Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 29

stigma Related Abstracts

29 Assessing Psycho-Social Stressors for Chronically Infected Hepatitis C Virus Patients in Egypt

Authors: Ammal M. Metwally, Dalia M. Elmosalami, Walaa A. Fouad, Abla G. Khalifa, Lobna A. El Etreby, Mohamed AbdelRahman


People with hepatitis C are likely to experience psychological distress related to adjustment issues following diagnosis. Objective: The study was conducted to determine the psycho-social stressors accompanying Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection. The study focused on immediate and later on reactions to being diagnosed as infected HCV patients. Effect of HCV on disruption of patients’ relationships in term of family relationship and friendship, employment and financial status was assessed. The magnitude and causes of the social stigma and its relation to awareness about illness, level of education were also assessed. Methods: During this study the subjective experiences of people having HCV was explored through a designed questionnaire targeted 540 cases; 359 males and 181 females from ten out of 21 National Treatment Reference Centers of National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institutes of Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals. The study was conducted along a period of six months from September 2011 to March 2012. Results: The study revealed that the financial problems are the commonest problems faced by 75.5 % of the cases. More than 70% of the cases suffered from immediate sadness versus 67.4% suffered from worry. Social stigma was reported by 13 % of HCV +patients, the majority of which were females. Conclusions: Exploring the psychosocial consequences of HCV infection can act as pressing motivators for behavior change needed for limiting HCV endemicity in Egypt.

Keywords: Egypt, HCV infection, psycho-social adjustment, stigma

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28 Social Perspectives on Population of People Living Postively; An Indian Scenario, Evidence from Tiruchirappalli

Authors: Uwonkunda Jeanne, J. Godwin Prem Singh, Anjaneyalu Subbiah


HIV/AIDS is known to affect an individual not only physically but also mentally, socially, and financially. It is a syndrome that builds a vacuum in a person affecting his/her life as a whole.

Keywords: stigma, People living with HIV, social dysfunction, and Social support

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27 The Story of a Spoiled Identity: Blogging on Disability and Feminity

Authors: Anna Ślebioda


The paper discusses intersections between disability and femininity. Their imbrication may impede negotiation of identity. The analysis of a blog of a women with disability aims to prove this hypothesis. It involves 724 entries written in the span of six years. The conceptual framework for the considerations constitute the concepts of stigma and spoiled identity, and overlapping elements of femininity and disability. The empirical part comprises content analysis. It allows to locate the narrative on femininity and disability within the dimensions of imbricated categories described in the theoretical part. The results demonstrate aspects to consider in further research on identity in women with disabilities.

Keywords: Disability, stigma, femininity, spoiled identity

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26 Pattern of Refractive Error, Knowledge, Attitude and Practice about Eye Health among the Primary School Children in Bangladesh

Authors: Husain Rajib, K. S. Kishor, D. G. Jewel


Background: Uncorrected refractive error is a common cause of preventable visual impairment in pediatric age group which can be lead to blindness but early detection of visual impairment can reduce the problem that will have good effective in education and more involve in social activities. Glasses are the cheapest and commonest form of correction of refractive errors. To achieve this, patient must exhibit good compliance to spectacle wear. Patient’s attitude and perception of glasses and eye health could affect compliance. Material and method: A Prospective community based cross sectional study was designed in order to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices about refractive errors and eye health amongst the primary school going children. Result: Among 140 respondents, 72 were males and 68 were females. We found 50 children were myopic and out of them 26 were male and 24 were female, 27 children were hyperopic and out of them 14 were male and 13 were female. About 63 children were astigmatic and out of them 32 were male and 31 were female. The level of knowledge, attitude was satisfactory. The attitude of the students, teachers and parents was cooperative which helps to do cycloplegic refraction. Practice was not satisfactory due to social stigma and information gap. Conclusion: Knowledge of refractive error and acceptance of glasses for the correction of uncorrected refractive error. Public awareness program such as vision screening program, eye camp, and teachers training program are more beneficial for wearing and prescribing spectacle.

Keywords: Knowledge, Practice, attitude, stigma, refractive error

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25 Stigma and Discrimination toward Mental Illness: Translation and Validation of the Attribution Questionnaire-27 (AQ-27)

Authors: Gokcen Akyurek, Hulya Kayihan, Deniz Yuce, Selen Yilmaz


The stigma towards mental illness is still very rooted in our society, despite the number of studies, campaigns, and anti-stigma programs developed in recent years. Stigma represents a serious obstacle to recovery and social integration for people who experience a mental illness, affecting directly their well-being and quality of life. It implies that these persons have to deal with many other barriers apart from the disease symptoms (1-5). Convergent, recent literature suggests that less positive attitudes by mental health professionals interfere with the self-determination and recovery process (4-10).The aim of this study was to translate the Attribution Questionnaire-27 (AQ-27) to the Turkish language (AQ-27-T), and to examine the reliability and validity of this new Turkish version. Cultural adaptation was implemented according to the internationally suggested method. To determine the understandability and appropriateness of this measure for the Turkish culture, a pretest was administered and the final form was generated. Then, 424 randomly chosen people took part in the study. Participant’s mean age was 36.9±12.7 years and %52 of them female. Cronbach's alpha and intra-class coefficients were used to estimate instrument reliability. The AQ-27-T was assessed again 14 days later for test retest reliability. The AQ-27-T demonstrated acceptable internal consistency, with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.88 for the total scale and ranging between 0.86 and 0.89 for the items. The test-retest reliability was good, with Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.79 for the total scale and ranging between 0.35 and 0.77 for the items (p<0.05). Correlation between subscales was moderate-good, with Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.18-0.88 (p<0.05). Fit indices of the model supported the factor structure and paths. The AQ-27-T is a reliable measure to assess stigmatizing attitudes in Turkish.

Keywords: Reliability, Validity, stigma, attribution questionnaire

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24 Observational Study -HIV/ AIDS and Medical Personnel in Mangalore, India

Authors: Anjana Sreedharan, Harish Rao


Background: India has the world’s third largest population of people living with HIV/AIDS, with a prevalence rate of 0.69 in the state of Karnataka. This study aims at assessing the HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitude and behavior of the medical personnel in 3 hospitals in the city of Mangalore. Methods: Surgeons, Anesthetists, OT staff nurses, ward nursing staff, House surgeons working in the hospitals associated with Kasturba Medical college, Mangalore were given questionnaires and interviewed. Their knowledge about HIV, their attitude towards HIV positive patients and bias in management of the patients was assessed. Conclusion: So far, it has been found that amongst doctors, discrimination was mainly in the form of HIV testing without consent and a lack of confidentiality. However, the doctors rarely changed the treatment plan on knowing the HIV status of the patient. Amongst the nursing staff and interns, there is a serious lacuna of knowledge regarding HIV transmission, as compared to consultants. The patient seldom faced verbal abuse from the team. Use of universal precautions is less among the entire team due to insufficient availability of the same.

Keywords: Discrimination, stigma, HIV/ AIDS, medical colleges

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23 Disability, Stigma and In-Group Identification: An Exploration across Different Disability Subgroups

Authors: Sharmila Rathee


Individuals with disability/ies often face negative attitudes, discrimination, exclusion, and inequality of treatment due to stigmatization and stigmatized treatment. While a significant number of studies in field of stigma suggest that group-identification has positive consequences for stigmatized individuals, ironically very miniscule empirical work in sight has attempted to investigate in-group identification as a coping measure against stigma, humiliation and related experiences among disability group. In view of death of empirical research on in-group identification among disability group, through present work, an attempt has been made to examine the experiences of stigma, humiliation, and in-group identification among disability group. Results of the study suggest that use of in-group identification as a coping strategy is not uniform across members of disability group and degree of in-group identification differs across different sub-groups of disability groups. Further, in-group identification among members of disability group depends on variables like degree and impact of disability, factors like onset of disability, nature, and visibility of disability, educational experiences and resources available to deal with disabling conditions.

Keywords: Disability, Social identity, In-Group Identification, stigma

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22 Formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) Protected Human Rights and Ensured Human Security of Female Sex Workers at Brothel in Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Nurul Alom Siddikqe


The purpose of this intervention was to describe how the marginalized people protect their rights and increase their self-dignity and self-esteem among brothel-based sex workers in 6 cities which are the victim of trafficked who came from different periphery areas Bangladesh. Eventually the sex workers are tortured by the pimp, clients, Msahi (so called guardian of bonded sex workers), Babu (So called husband) highly discriminated, vulnerable and stigmatized due to their occupation, movement, behavior and activities, which has got social disapproval. However, stigma, discrimination and violation of human rights not only bar them to access legal services, education of their kids, health, movement of outside of brothel, deprived of funeral after death, but also make them inaccessible due to their invisibility. Conducted an assessment among brothel-based sex workers setup to know their knowledge on human rights and find out their harassment and violence in their community. Inspired them to think about to be united and also assisted them to formation of self help group (SHG). Developed capacity of the SHG and developed leadership of its members through different trainings like administrative, financial management, public speaking and resource mobilization. Developed strategy to enhance the capacity of SHG so that they can collectively claim their rights and develop strategic partnership and network with the relevant service provider’s for restoring all sorts of rights. Conducted meeting with stakeholder including duty bearers, civil society organizations, media people and local government initiatives. Developed Networking with human rights commission, local elite, religious leaders and form human right watch committees at community level. Organized rally and observed national and international days along with government counterparts. By utilizing the project resources the members of SHG became capable to raise their collective voices against violence, discrimination and stigma as well as protected them from insecurity. The members of SHG have been participating in social program/event the SHG got membership of district level NGO coordination meeting through invitation from Deputy Commissioner, Civil Surgeon and Social welfare office of Government of Bangladesh. The Law Enforcement Agency is ensuring safety and security and the education department of government enrolled their children in primary level education. The Government provided land for grave yard after death for the Muslim sex workers and same for the other religious group. The SHGs are registered with government respective authorities. The SHGs are working with support from different development partners and implementing different projects sometime as consortium leaders. Opportunity created to take the vocational training from the government reputed department. The harassment by the clients reduced remarkably, babu, Mashi and other counterparts recognized the sex workers rights and ensure security with government counterpart access increased in legal, health and education. Indications are that the brothel based sex workers understood about their rights and became capable of ensuring their security through working under the self-help groups meaningfully.

Keywords: Discrimination, stigma, harassment, brothel

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21 Services, Stigma and Discrimination: Perceptions of African Descendant Men Living with HIV/AIDS in Brazil and in the US

Authors: Aparecida De Fatima Dutra, Freddie Avant, Wilma Cordova


People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have benefited from advances in treatment. Medical costs are a challenge for some, but the real challenge is the stigma and discrimination PLWHA continue to face, even though the disease has festered for the last four decades. Few studies regarding stigma and discrimination give voice to those affected by these practices. This study provides a voice to PLWHA in Brazil and in the US as to how they perceive stigma and discrimination, as well as services they access. The methodology of this study was designed based on phenomenological research, which is a research that aims to identify what individuals facing the same situation have to share about their experiences. Qualitative research using in- depth interviews was used in order to gather participants’ perceptions about services they access, and stigma and discrimination they experience as PLWHA (hypothesis). The target population was a minority group of 13 Afro-descendant men, mean age of 48.3, residents in East Texas, United States and Salvador, Brazil. Our findings indicate that in both countries, overall, participants have reasonable access to medication and qualified services, except for some specialties, such as dentistry. With regard to stigma and discrimination the majority of participants have not disclosed their diagnosis. They state they prefer not to disclose for fear of being ostracized and rejected. Participants who did reveal their status indicate that stigma and discrimination is a daily occurrence. These experiences tend to occur within their own families, neighborhoods, and in public health agencies where HIV/AIDS is not the focus. Participants who did offer suggestions for social change indicated they would have to reveal their status even if it means being stigmatized and discriminated against. Other factors contributing to this discrimination include skin color and poverty. This study concludes that even after decades since the spread of this epidemic, nothing has changed regarding stigma and discrimination towards PLWHA. Lack of awareness, empathy and education continue to be a major challenge, not only at a local level but across the globe. In conclusion, as documented in previous studies while stigma and discrimination towards this population prevail, negative attitudes will continue to jeopardize all individuals from receiving equal access to prevention, treatment and care. It is crucial to face stigma and discrimination not only as individual experiences, but as social practices that violate and restrict human rights and that as a result, reinforce inequality and social exclusion. Policies should be at the forefront to eliminate the stigma and discrimination PLWHA experience. Health professionals and societies must take a stand in order to promote mindfulness about the negative effect of oppression towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and the potential global impact of these practices.

Keywords: Human Rights, HIV/AIDS, Discrimination, stigma

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20 The Impact of Stigma on the Course of Mental Illness: A Brief Review

Authors: Mariana Mangas, Yaroslava Martins, Ana Matos Pires


Introduction: Stigmatization is a common problem to overcome for people suffering from chronic diseases. It usually follows mental disorders and complicates the course of illness and reduces quality of life for people with mental illness. Objective: unsystematic review concerning stigma and mental illness, its impact on psychiatric disease and strategies to eradicate stigma. Methods: A search was conducted on PubMed, using keywords 'stigma' and 'mental illness'. Results and Discussion: Stigma is a psychosocial process that identifies individuals by the negative label of their differences. Stigma often brings a loss of occupational success and social support, reduced functioning and lower quality of life. The sense of stigma is common in individuals with mental illness and has considerable negative repercussions: delays treatment achievement, promotes social isolation, stress and maladaptive coping behaviors and it is associated with higher symptom levels, placing these individuals at higher risk for a poorer outcome and prognoses. Conclusion: Given the interrelation between stigma, symptoms, treatment seeking and disease management, stigma is a key construct in mental illness upon which anti-stigma initiatives may have considerable therapeutic potential. It will take multidisciplinary interventions to overcome mental illness stigma, including changes in social policy, attitudes and practices among mental health professionals, liaison between general public and people with a mental illness under conditions of equity and parity, family support, and easy access to evidence-based treatments.

Keywords: Mental Illness, Quality of Life, Discrimination, stigma

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19 Structural and Histochemical Alterations in the Development of the Stigma in Vibirnum tinus

Authors: Aslihan Cetinbas Genc, Meral Unal


This study presents the structural and cytochemical alterations of stigma at the stages of pre-anthesis, anthesis and post-anthesis in Vibirnum tinus. Capitate stigma continues with a closed style. The receptive surface of stigma is composed of unicellular papillae which are short and flattened at pre-anthesis stage. The papillae in this stage have dense cytoplasm with small vacuoles and a centrally located nucleus. With the start of anthesis, the stigma widens, papillae lengthen and become cylindrical. At anthesis stage, vacuoles enlarge, and nucleus moves to the base of the cell. At post-anthesis stage, the boundaries of the papillae become less noticeable. As proved by Periodic Acid Schiff procedure, the cytoplasm of papillae is rich in insoluble polysaccharides at all stages of development but it becomes remarkable at post-anthesis, particularly at the sub-papillar area. Although there is no significant difference in the content of protein in all stages of the development, it is more abundant at post-anthesis stage, as in Coomassie Brillant Blue stained sections. The surface of papillae is covered by a cuticle which becomes thicker at post-anthesis, and it gives positive reaction with Sudan Black B and Auramine O. The cuticle is covered by a pellicle stained by Coomassie Brillant Blue, indicating dry type of stigma.

Keywords: Histochemistry, stigma, develeopmental features, Vibirnum tinus

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18 Stigma Impacts the Quality of Life of People Living with Diabetes Mellitus in Switzerland: Challenges for Social Work

Authors: Daniel Gredig, Annabelle Bartelsen-Raemy


Social work services offered to people living with diabetes tend to be moulded by the prevailing understanding that social work is to support people living with diabetes in their adherence to medical prescription and/or life style changes. As diabetes has been conceived as a condition facing no stigma, discrimination of people living with diabetes has not been considered. However, there is growing evidence of stigma. To our knowledge, nevertheless, there have been no comprehensive, in-depth studies of stigma and its impact. Against this background and challenging the present layout of services for people living with diabetes, the present study aimed to establish whether: -people living with diabetes in Switzerland experience stigma, and if so, in what context and to what extent; -experiencing stigma impacts the quality of life of those affected. It was hypothesized that stigma would impact on their quality of life. It was further hypothesized that low self-esteem, psychological distress, depression, and a lack of social support would be mediating factors. For data collection an anonymous paper-and-pencil self-administered questionnaire was used which drew on a qualitative elicitation study. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling. To generate a large and diverse convenience sample the questionnaire was distributed to the readers of journal destined to diabetics living in Switzerland issued in German and French. The sample included 3347 people with type 1 and 2 diabetes, aged 16–96, living in diverse living conditions in the German- and French-speaking areas of Switzerland. Respondents reported experiences of discrimination in various contexts and stereotyping based on the belief that diabetics have a low work performance; are inefficient in the workplace; inferior; weak-willed in their ability to manage health-related issues; take advantage of their condition and are viewed as pitiful or sick people. Respondents who reported higher levels of perceived stigma reported higher levels of psychological distress (β = .37), more pronounced depressive symptoms (β=.33), and less social support (β = -.22). Higher psychological distress (β = -.29) and more pronounced depressive symptoms (β = -.28), in turn, predicted lower quality of life. These research findings challenge the prevailing understanding of social work services for people living with diabetes in Switzerland and beyond. They call for a less individualistic approach, the consideration of the social context service users are placed in their everyday life, and addressing stigma. So, social work could partner with people living with diabetes in order to fight against discrimination and stereotypes. This could include identifying and designing educational and public awareness strategies. In direct social work with people living with diabetes, this could include broaching experiences of stigma and modes of coping with. This study was carried out in collaboration with the Swiss Diabetes Association. The association accepted the challenging conclusions from this study. It connected to the results and is currently discussing the priorities and courses of action to be taken.

Keywords: Services, Diabetes, Quality of Life, Discrimination, stigma

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17 Destigmatising Generalised Anxiety Disorder: The Differential Effects of Causal Explanations on Stigma

Authors: John McDowall, Lucy Lightfoot


Stigma constitutes a significant barrier to the recovery and social integration of individuals affected by mental illness. Although there is some debate in the literature regarding the definition and utility of stigma as a concept, it is widely accepted that it comprises three components: stereotypical beliefs, prejudicial reactions, and discrimination. Stereotypical beliefs describe the cognitive knowledge-based component of stigma, referring to beliefs (often negative) about members of a group that is based on cultural and societal norms (e.g. ‘People with anxiety are just weak’). Prejudice refers to the affective/evaluative component of stigma and describes the endorsement of negative stereotypes and the resulting negative emotional reactions (e.g. ‘People with anxiety are just weak, and they frustrate me’). Discrimination refers to the behavioural component of stigma, which is arguably the most problematic, as it exerts a direct effect on the stigmatized person and may lead people to behave in a hostile or avoidant way towards them (i.e. refusal to hire them). Research exploring anti-stigma initiatives focus primarily on an educational approach, with the view that accurate information will replace misconceptions and decrease stigma. Many approaches take a biogenetic stance, emphasising brain and biochemical deficits - the idea being that ‘mental illness is an illness like any other.' While this approach tends to effectively reduce blame, it has also demonstrated negative effects such as increasing prognostic pessimism, the desire for social distance and perceptions of stereotypes. In the present study 144 participants were split into three groups and read one of three vignettes presenting causal explanations for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): One explanation emphasized biogenetic factors as being important in the etiology of GAD, another emphasised psychosocial factors (e.g. aversive life events, poverty, etc.), and a third stressed the adaptive features of the disorder from an evolutionary viewpoint. A variety of measures tapping the various components of stigma were administered following the vignettes. No difference in stigma measures as a function of causal explanation was found. People who had contact with mental illness in the past were significantly less stigmatising across a wide range of measures, but this did not interact with the type of causal explanation.

Keywords: Discrimination, Prejudice, stigma, generalised anxiety disorder

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16 Predictors of the Self-Reported Likelihood of Seeking Social Worker Help among People with Physical Disabilities

Authors: Maya Kagan, Michal Itzick, Patricia Tal-Katz


Social workers hold a variety of roles and practices, and one of these involves the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of disabled people. The current study assesses the association between demographic factors, attitudes towards social workers, the stigma attached to seeking social worker help, perceived social support, and psychological distress - and the self-reported likelihood of seeking social worker help, among people with physical disabilities (PWPD) in Israel. Data collection utilized structured questionnaires, administered to a sample of 435 PWPD. Statistical analyses were done using SPSS software. The findings suggest that women, older respondents, people with more positive attitudes towards social workers, with higher levels of psychological distress and of social support, and with a lower level of stigma, reported a greater likelihood of seeking social worker help. The study's conclusion is that there are certain avoidance factors among PWPD that might discourage them from seeking professional social worker help. Therefore, it is important that social workers identify these factors and develop interventions aimed at encouraging PWPD to seek professional social worker help in case of need, and also develop practices adjusted to PWPD's unique needs.

Keywords: Psychological distress, stigma, perceived social support, attitudes towards social workers, people with physical disabilities, seeking help

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15 Stigma Associated with Living in a Care Home: Perspectives of Older Residents Living in Care Homes in Thailand

Authors: Suhathai Tosangwarn, Philip Clissett, Holly Blake


Background: High prevalence of depression has been reported among older adults living in care homes in Thailand, associated with physical impairment, low social support, low self-esteem and particularly stigma associated with living in a care home. However, little is understood about how such stigma is experienced among Thai care home residents. This study examines residents’ perceptions of stigma and their strategies for coping with stigma. Method/Design: Case study research was used to gain an in-depth view about the stigma of residents’ perspectives and experiences from two care homes in the northeast of Thailand by conducting an in-depth interview and non-participant observation. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 older residents (aged >60 years), purposively sampled from both care homes. Non-participant observation was conducted in various public spaces of the care homes, including the dining room, corridors, and activities areas for approximately one to two hours per day at different times; morning and afternoon including weekdays and weekend in both care homes for one month. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: The study identified three major themes related to the causes of stigma, the reactions towards stigma and the mitigating factors. Negative beliefs about care homes, negative attitudes, and stereotypes toward the elderly and perceptions of unequal power relations between staff and residents were the main factors precipitating stigma. Consequently, residents exhibited negative emotions and behaviours, including depressive symptoms, while living in care homes. Residents reported the use of particular coping strategies, including accessing support from the public and staff and engaging in care home activities which these helped them to cope with their perception of stigma. Conclusion: Improved understanding of the underlying factors behind perceived stigma in care home residents may help to prevent depression and reduce perceptions of stigma associated with living in a care home, by informing strategy, supportive intervention and guidelines for appropriate care for older Thai residents.

Keywords: Depression, Older Adult, Thailand, stigma, care home

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14 'It Is a Sin to Be in Love with a Disabled Woman': Stigma, Rejection and Intersections of Womanhood and Violence among Physically Disabled Women Living in South Africa

Authors: Ingrid Van Der Heijden, Naeemah Abrahams, Jane Harries


Background: Commonly, womanhood is defined as the qualities considered to be natural to or characteristic of a woman. However, womanhood is not a static concept; it is contextual and negotiable. For women with disabilities, gender roles or ‘qualities’ of womanhood are often overstated or contradicted because of assumptions of weakness, passivity, asexuality and infertility. Currently, little is known about how disability stigma intersects with notions of womanhood to make women with disabilities vulnerable to violence, or how women navigate this intersection to prevent or protect themselves from violence. Objective: To describe how the stigmatized constructions of womanhood and disability promote women with physical disabilities’ exposure to or protection from violence. Methods: Qualitative data for this paper comes from a doctoral study involving women with disabilities living in Cape Town, South Africa. It presents data from repeat in-depth interviews with 30 women with a range of physical impairments. Women attending protective workshops, rehabilitative centers and residential care facilities for people living with disabilities were invited to participate. Consent procedures and interviews were conducted by the first author (who is herself a woman living with a physical disability), and a female research assistant/translator who is a qualified occupational therapist. Reasonable accommodation is central to the methodology and the study as a whole. Findings: Descriptive and thematic analyses reveal how stigma and local constructions around womanhood, as well as women’s self-image and physical limitations, promotes women’s exposure to psychological, physical and sexual violence. It reveals how disabled women feel they are presumed incapable of living up to expectations of a ‘proper’ woman. This plays out as psychological violence, with women reporting that they feel ‘devalued,' ‘rejected’ and deprived of lasting intimate relationships. Furthermore, forms of psychological violence perpetuate physical and sexual violence. Women also discuss using strategies to prevent violence; by refusing to date, avoiding certain places or avoiding isolation, creating awareness, hiding their physical impairments, and exaggerating their ‘femininity.' Implications: Service providers need to be made aware of women’s violence experiences, and provide a range of accessible psychological and mental health services to women living with disabilities, as well as raising awareness around disability, and violence prevention, among caregivers, men, and women. Violence awareness and prevention interventions need to involve disability experts, researchers and people with disabilities.

Keywords: Gender, Disability, stigma, violence awareness and prevention interventions

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13 The Experiences of Claiming Welfare Benefits for People with Disabilities in the UK

Authors: Jennifer McNeill


Over the years UK Governments have extended the use of welfare conditionality to more marginalised groups. Whereas in the past, disabled people’s rights to unconditional welfare were defended, significant numbers of disabled people have in recent years been re-classified as ‘fit for work’ as a result of this policy shift towards increased conditionality targeting more welfare service user groups. This paper discusses findings from a five-year project exploring the ethics and efficacy of welfare conditionality. Drawing on repeat interviews over three years with 58 disabled welfare service users across England and Scotland, the paper explores the experience of, and impact of conditionality upon, disabled participants. In particular, participants described the process of claiming disability-related benefits as stigmatising, with some describing the medical assessments as demeaning, traumatic and even painful. The medical assessments are conducted by private contractors and participants felt they were treated unfairly, under suspicion and under surveillance. This finding is important in line with a recent UN report concerned with the practice of such assessments. The findings reveal that notions of ‘deservedness’ are embedded in this system as disabled recipients argue for their entitlement to welfare claims relative to what are deemed to be less deserving groups of benefit claimants. This indicates an increasing competition ethic within different sections of the most marginalised social groups that facilitate further forms of social fragmentation, particularly in relation to opposition to benefit cuts and other changes requiring concerted and organised forms of resistance. The impact of media and political scapegoating of the most marginal has generated divisions within even those who position themselves as legitimate recipients.

Keywords: Disability, stigma, medical assessments, welfare conditionality

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12 Mental Health and Well-Being: Capacity Building of Community to Respond to Mental Health Needs of Transgender Populations

Authors: Harjyot Khosa


In India and south Asia, stigma and discrimination against transgender community remain disproportionately high. Lack of mental health care restricts effective treatment and care for both physical and mental health. Knowledge assessment of 80 counsellors across India reflected that only 28% counsellors knew about the transgender community. Whereas, only 6% of them felt, that transgender community require a specific mental health support, considering the stigma they face in day to day life. Lastly, 62% did agree that they require specific training to address unmet needs of transgender community. A robust counselling module was developed with focus on technical counselling skills and strategies, specific counselling issues, identity and sexuality, disclosure, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Mental health related support should be an integral part of government and non-government programs for the overall well-being of transgender community who face stigma and discrimination at every level. Needs based capacity building and technical assistance is required towards providing mental health support for transgender populations and their partners.

Keywords: Mental Health, Transgender, stigma, identity and sexuality

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11 Mental Health Stigma: Barriers to Treatment and Participation in Mental Health Care among University Students in Kenya

Authors: Scholastic Nangila Adeli, Francisca Mbutitia Ngithi


Stigma is commonly associated with mental health patients and may act as a barrier to individuals who may seek or engage in treatment services. Stigmatization among university students is common whether they know someone with a mental health problem, or have a good knowledge and experience of mental health issues. The objective of this study was to establish the various barriers that prevent university students who have mental health challenges from seeking treatment and care. The study was a descriptive in nature where 320 respondents helped to establish the barriers to treatment or participation in mental health care among university students. A questionnaire was used to help establish the barriers and attitude towards mental illness among the respondents. Results from this study revealed that mental illnesses are common among university students and they are manifested in different forms like; anxiety and panic attacks, mood and eating disorders, Impulse control leading to gambling, alcohol and drug addictions, anger and depression leading to loneliness. Mental stigma (both social and self) was the major barrier with 62% of the respondents stating that social stigma was worse than self-stigma. This is because of the social discrimination towards the victim of mental challenges. On issues of attitude, 71% of the respondents said that they can never admit that they have a mental issue and would rather secretly seek clinical or psychological help for fear of being discriminated or excluded by peers. This view is informed by the societal belief that people with mental health challenges were dangerous (associating them with criminal behavior) and hard to socialize with or help. From the findings of this study, it is concluded that mental health problems are real among university students in Kenya and it is important for the university environment to minimize or eradicate stigma within the social circles. Stigma can be minimized or eradicated by creating awareness among university students and fostering social inclusion so that the students who have mental health challenges can experience a sense of belonging and acceptance hence build their self-esteem.

Keywords: Disorders, Mental health problems, stigma, impulse control

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10 Transgressing Gender Norms in Addiction Treatment

Authors: Sara Matsuzaka


At the center of emerging policy debates on the rights of transgender individuals in public accommodations is the collision of gender binary views with transgender perspectives that challenge conventional gender norms. The results of such socio-political debates could have significant ramifications for the policies and infrastructures of public and private institutions nationwide, including within the addiction treatment field. Despite having disproportionately high rates of substance use disorder compared to the general population, transgender individuals experience significant barriers to engaging in addiction treatment programs. Inpatient addiction treatment centers were originally designed to treat heterosexual cisgender populations and, as such, feature gender segregated housing, bathrooms, and counseling sessions. Such heteronormative structural barriers, combined with exposures to stigmatic al attitudes, may dissuade transgender populations from benefiting from the addiction treatment they so direly need. A literature review is performed to explore the mechanisms by which gender segregation alienates transgender populations within inpatient addiction treatment. The constituent parts of the current debate on the rights of transgender individuals in public accommodations are situated the context of inpatient addiction treatment facilities. Minority Stress Theory is used as a theoretical framework for understanding substance abuse issues among transgender populations as a maladaptive behavioral response for coping with chronic stressors related to gender minority status and intersecting identities. The findings include that despite having disproportionately high rates of substance use disorder compared to the general population, transgender individuals experience significant barriers to engaging in and benefiting from addiction treatment. These barriers are present in the form of anticipated or real interpersonal stigma and discrimination by service providers and structural stigma in the form of policy and programmatic components in addiction treatment that marginalize transgender populations. Transphobic manifestations within addiction treatment may dissuade transgender individuals from seeking help, if not reinforce a lifetime of stigmatic experience, potentially exacerbating their substance use issues. Conclusive recommendations for social workers and addiction treatment professionals include: (1) dismantling institutional policies around gender segregation that alienate transgender individuals, (2) developing policies that provide full protections for transgender clients against discrimination based on their gender identity, and (3) implementing trans-affirmative cultural competency training requirements for all staff. Directions for future research are provided.

Keywords: Transgender, stigma, addiction treatment, gender segregation

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9 Addressing Stigma on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consultation Service Through Use of Video

Authors: Rachel Talbot, Nasuh Malas


Stigma in child and adolescent psychiatry continues to be a significant barrier for youth to receive much needed psychiatric care. Parents misperceptions regarding mental health may interfere with their child’s care and negatively influence their child’s view of mental health. For some children, their first experience with psychiatry may occur during medical hospitalization when they are seen by the Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison (C/L) Service. Despite this unique role, there is limited data on how to address mental health stigma with patients and families within the context of Child and Adolescent C/L Psychiatry. This study explores the use of a brief introductory video with messages from the psychiatry C/L team, families who have accessed mental health consultation in the hospital, as well as clips of family and C/L team interactions to address parental stigma of psychiatry. Common stigmatized concerns shared by parents include concerns about confidentiality, later ramifications of mental healthcare, outsider status, and parental self-blame. There are also stigmatized concerns about psychiatric medication use including overmedication, sedation, long-term effects, medicating ‘real problems’ and personality blunting. Each of these are addressed during the video parents will see with the intent of reducing negative parental perceptions relating to mental healthcare. For this study, families are given a survey highlighting these concerns, prior to and after watching the video. Pre-and post-video responses are compared with the hypothesis that watching the video will effectively reduce parental stigma about psychiatric care. Data collection is currently underway and will be completed by the end of November 2017 with data analysis completed by January 2018. This study will also give vital information about the demographic differences in perceptions of stigma so future interventions can be targeted towards those with higher perceived stigma. This study posits that use of an introductory video is an effective strategy to combat stigma and help educate and empower families. In this way, we will be reducing further barriers for patients and families to seek out mental health resources and supports that are often desperately needed for these youths.

Keywords: Media, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stigma, consult-liaison psychiatry

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8 Understanding Parental Style and Its Effect on the Wellbeing of Adolescents with Epilepsy

Authors: Arthy Vinayakam, Emilda Judith Ezhil Rajan


Adolescents with epilepsy living in developing country like India face many difficulties on stigma towards the disease. The psychological wellbeing of adolescents who are living with epilepsy has a varied influence on their daily activities and decision-making. Parental involvement with adolescents has always been a subject of caution. The dynamics in adolescents with epilepsy is much varied as their parental aspects has been known to have an impact on their education, socialization and wellbeing. The current study aims to identify the effect of parental styles, how they tend to effect the perception of self-concept that relate to the stigma in adolescents with epilepsy. A sample of 30 adolescents with epilepsy and their parents were taken; a control group of 30 adolescents and their parents were also taken. The General Health Questionnaire -12 was used as a screening for both groups to be included in the study. Parents were evaluated with Parenting Practices Questionnaire (PPQ). Adolescents were administered the Epilepsy Stigma Scale (ESS), Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSS) and Adolescent Wellbeing Scale (AWS). Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. The findings of the study highlight the challenges of both parent and their influence on adolescent’s wellbeing. The findings also establish the impact of parenting style on the stigma in adolescents having epilepsy and how this influences their self-concept whereby their emotional strength.

Keywords: Epilepsy, Wellbeing, stigma, parenting style

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7 'I'm in a Very Safe Place': Webcam Sex Workers in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Their Perceptions of Danger and Risk

Authors: Madeline V. Henry


Sex work is a contested subject in academia. Many authors now argue that the practice should be recognized as a legitimate and rationally chosen form of labor, and that decriminalization is necessary to ensure the safety of sex workers and reduce their stigmatization. However, a prevailing argument remains that the work is inherently violent and oppressive and that all sex workers are directly or indirectly coerced into participating in the industry. This argument has been complicated by the recent proliferation of computer-mediated technologies that allow people to conduct sex work without the need to be physically co-present with customers or pimps. One example of this is the practice of ‘camming’, wherein ‘webcam models’ stream themselves stripping and/or performing autoerotic stimulation in an online chat-room for payment. In this presentation, interviews with eight ‘camgirls’ (aged 22-34) will be discussed. Their talk has been analyzed using Foucauldian discourse analysis, focusing on common discursive threads in relation to the work and their subjectivities. It was found that the participants demonstrated appreciation for the lack of physical danger they were in, but emphasized the unique and significant dangers of online-based sex work (their images and videos being recorded and shared without their consent, for example). Participants also argued that their largest concerns were based around stigma, which they claimed remained prevalent despite the decriminalized legal model in Aotearoa/New Zealand (which has been in place for over 14 years). Overall, this project seeks to challenge commonplace academic approaches to sex work, adding further research to support sex workers’ rights and highlighting new issues to consider in a digital environment.

Keywords: Risk, Sex Work, stigma, camming

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6 Evaluation of a Higher Diploma in Mental Health Nursing Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Effects on Student Behavior, Attitude and Perception

Authors: T. Frawley, G. O'Kelly


The UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems Higher Diploma in Mental Health (HDMH) nursing programme commenced in January 2017. Forty students successfully completed the programme. Programme evaluation was conducted from the outset. Research ethics approval was granted by the UCD Human Research Ethics Committee – Sciences in November 2016 (LS-E-16-163). Plan for Sustainability: Each iteration of the programme continues to be evaluated and adjusted accordingly. Aims: The ultimate purpose of the HDMH programme is to prepare registered nurses (registered children’s nurse (RCN), registered nurse in intellectual disability (RNID) and registered general nurse (RGN)) to function as effective registered psychiatric nurses in all settings which provide care and treatment for people experiencing mental health difficulties. Curriculum evaluation is essential to ensure that the programme achieves its purpose, that aims and expected outcomes are met and that required changes are highlighted for the programme’s continuing positive development. Methods: Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the evaluation. A series of questionnaires were used (the majority pre and post programme) to determine student perceptions of the programme, behaviour and attitudinal change from commencement to completion. These included the student assessment of learning gains (SALG); mental health knowledge schedule (MAKS); mental health clinician attitudes scale (MICA); reported and intended behaviour scale (RIBS); and community attitudes towards the mentally ill (CAMI). In addition, student and staff focus groups were conducted. Evaluation methods also incorporated module feedback. Outcome/Results: The evaluation highlighted a very positive response in relation to the achievement of programme outcomes and preparation for future work as registered psychiatric nursing. Some areas were highlighted for further development, which have been taken cognisance of in the 2019 iteration of the programme.

Keywords: Nursing, Mental Health, stigma, learning gains

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5 The Effect of Stigma on Attitudes towards Seeking Help from Social Workers

Authors: Hend Al-Ma'seb, Anwar Alkhurinej


In the field of social work, social workers understand that it is very difficult for individuals to ask for help from therapists. Therefore, it is important to study the variables associated with seeking professional help. A total of 478 undergraduate students from Kuwait University participated voluntarily in the study. The findings for this study showed that the participants of the study have a slightly high degree of public stigma, low self–stigma, and positive attitude toward seeking professional help. In addition, the findings of the study reveal that there are significant relationships between gender, taking social work classes, thinking about receiving counseling and having social problems and participants' attitude towards seeking professional help. Furthermore, the findings of the study showed that there were significant relationships between gender, and thinking about receiving counseling, and self-stigma. The findings of the current study have implications for the field of social work in Kuwait that would help to improve the knowledge in this area.

Keywords: Social Work, Social Workers, stigma, attitude towards help

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4 Reducing the Stigma of Homelessness through Community Engagement and Reciprocity

Authors: Jessica Federman


The current research offers a longitudinal and qualitative study design to examine how reciprocity improves relations between the homeless and various stakeholders within a community. The study examines a homeless shelter that sought to establish a facility within a community of Los Angeles, that was initially met with strong resistance and opposition from a variety of organizations due to deeply entrenched views about the negative impact of having homeless individuals within the community. The project tested an intervention model that targets the reduction of stigmatization of homeless individuals and promotes synergistic exchanges between conflicted organizational entities in communities. Years later, the data show that there has been a remarkable reversal in the perception of the agency by the very forces that initially prevented it from being established. This reversal was achieved by a few key strategic decisions. Community engagement was the first step toward changing people’s minds and demonstrating how the homeless shelter was helping to alleviate the problem of homelessness instead of contributing to it. Central to the non-profit’s success was the agency’s pioneering formulation of a treatment model known as, Reciprocal Community Engagement Model (RCEM). The model works by reintegrating the homeless back into society through relationship building within a network of programs that foster positive human connections. This approach aims to draw the homeless out of the debilitating isolation of their situation, reintegrate them through purposeful roles in the community while simultaneously providing a reciprocal benefit to the community at large. Through multilevel, simultaneous social interaction, RCEM has a direct impact not only on the homeless shelter’s clients but also for the community as well. The agency’s approach of RCEM led to their homeless clients getting out of the shelter and getting to work in the community directly alongside other community volunteers and for the benefit of other city and community organizations. This led to several opportunities for community members and residents to interact in meaningful ways. Through each successive exposure, the resident and community members’ distrust in one another was gradually eased and a mutually supportive relationship restored. In this process, the community member becomes the locus of change as much as the residents of the shelter. Measurements of community trust and resilience increased while negative perceptions of homeless people decreased.

Keywords: Identity, Homelessness, stigma, reciprocity

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3 'Critical Performance,' an Arts-Based Method for Exploring HIV-Related Stigma, Social Support, and Access to Care among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Rural China

Authors: Chiao-Wen Lan, David Gere


Background and Significance: Performance has a rich history of imparting information and encouraging reflection, yet there is a paucity of literature on applying performance as a method of analysis and not as a medium for health education. This study aimed to apply ethnodrama strategies to the issue of HIV-related stigma in rural China and to use a critical performance as a vehicle for communication of health research. Methods: The program, titled 'STOP STIGMA,' included dance, narratives and original quotes from people living with HIV/AIDS in China, and spectacle such as photographs, set, and props corresponding to the history of HIV in rural China. Results: The performance represented a step away from a completely textual interpretation of data towards a theatrical style that begins to privilege what arts-based research scholars Rossiter and colleagues have termed 'an embodied, theatrical representation of data.' It offered an opportunity to deliver individual and collective stories that represent how HIV-positive people experience living with HIV/AIDS in China, which could play an integral part in the formulation of actions to effect change. Discussion: This method of communicating health research has implications for fostering dialogue among researchers, community members, and medical practitioners. Although arts-based approaches are not new to the scientific community, the integration of dance, video, ethnodrama, and sciences provides opportunities to innovate in non-traditional research dissemination and communication.

Keywords: Health communication, HIV/AIDS, stigma, vulnerable populations

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2 Stigmatisation of People Living with HIV/AIDS as an Obstacle to Prevention of HIV

Authors: Vicent Lwanga


Background: Despite sensitization workshops that have been going on in rural areas in Kapchorwa District in Uganda to prevent stigmatization of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), interview with PLWHA sows that they are still being stigmatized. This behavior of some people within the community possesses a serious danger to the successful prevention and control of HIV in our society. Evidence exists that some people still believe that eating, living together, and even discussing with PLWHA might make them infected, too, despite all persuasions against such attitude. Description: A face to face interview with some selected PLWHA in Kapchorwa, testified that stigmatization against those who have disclosed their status still lingers on. The interviews with the PLWHA reveals that people still believe that they are being bewitched and cursed by God for their sins, and as such, people keep away from them to avoid the wrath of God. Findings: The more the stigmatization against the PLWHA persists, the more difficult it will be to successfully prevent, control, and eradicate HIV in the society. This is because many PLWHA would prefer not to be identified if they are not shown love and care. Conclusion: A more continuous campaign to stop the stigmatization of PLWHA needs to be on-going. This could be done more effectively by Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) with workshops, print media, and seminars.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Community, stigma

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1 A Qualitative Exploration of the Beliefs and Experiences of HIV-Related Self-Stigma Amongst Young Adults Living with HIV in Zimbabwe

Authors: Camille Rich, Nadine Ferris France, Ann Nolan, Webster Mavhu, Vongai Munatsi


Background and Aim: Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV rates in the world, with a 12.7% adult prevalence rate. Young adults are a key group affected by HIV, and one-third of all new infections in Zimbabwe are amongst people ages 18-24 years. Stigma remains one of the main barriers to managing and reducing the HIV crisis, especially for young adults. There are several types of stigma, including enacted stigma, the outward discrimination towards someone and self-stigma, the negative self-judgments one has towards themselves. Self-stigma can have severe consequences, including feelings of worthlessness, shame, suicidal thoughts, and avoidance of medical help. This can have detrimental effects on those living with HIV. However, the unique beliefs and impacts of self-stigma amongst key groups living with HIV have not yet been explored. Therefore, the focus of this study is on the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma, as experienced by young adults living in Harare, Zimbabwe. Research Methods: A qualitative approach was taken for this study, using sixteen semi-structured interviews with young adults (18-24 years) who are living with HIV in Harare. Participants were conveniently and purposefully sampled as members of Africa, an organization dedicated to young people living with HIV. Interviews were conducted over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recorded and then coded using the software NVivo. The data was analyzed using both inductive and deductive Thematic Analysis to find common themes. Results: All of the participants experienced HIV-related self-stigma, and both beliefs and experiences were explored. These negative self-perceptions included beliefs of worthlessness, hopelessness, and negative body image. The young adults described believing they were not good enough to be around HIV negative people or that they could never be loved due to their HIV status. Developing self-stigmatizing thoughts came from internalizing negative cultural values, stereotypes about people living with HIV, and adverse experiences. Three main themes of self-stigmatizing experiences emerged: disclosure difficulties, relationship complications, and being isolated. Fear of telling someone their status, rejection in a relationship, and being excluded by others due to their HIV status contributed to their self-stigma. These experiences caused feelings of loneliness, sadness, shame, fear, and low self-worth. Conclusions: This study explored the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma of these young adults. The emergence of negative self-perceptions demonstrated deep-rooted beliefs of HIV-related self-stigma that adversely impact the participants. The negative self-perceptions and self-stigmatizing experiences caused the participants to feel worthless, hopeless, shameful, and alone-negatively impacting their physical and mental health, personal relationships, and sense of self-identity. These results can now be used to pursue interventions to target the specific beliefs and experiences of young adults living with HIV and reduce the adverse consequences of self-stigma.

Keywords: HIV, beliefs, self-stigma, stigma, Zimbabwe

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