Stigma and Related Factors in Iranian People with Cancer

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Community Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction: Stigma is one of the psychosocial and intercultural issues that can be found in chronic diseases,
including cancer. Stigma may reduce communication due to social isolation, feeling shame and others’ judgment, and
these factors make far from professional services and poor health outcomes in individuals with cancer. Assessment
of stigma can help determine and recognize the overall levels of stigma in the community and identify situations that
need intervention. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine stigma and related factors in individuals with
cancer in Iran. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 142 patients with cancer selected
via convenience sampling method in two hospitals affiliated to Shahid Beheshti Medical University. A demographic
as well as clinical record form and “A questionnaire for measuring attitudes toward cancer (cancer stigma) ‑ Patients
version” by Cho et al., (2013) were used for data collection. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and
regression analysis. Results: More than one quarter of participants (26.1%) had negative attitudes toward cancer
and high stigma score>= 2.5. More than half of the participants (57.5%) agreed that their job performance would be
reduced even after treatment. 54.5% of the patients considered it difficult to regain health after being diagnosed. There
was a significant correlation between the stigma score and the level of education (p= 0.033, OR=0.78). Conclusion:
The results showed that stigma in dimensions of impossibility of recovery and stereotypical aspects of cancer were
more common. These findings can lead to interventions and educational efforts on cancer coherence which may help
in treatment, rehabilitation and return to normal life.

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