and (b) explore the relative weight of individual and contextual factors in explaining levels of reported discrimination in people with MDD.
Cross-sectional multisite international survey (34 countries worldwide) of 1082 people with MDD. Experienced and anticipated discrimination were assessed by the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC). Countries were classified according to their rating on the Human Development Index (HDI). Multilevel negative binomial and Poisson models were used.
People living in ‘very high HDI’ countries reported higher discrimination than those in ‘medium/low HDI’ countries. Variation in reported discrimination across countries was only partially explained by individual-level variables. The contribution of country-level variables was significant for anticipated discrimination only.
Contextual factors play an important role in anticipated discrimination. Country-specific interventions should be implemented to prevent discrimination towards people with MDD.