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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-82

Stigma and discrimination among doctors toward health-care staff working at COVID-19 sites

1 Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, M.P. Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, M.P. Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
3 Resident Doctor, Department of Psychiatry, M.P. Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Parveen Kumar
2nd Floor Trauma Building, Department of Psychiatry, M.P. Shah Medical College, Jamnagar- 361 008, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AMH.AMH_48_20

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Background: Different infectious disease outbreaks such as bubonic plague, Asiatic flu, cholera, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and Ebola have been associated with polarization, racism, blame, and resultant psychological distress. Health-care providers involved in managing the COVID-19 crisis face challenges such as stigma and discrimination. Aim: The current study is aimed to explore stigma and discrimination related to COVID-19 among healthcare workers. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out during April and May 2020. Doctors working at health-care facility were approached and requested to fill semi-structured pro forma containing the following parts: (1) Demographic details of participants, (2) Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire 5 (BIPQ-5), (3) Physical Distance and Discrimination Questionnaire, (4) Avoidance Questionnaire, (5) feeling thermometer toward a person having COVID, HIV, TB, Swine flu. Statistical Analysis: Data entry and analysis was performed using Microsoft excel and SPSS 26 version software. Independent t-test was used to compare the mean and standard deviation of the BIPQ score, physical distance, and discrimination questionnaire score with various demographic variables and avoidance questionnaire. Results: A total of 323 doctors participated in the study. Out of which 51.39% reports that it is necessary to avoid persons and 30.60% have a problem if a person eats in mess/canteen when working in COVID-19 care. Participants living with family members have statistically significant (P < 0.001) a higher score on the BIPQ, and Physical Distancing and Discrimination Questionnaire. A significant positive correlation (r = 0.162, P = 0.004) of brief illness of perception with physical distancing and discrimination score. Conclusion: The study found a high threat perception of COVID-19 as well as stigma and discrimination within health-care staff. The stigma and discrimination for COVID-19 are more than other illnesses such as swine flu, tuberculosis, and HIV. This can result in the work compliance and management strategies of health-care workers.

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