Publication Details

Andrews, K. L., Jones, S. C. & Mullan, J. (2013). Stigma: still an important issue for adults with asthma. Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators, 4 (4), 165-171.


Psychosocial issues are recognized as important in the management and care of people with chronic illness, including asthma. There is limited research specifically examining the impact of stigma on people living with asthma, but the few studies that do exist have found that stigma is associated with higher morbidity. Our hypothesis is that the stigma felt by people with asthma creates a barrier to effective self-management practices (which work toward improving asthma control). A cycle of interrelated psychological and physical health factors may emerge, making asthma self-management harder to address. The objective of this study was to determine whether adults with asthma experience feelings of stigma due to their condition and, if so, how this effects their asthma self-management. A Web-based survey using accepted measures of asthma control and stigma was designed and implemented. A total sample of 72 participants was obtained using a snowball recruitment technique. Results demonstrated a positive and significant relationship between asthma control and feelings of stigma, suggesting that people with higher asthma morbidity feel higher levels of stigma. Further research into the impact of stigma on asthma patients is required to further enhance our understanding of patients' self-management practices and to inform future strategies.



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