An exploratory investigation of social stigma and concealment in patients with multiple sclerosis

Jonathan E. Cook, Adriana L. Germano, Gertraud Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We conducted a preliminary investigation into dimensions of stigma and their relation to disease concealment in a sample of American adults living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: Fifty-three adults with MS in the United States completed an online survey assessing anticipated, internalized, and isolation stigma, as well as concealment. Results: Responses to all the scales were relatively low, on average, but above scale minimums (P <.001). Ratings of isolation stigma and concealment were highest. Anticipated stigma strongly predicted concealment. Conclusions: Many adults living with MS may be concerned that they will be the target of social stigma because of their illness. These concerns are associated with disease concealment. More research is needed to investigate how MS stigma and concealment may be independent contributors to health in patients with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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