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Development of internalized and personal stigma among patients with and without HIV infection and occupational stigma among health care providers in Southern China

Authors Li J, Assanangkornchai S, Lu L, Jia MH, McNeil EB, You J, Chongsuvivatwong V

Received 14 May 2016

Accepted for publication 23 August 2016

Published 8 November 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2309—2320


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Jing Li,1,2,* Sawitri Assanangkornchai,1,* Lin Lu,3 Manhong Jia,3,* Edward B McNeil,1,* Jing You,4,* Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong1,*

1Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand; 2School of Public Health, Kunming Medical University, 3Yunnan Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 4Infectious Diseases Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: HIV/AIDS-related stigma is a major barrier of access to care for those infected with HIV. The aim of this study was to examine, validate, and adapt measuring scales of internalized, personal, and occupational stigma developed in Africa into a Chinese context.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to September 2015 in Kunming, People’s Republic of China. Various scales were constructed on the basis of the previous studies with modifications by experts using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (EFA + CFA). Validation of the new scales was done using multiple linear regression models and hypothesis testing of the factorial structure invariance.
The numbers of subjects recruited for the development/validation samples were 696/667 HIV-positive patients, 699/667 non-HIV patients, and 157/155 health care providers. EFA revealed a two-factor solution for internalized and personal stigma scales (guilt/blaming and being refused/refusing service), which were confirmed by CFA with reliability coefficients (r) of 0.869 and 0.853, respectively. The occupational stigma scale was found to have a three-factor structure (blaming, professionalism, and egalitarianism) with a reliability coefficient (r) of 0.839. Higher correlations of factors in the HIV patients (r=0.537) and non-HIV patients (r=0.703) were observed in contrast to low-level correlations (r=0.231, 0.286, and 0.266) among factors from health care providers.
Conclusion: The new stigma scales are valid and should be used to monitor HIV/AIDS stigma in different groups of Chinese people in health care settings.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS-related stigma, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, guilt, blaming, being refused, refusing service

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