The Effectiveness of De-stigmatising Interventions
International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health,
Aims: This study on leprosy was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the de-stigmatising interventions which were launched by three different groups of people.
Study Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Place and Duration of Study: Raj Pracha Samasai Institute and Chaiyaphum province, Thailand, May 2013.
Methodology: The study was done in three districts of Chaiyaphum province, Thailand. Community members and health workers were interviewed using the Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) scale. Frequency tables were used to describe the percentage of respondents who perceived stigma. A p-value of <0.05 was considered indicative of a statistically significant difference. A t-test was applied to compare between the mean EMIC score of community members and health workers before and after interventions.
Results: It was found that de-stigmatising interventions involving affected persons resulted in a measurable reduction of perceived stigma related to leprosy among community members and health workers. In the area of a self-help group (SHG) significant reductions were found in the mean EMIC score after interventions. There was no reduction of negative attitudes and perceived stigma either among community members or health workers in the area where de-stigmatising interventions were launched by a formal health care group. A high percentage of people with perceived stigma were still found in all areas (ranging from 77 to 85 %).
Conclusion: Involving the community and people affected themselves in de-stigmatising interventions, and tailor-made education are keys to success in reducing stigma related to leprosy. Sustaining of the intervention is important to ensure a gradual reduction of stigma in the long run.
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