Internalized Stigma in Patients with Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders

Abstract

The aim of the current study is to evaluate internalized stigma in individuals diagnosed with an eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID) and its impact on psychosocial and health-related outcomes. The final study sample consisted of 149 patients with a self-reported EGID diagnosis for at least 6 months. Participants completed measures evaluating internalized stigma, disease-specific quality of life, emotional distress (anxiety, depression) and answered questions regarding healthcare utilization. Overall, increased internalized stigma was associated with decreased disease-specific quality of life, and increased anxiety and depression. In addition, participants with greater overall internalized stigma felt that treatments were less effective, and the internalized stigma subscales of alienation and discrimination were associated with increased outpatient visits and endoscopies, respectively. Providers working with EGID patients should assess for signs of internalized stigma, such as social withdrawal and alienation. Psychogastroenterology services that deliver evidence-based psychological interventions may reduce some of the negative impacts of internalized stigma.

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Funding

Livia Guadagnoli is supported by a training grant through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, USA (1T32DK101363).

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Correspondence to T. H. Taft.

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L. Guadagnoli and T.H. Taft declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Guadagnoli, L., Taft, T.H. Internalized Stigma in Patients with Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 27, 1–10 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-019-09605-7

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Keywords

  • Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders
  • Internalized stigma
  • Health-related quality of life