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Dealing with stigma: Experiences of persons affected by disabilities and leprosy.

Abstract

Persons affected by leprosy or by disabilities face forms of stigma that have an impact on their lives. This study seeks to establish whether their experiences of stigma are similar, with a view to enabling the two groups of people to learn from each other. Accounts of experiences of the impact of stigma were obtained using in-depth interviews and focus group discussion with people affected by leprosy and by disabilities not related to leprosy. The analysis shows that there are a lot of similarities in impact of stigma in terms of emotions, thoughts, behaviour, and relationships between the two groups. The main difference is that those affected by leprosy tended to frame their situation in medical terms, while those living with disabilities described their situation from a more social perspective. In conclusion, the similarities offer opportunities for interventions and the positive attitudes and behaviours can be modelled in the sense that both groups can learn and benefit. Research that tackles different aspects of stigmatization faced by both groups could lead to inclusive initiatives that help individuals to come to terms with the stigma and to advocate against exclusion and discrimination.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Lusli M
Zweekhorst MB
Miranda-Galarza B
Peters RM H
Cummings S
Seda FS S E
Bunders JF G
Irwanto
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Year of Publication
2015
Journal
BioMed Research International
Number of Pages
1 - 9
Language
eng
ISSN Number
2314-6133
DOI
10.1155/2015/261329
Alternate Journal
Biomed Res Int.
Publication Language
eng