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Otorinolaringologia 2019 June;69(2):80-90

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-6621.19.02216-1

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Evaluation of self-stigma treatment programs: insights based on a review of qualitative studies

Jean-Pierre GAGNÉ 1, 2 , Kenneth SOUTHALL 1, 3, Kadia SAINT-ONGE 4, Cassie GREENOUGH 3, Leslie GAUTHIER-COSSETTE 2, Célia HAMMAR 5

1 University Institute of Geriatrics Research Center, Montréal, QC, Canada; 2 School of Speech-Language and Audiology, University of Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada; 3 School of Social Work, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada; 4 Department of Psychology, University of Québec, Montréal, QC, Canada; 5 School of Medicine, University of Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada



In many societies there is a social stigma associated to hearing loss. Some people with hearing loss stigmatize themselves, i.e., they hold the same stereotypic and direct prejudicial attitudes towards hearing loss as the general population. Under some circumstances, individuals who self-stigmatize experience a threat to their personal identity which may have a negative effect on their self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-stigma generates stress and may have a negative impact on a person’s behavior and lifestyle. Self-stigma is known to be a barrier to help seeking. In some domains of health, treatment programs have been designed to reduce self-stigma. This article briefly summarizes a literature review of qualitative research studies in which a self-stigma treatment program was described and evaluated. Specifically, nine articles covering a number of different health conditions were included in the review. The analysis revealed that successful self-stigma treatment programs may have a positive effect on the participants at three different levels: emotional, cognitive and behavioral. Examples of the beneficial effects of treatment programs are provided for each of the three levels identified. Finally, some implications of these findings for rehabilitation programs as well as for research designed to evaluate the efficacy of self-stigma reduction programs are discussed.


KEY WORDS: Hearing loss - Social stigma - Self concept - Self efficacy

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