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The Impact of Stigmatization on those with Sickle Cell Disease in the United States and West Africa: A Literature Review

Arthur, Emily Efua Quainua (2022) The Impact of Stigmatization on those with Sickle Cell Disease in the United States and West Africa: A Literature Review. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic, lifelong disease that affects mostly those included in the African continent and the diaspora. SCD, discovered in 1904, appears annually in over 300,000 births worldwide. This disease causes high mortality and morbidity due to extremely painful vaso-occlusive crises and their potential to lead to organ damage and failure, and acute chest syndrome (ACS). Despite the many physical effects and damages this disease causes, the public still lacks knowledge and awareness of this disease. SCD is a stigmatized disease mostly due to societal misconceptions and the people it primarily affects—marginalized groups. The stigma related to SCD can lead to poor quality of life (QoL), high rates of healthcare utilization, and depressive symptoms. It is likely that differences between West Africa and the United States in racial composition, cultural norms, and the number of people affected by SCD may contribute to variations in the types of SCD-related stigma, amount of stigma, and the impact of stigma on health for those with SCD. However, there are no literature reviews examining differences in SCD stigma between West Africa and the United States. Therefore, the objective of this literature review was to determine the differences between the United States and West Africa in the prevalence, form, and impact of stigma on the health of people with SCD. This literature review was conducted using PubMed and Medline to identify studies on stigma and SCD that took place in the United States and West Africa. The literature review identified 16 studies; however, none of them used the same tool to measure stigma. Although the measures of stigma were not consistent across all studies, all studies reported elevated levels of stigma in the SCD populations. It is important to public health that future researchers construct a universal way to measure stigma so that we can identify and eliminate causes of stigma in order to improve the health of people with SCD.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Arthur, Emily Efua Quainuaeea18@pitt.edueea18
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis advisorGlynn, Dr. Nancyepidnwg@pitt.eduepidnwgUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberJonassaint, Dr. Charlescjonassaint@pitt.educjonassaintUNSPECIFIED
Date: 16 May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 28 April 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 64
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sickle cell disease stigmatization
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 18:46
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 18:46


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