Does Stigma predict mental illness? A study of HIV/AIDS and Cancer patients in Gauteng Province, South Africa
ResumoAim: This study is aimed at exploring whether HIV patients suffer more stigma than cancer patients and the consequences of this for mental health and to understand the influence of stigma on mental health. Method: Using a factorial design, data was collected from a conveniently sampled 100 patients diagnosed with cancer and HIV in clinics and hospitals around Gauteng Province. Majority of the participants were females 62 (62, 0%) while 38 (38.0%) were males. Age of respondents ranged from 20-73 years with a mean age of 44.4 years (SD = 11.6). Results: Results revealed a significant main effect for enacted stigma F = (1.98), = 17.629, p < .001 and anxiety F = (1.98) = 5.750, p < .001. A post hoc Bonferroni also showed that HIV patients had a higher mean score of enacted stigma ( X = 4.22) than cancer patients ( X = 1.28) and also HIV patients reported more anxiety ( X = 8.81) than cancer patients ( X = 6.42). Enacted stigma significantly influenced GHQ Total, (F= (98) = 1.700, p < .05); Anxiety (F= (97) = 2.578, p < .004); and Depression (F= (97) = 3.390 p < .001). Perceived community stigma had one main effect for depression (F= (1.98) = 1.452, p < .05). There were no significant main effects for internal felt stigma and psychological dysfunctions. Conclusion: Recommendations included tailoring interventions to meet the cultural needs of patients. Other recommendation were made in accordance with the findings of the study Keywords: Stigma/Mental Health/Mental Illness/Psychological Dysfunction/Psychopathology/HIV/AIDS/ Cancer/Gauteng Province.
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