Iatrogenic stigma in outpatient treatment for Hansen's disease (leprosy) in Brazil.Health Educ Res 2008; 23(1):25-39HE
This paper explores how iatrogenic stigma, or stigma that is produced through a patient's encounter with physicians or with biomedicine in general, might emerge in outpatient treatment for Hansen's disease, or leprosy. Based on in-depth interviews with people affected by Hansen's disease and observations conducted at several public health clinics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this research identified several aspects of the biomedical encounter that generated or contributed to stigma, either felt or enacted. Also noted in the research were positive examples of techniques used by physicians and health care workers for minimizing or circumventing stigma. The paper touches upon several topics, such as culturally mediated responses to medication side effects and communication between health care workers and patients, that might be salient or useful for health educators and others who are attempting to reduce health-related stigma.