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Open Access Measuring HIV- and TB-related stigma among health care workers in South Africa: a validation and reliability study

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SETTING: Recent evidence indicates that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) related stigma act as a key barrier to the utilisation of associated occupational health services by South African health care workers (HCWs). It also highlights a dearth of appropriate tools to measure HIV and TB stigma among HCWs.

OBJECTIVE: To test four scales measuring different aspects of stigma: respondent's external stigma (RES) and others' external stigma (OES) towards TB as well as HIV across different professional categories of HCWs.

DESIGN: The current study employs data from a study on HIV and TB stigma among HCWs, a cluster randomised controlled trial for the collection of data among 882 HCWs in the Free State Province of South Africa. Confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modelling were used to assess the validity and reliability of the scales.

RESULTS: All four scales displayed adequate internal construct validity. Subsequent analysis demonstrated that all four scales were metric-invariant, and that the OES scales were even scalar-invariant across patient and support staff groups. The scales displayed good reliability and external construct validity.

CONCLUSION: Our results support the use of the scales developed to measure TB and HIV stigma among HCWs. Further research is, however, needed to fine tune the instruments and test them across different resource-limited countries.
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Keywords: HCWs; South Africa; reliability; stigma; validity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology and Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa 2: Department of Sociology and Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium 3: Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Publication date: 01 November 2017

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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