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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 456-463

Strategies to overcome type 1 diabetes-related social stigma in the Iranian society


1 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Center for Educational Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Samereh Abdoli
Assistant Professor in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: This study explored the strategies to overcome diabetes-related social stigma in Iran. Materials and Methods: This paper is part of an action research study which was designed in Iran in 2012 to plan and implement a program for overcoming diabetes-related stigma. Participants were people with type 1 diabetes, their family members, people without diabetes, and care providers in a diabetes center. Data collection was done through unstructured in-depth interviews, focus groups, e-mail, Short Message Service (SMS), and telephone interview. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis approach. Results: Participants believed that it is impossible to overcome the stigma without community-based strategies. Community-based strategies include education, advocacy, contact, and protest. Conclusions: The anti-stigma strategies obtained in the study are based on the cultural context in Iran. They are extracted from statements of a wide range of people (with and without diabetes). However, during planning for stigma reduction, it is necessary to note that the effectiveness of social strategies varies in different studies and in different stigmatizing conditions and many factors are involved. These strategies should be implemented simultaneously at different levels to produce structural and social changes. It should be accepted that research on reducing health-related stigma has shown that it is very difficult to change beliefs and behavior. Evidence suggests that individuals and their families should be involved in all aspects of the program, and plans should be made according to the local conditions.


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