An Intervention to Decrease Stigma in Young Adults With Sickle Cell Disease

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Abstract

Young adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) are often stigmatized when they seek care for pain. The purpose of this pilot study was to test an intervention to decrease health-related stigma during care-seeking. Young adults with SCD ages 18 to 35 years (n = 90) were randomized to either the care-seeking intervention (CSI) or an attention control group that participated in life review interviews. The two groups were compared by t tests and longitudinal data analyses on the change from baseline to the last time point in total health-related stigma and health-related stigma by doctors. Findings suggest that the CSI was associated with significant increased awareness of perceived total stigma and stigma by doctors compared with the attention control group. These findings are promising in terms of lessons learned from a pilot intervention that focused on the role communication skills play in decreasing health-related stigma in young adults with SCD.

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