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Social stigma towards neglected tropical diseases: a systematic review.

Abstract

Background People affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are frequently the target of social stigmatization. To date not much attention has been given to stigma in relation to NTDs. The objective of this review is to identify the extent of social stigma and the similarities and differences in the causes, manifestations, impact of stigma and interventions used between the NTDs.

Methods A systematic review was conducted in Pubmed, ScienceDirect, PsycINFO and Web of Knowledge. The search encompassed 17 NTDs, including podoconiosis, but not leprosy as this NTD has recently been reviewed. However, leprosy was included in the discussion.

Results The 52 selected articles provided evidence on stigma related to lymphatic filariasis (LF), podoconiosis, Buruli ulcer, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, trachoma, soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and human African trypanosomiasis. The similarities predominated in stigma related to the various NTDs; only minimal differences in stigma reasons and measures were found.

Conclusion These similarities suggest that joint approaches to reduce stigmatization may be feasible. Lessons from leprosy and other stigmatized health conditions can be used to plan such joint approaches. Further research will be necessary to study the efficacy of joint interventions and to investigate stigma related to NTDs for which no evidence is available yet.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Hofstraat K
van Brakel WH
Year of Publication
2016
Journal
International health
Volume
8
Issue
suppl 1
Number of Pages
53-70
Type of Article
Systematic review
Language
eng
ISSN Number
1876-3413
DOI
10.1093/inthealth/ihv071
Alternate Journal
Int. Health
Publication Language
eng