Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 4, pp 368–373 | Cite as

Preliminary investigation of the STBBI Stigma Scale: Description and pilot results

  • Anne C. WagnerEmail author
  • Rachel MacLean
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) are associated with stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs, which can affect the quality of and access to health care, as well as mental health and quality of life. The current study describes the adaptation from an HIV-related stigma scale and pilot testing of a new STBBI Stigma Scale, assessing the stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs of health and social service providers in Canada.

METHODS: 144 health and social service providers from across Canada completed the newly adapted scale assessing stigma associated with HIV, hepatitis C, other viral STBBIs and bacterial STBBIs, as well as demographic information, a scale of social desirability and measures of convergent and divergent validity. Participants were recruited through listservs and completed the scale online.

RESULTS: The new scale, consisting of 21 items for each category, demonstrated excellent internal consistency, reliability, and convergent and divergent validity. The factor structure of the scale supports a tripartite model of stigma consisting of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. Stereotyping had the highest relative scores on the subscales, and attitudes regarding other viral STBBIs differed significantly from the other STBBI categories.

CONCLUSION: The new scale provides a contextually relevant and applicable psychometrically valid tool to assess STBBI-related stigma among health and social service providers in Canada. The tool can be used to assess attitudes and beliefs, as well as guide self-assessment and possible trainings for providers.

Key Words

Social stigma social discrimination reproductive health self-assessment surveys and questionnaires 

Mots Clés

stigmate social discrimination sociale santé reproductive auto-évaluation enquêtes et questionnaires 


OBJECTIFS : Les infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS) sont associées à des attitudes et des croyances stigmatisantes qui peuvent avoir un impact sur la qualité des soins de santé, l’accès aux soins, la santé mentale et la qualité de vie. L’étude en cours décrit l’adaptation d’une échelle de stigmatisation liée au VIH et l’essai pilote d’une nouvelle Échelle de stigmatisation des ITSS qui évalue les attitudes et les croyances stigmatisantes des dispensateurs de services sociaux et de santé au Canada.

MÉTHODE : 144 dispensateurs de services sociaux et de santé du Canada ont rempli l’échelle nouvellement adaptée évaluant la stigmatisation associée au VIH, à l’hépatite C, aux autres ITSS virales, aux ITSS bactériennes; les données démographiques, une échelle de désirabilité sociale et des indicateurs de validité convergente et divergente ont aussi été testés. Les participants ont été recrutés à l’aide de gestionnaires de listes de diffusion et ont rempli l’échelle en ligne.

RÉSULTATS : La nouvelle échelle, qui comprend 21 éléments dans chaque catégorie, a affiché d’excellents résultats sur les plans de la cohérence interne, de la fiabilité, ainsi que de la validité convergente et divergente. La structure factorielle de l’échelle appuie un modèle de stigmatisation en trois parties: stéréotypes, préjugés et discrimination. Les stéréotypes ont eu les résultats relatifs les plus élevés des trois sous-échelles, et les attitudes à l’égard des autres ITSS virales ont présenté des écarts significatifs par rapport aux autres catégories d’ITSS.

CONCLUSION : La nouvelle échelle offre un outil psychométriquement valide à la fois contextuellement approprié et applicable pour évaluer la stigmatisation liée aux ITSS chez les dispensateurs de services sociaux et de santé du Canada. Cet outil peut servir à évaluer les attitudes et les croyances, ainsi qu’à guider une auto-évaluation et d’éventuelles formations pour les dispensateurs.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Canadian Public Health AssociationOttawaCanada

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