Home > HIV-positive patients' experiences of stigma during hospitalization.

Surlis, Siobhan and Hyde, Abbey (2001) HIV-positive patients' experiences of stigma during hospitalization. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 12, (6), pp. 68-77.

External website: https://researchrepository.ucd.ie/bitstream/10197/...

The aim of this research study was to explore, within an Irish context, HIV-positive patients' experiences of hospitalization and particularly their experiences of nursing care.

This article reports on one of the dominant themes to emerge in the study—the experience of stigma during hospitalization among persons with HIV. A volunteer sample of 10 former inpatients of hospitals in the Republic of Ireland's capital, Dublin, were interviewed in depth, and the resulting data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Findings indicate that while some participants experienced stigma from nurses, such stigma was stratified according to the means by which the disease had been contracted, with drug users expressing the greatest feelings of stigma from nurses. Data also suggest that the type of nursing care favored by many participants was that of segregated care within specialized units. This type of care was preferred because it enabled the patient to avoid being discredited by other patients who did not have the virus. This environment also offered the potential of social support from other patients with similar diagnoses.

Finally, patients experienced breaches in confidentiality because of institutional policies that made their disease conspicuous and from some nurses'nonchalance in handling information about their disease. The analysis used in this study draws on Goffman's conceptualizations of stigma to explain the social process underlying the accounts given by study participants.

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