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A systematic review of disease-related stigmatization in patients living with inflammatory bowel disease

Authors Taft T, Keefer L

Received 17 October 2015

Accepted for publication 14 December 2015

Published 7 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 49—58


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Yi Shen

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser

Tiffany H Taft, Laurie Keefer

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: Chronic illness stigma is a global public health issue. Most widely studied in HIV/AIDS and mental illness, stigmatization of patients living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), chronic autoimmune conditions affecting the digestive tract, has garnered increasing attention in recent years. In this paper, we systematically review the scientific literature on stigma as it relates to IBD across its three domains: perception, internalization, and discrimination experiences. We aim to document the current state of research, identify gaps in our knowledge, recognize unique challenges that IBD patients may face as they relate to stigmatization, and offer suggestions for future research directions. Based on the current review, patients living with IBD may encounter stigmatization and this may, in turn, impact several patient outcomes including quality of life, psychological functioning, and treatment adherence. Significant gaps exist related to the understanding of IBD stigma, providing opportunity for future studies to address this important public health issue.

Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease, stigma, discrimination, systematic review

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