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“I call it the blame and shame disease”: a qualitative study about perceptions of social stigma surrounding type 2 diabetes

Browne, Jessica L, Ventura, Adriana, Mosely, Kylie and Speight, Jane 2013, “I call it the blame and shame disease”: a qualitative study about perceptions of social stigma surrounding type 2 diabetes, BMJ Open, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003384.

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Title “I call it the blame and shame disease”: a qualitative study about perceptions of social stigma surrounding type 2 diabetes
Author(s) Browne, Jessica LORCID iD for Browne, Jessica L orcid.org/0000-0001-7294-8114
Ventura, Adriana
Mosely, Kylie
Speight, JaneORCID iD for Speight, Jane orcid.org/0000-0002-1204-6896
Journal name BMJ Open
Volume number 3
Issue number 11
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013-11-18
ISSN 2044-6055
Keyword(s) diabetes
type 2 diabetes
pcychology
social stigma
discrimination
Summary Abstract
Objectives
While health-related stigma has been the subject of considerable research in other conditions (obesity and HIV/AIDS), it has not received substantial attention in diabetes. The aim of the current study was to explore the social experiences of Australian adults living with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), with a particular focus on the perception and experience of diabetes-related stigma.

Design A qualitative study using semistructured interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed and subject to thematic analysis.

Setting This study was conducted in non-clinical settings in metropolitan and regional areas in the Australian state of Victoria. Participants were recruited primarily through the state consumer organisation representing people with diabetes.

Participants All adults aged ≥18 years with T2DM living in Victoria were eligible to take part. Twenty-five adults with T2DM participated (12 women; median age 61 years; median diabetes duration 5 years).

Results A total of 21 (84%) participants indicated that they believed T2DM was stigmatised, or reported evidence of stigmatisation. Specific themes about the experience of stigma were feeling blamed by others for causing their own condition, being subject to negative stereotyping, being discriminated against or having restricted opportunities in life. Other themes focused on sources of stigma, which included the media, healthcare professionals, friends, family and colleagues. Themes relating to the consequences of this stigma were also evident, including participants’ unwillingness to disclose their condition to others and psychological distress. Participants believed that people with type 1 diabetes do not experience similar stigmatisation.

Conclusions Our study found evidence of people with T2DM experiencing and perceiving diabetes-related social stigma. Further research is needed to explore ways to measure and minimise diabetes-related stigma at the individual and societal levels, and also to explore perceptions and experiences of stigma in people with type 1 diabetes
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003384
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
111712 Health Promotion
111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920104 Diabetes
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, BMJ Publishing Group
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058940

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 44 times in TR Web of Science
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Created: Tue, 10 Dec 2013, 16:37:30 EST by Jessica Browne

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.