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Open Access Assessment of stigma associated with tuberculosis in Mexico

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Background: Stigma is a major barrier to health care access and impacts the quality of life for individuals affected by tuberculosis (TB). Assessing TB stigma is essential to addressing health disparities. However, no such instrument was available in Mexico at the time of our study. This study examined the adaptability of the TB and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) stigma scales previously used in Thailand.

Methods: The original scale, developed in English, was linguistically adapted to Spanish and administered to 217 individuals affected by TB in five states in Mexico. The TB-HIV stigma subscales were designed to assess individual and community perspectives. Additional data collected included general information and socio-demographics. Assessment of psychometric properties included basic statistical tests, evaluation of Cronbach's alpha and factor analysis.

Results: We found no significant statistical differences associated with higher stigma scores by location, age, marital status, education and stigma scores. Factor analysis did not create any new factors. Internal consistency reliability coefficients were satisfactory (Cronbach α = 0.876–0.912).

Conclusion: The use of the stigma scales has implications for 1) health improvements, 2) research on stigma and health disparities, and 3) TB and HIV stigma interventions. Further research is needed to examine transferability among larger and randomly selected Span-ish-speaking populations.
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Keywords: Mexico; measurement; stigma; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Social Work, College of Health Sciences, El Paso, Texas, USA 2: Edinboro University, Speech, Language & Hearing Department, Edinboro, Pennsylvania, USA 3: HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, New York, USA 4: Project Concern International SOLUCION TB, San Diego, California, USA

Publication date: December 21, 2014

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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