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Cultural Beliefs and Stigma - Essay Example

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This discussion er encompasses an examination of impact of cultural beliefs and stigma on the treatment journey of infectious patient. In this examination the word stigma and the context it is used needs to be understood and clarified. This is because the word has many associations and implications rooted in history, (Helman 2007)
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Cultural Beliefs and Stigma
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Download file to see previous pages Investigation of the impact of cultural beliefs and stigma on the treatment journey of infectious patients needs include the burden from the stigma of various health problems and cultural beliefs.
In the course of examination of the stigma and its effects on the patient comparisons must be made. These comparisons include the magnitude and character of stigma for different conditions and in different social and cultural settings; identifying distinctive features of stigma that may guide intervention programs; and evaluating changes in the magnitude and character of stigma over time and in response to interventions and social changes. (leininger M (1991)
Such research benefits by examining stigma from various vantage points, considering the experience of stigma among persons with a designated health problem, laypersons in the community, and health care providers or other designated subgroups of the community (eg, teachers and policymakers) that have a substantial impact on health. Research on stigma should also consider questions of social policy as they relate to human rights, access to health care, and social services for particular groups. Our review of health research issues and studies considers the role of stigma in specific mental health problems and tropical diseases, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. We also discuss the limitations of this research and the need for complementary quantitative, qualitative, problem-specific, and culture-specific approaches to study of stigma. (Weiss 2001-p 5)
The reason hat health research is concerned with stigma is that stigma is an important consideration for health policy and clinical practice for several reasons. It contributes to the suffering from illness in various ways, and it may delay appropriate help-seeking or terminate treatment for treatable health problems. For diseases and disorders that are highly stigmatized, the impact of the meaning of the disease may be as great or a greater source of suffering than symptoms of a disease. An early presentations of paucibacillary leprosy as a painless depigmented or anaesthetic patch is an example. Hearing the diagnosis is more troubling than symptoms of the disease. Social science studies of stigma regard it fundamentally as a problem arising from social interactions. Goffman and other researchers have also recognized self-perceived stigma, which may also be troubling and responsible for diminished self-esteem whether or not it arises from an actual interaction, and whether or not this perceived stigma accurately reflects the critical views of others. Stigma impairs the quality of life through concerns about disclosure, and it affects work, education, marriage, and family life. Although its impact is likely to be overlooked in the calculation of Disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), stigma contributes to what WHO's Nations for Mental health Program calls the hidden burden of mental illness. In addition to the suffering it brings, research also shows that stigma and labeling may affect the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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