Assessment of Stigma Exposure Status of Patients with Hepatitis B Infection


Yıldız İ. E. , Bahçeci İ. , Yılmaz Yavuz A. , Kostakoğlu U. , Ertürk A.

Viral Hepatitis Journal, vol.27, no.2, pp.80-88, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/vhd.galenos.2021.2021-5-1
  • Title of Journal : Viral Hepatitis Journal
  • Page Numbers: pp.80-88

Abstract

Objectives: Although stigma is well defined in people with a chronic disease or condition, it has not been studied much in individuals infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). The study is one of the first descriptive individual studies conducted on this subject in our country. Our aim in this study was to evaluate the stigma experiences and concerns of individuals living with HBV, their sharing of their illness with the environment, and the state of being affected by their social relationships. Materials and Methods: Patients with hepatitis B surface antigen positivity who were admitted to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic were surveyed through face-to-face interviews. Epidemiological data, stigma experiences and anxiety states, people with whom they shared their illness, the reasons for not sharing, the impairment of social relations were questioned. Results: It was found that 19.5% of 390 individuals infected with HBV who participated in our study were “exposed” to stigma in various ways, and 27.4% were “worried” about experiencing this condition. In research, 19.9% of women, 41.4% of university graduates, and 34.8% of divorced or widowers were found to experience higher stigma (p=0.002, p=0.02 and p<0.001, respectively). It was determined that 56.7% of the participants did not share their illnesses, and this need increased with stigma experiences and anxiety. It was found that individuals mostly shared their disease status with their first-degree relatives (p<0.001). Conclusion: The fact that individuals infected with HBV experience different forms of stigma or experience anxiety suggests that there is a need to investigate these conditions and develop treatment interventions. Keywords: Hepatitis B infection, stigma, awareness