Outbreak-related Stigma: Mpox
Stigma happens when a person or group is denied full social acceptance because of association with something (such as an illness) that is considered bad or shameful by others in their society. Infectious disease outbreaks are often associated with stigma. Stigma is known to have negative effects on the psychological, social, and sometimes physical well-being of affected people.
The stigma associated with infectious disease outbreaks can also make it difficult to stop the spread of an outbreak. This is because it can make people hesitant to admit to symptoms or seek testing and treatment. It can also make people feel too ashamed to take preventative measures or adhere to treatment. This means the infectious disease can continue to be passed to others. In addition, outbreak related public health interventions (such as quarantine) may make stigma worse.
Stigma surveys measure the amount of stigma in a community. They are used routinely for diseases such as HIV and, if applied to other outbreak diseases such as mpox (formerly known as monkeypox), they can help to identify and address stigma. We are working to develop and validate a survey to assist with recognition and reduction of stigma in communities affected by infectious diseases, such as mpox.
Current Opportunities for Involvement
We want to hear your thoughts on mpox stigma!
We are looking for members of the public who were affected by mpox to provide feedback on our stigma survey. This can include people with personal experience of the disease, people considered high risk of getting the disease, or healthcare workers who treated mpox.
You will receive reimbursement for your time*.
*Please note we will need to screen expressions of interest to ensure applicants meet our eligibility criteria for providing feedback. If you are selected you will be reimbursed for your time discussing the stigma survey.
Opens: 22 January 2024
Closes: 23 February 2024
To understand the extent to which stigma can impact public health responses, we are working to develop and validate a survey to assist with recognition of stigma in communities affected by infectious diseases. Currently, we are piloting the survey with people in the UK with experience of mpox.
To make sure our survey asks the right questions, and uses appropriate language, we are looking for people who were affected by mpox to share their thoughts on our survey. People affected by mpox can include people who have had it themselves, or people who considered themselves high risk and were concerned about mpox, or healthcare workers who have treated mpox patients.
If you are willing to help us with the survey, we will set up an online meeting which should take about 30 minutes – 1 hour of your time. Your feedback will be completely anonymous as we will only record your feedback on how to improve the survey questions. You will be reimbursed for your time helping us.
Want to know more about getting involved in research? Visit the NIHR website for more general information.