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Psychol Health Med. 2006 Aug;11(3):353-63.

The fight against stigma: an overview of stigma-reduction strategies and interventions.

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Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), DEV/Health, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In many health conditions, people are severely affected by health-related stigma and discrimination. A literature review was conducted to identify stigma-reduction strategies and interventions in the field of HIV/AIDS, mental illness, leprosy, TB and epilepsy. The review identified several levels at which interventions and strategies are being implemented. These are the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational/institutional, community and governmental/structural level. Although a lot of work has been carried out on stigma and stigma reduction, far less work has been done on assessing the effectiveness of stigma-reduction strategies. The effective strategies identified mainly concentrated on the individual and the community level. In order to reduce health-related stigma and discrimination significantly, single-level and single-target group approaches are not enough. What is required is a patient-centred approach, which starts with interventions targeting the intrapersonal level, to empower affected persons to assist in the development and implementation of stigma-reduction programmes at other levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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