142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Measuring stigma related to sex worker identity and MSM identity: A systematic review

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alanna Fitzgerald-Husek, MD MPH CCFP , Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Michael Van Wert, MSW MPH , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Claire Holland, MSPH , Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Lori Rosman, MLS , Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Amanda Bowes, MPH , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Ashley Grosso, M.S. Ph.D. , Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Stefan Baral, MD, MPH, MBA, MSc , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background:  Existing literature illustrates that higher levels of stigma are experienced among key populations such as individuals engaged in sex work and/or men who have sex with men (MSM).  Identifying valid and reliable scales for assessing stigma is crucial for informing research and effective stigma mitigation efforts. 

Objective:  To review and synthesize studies and reports measuring stigma through quantitative and/or qualitative methods among individuals identified as sex workers and/or MSM. 

Methods:  This systematic review includes studies measuring stigma among sex workers and/or MSM as a primary or secondary objective.  Database searches for peer-reviewed articles (e.g. PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO) and for unpublished reports (e.g. Web of Science, Opengrey) are covering 1 January 2000 to 1 May 2014.  We will also conduct ancestry searches.  

Anticipated results:  We expect stigma is being measured among these populations using various quantitative and qualitative tools.  We anticipate measures will address different types of stigma (e.g. anticipated, experienced, internalized or enacted), including intersecting stigmas associated with identification in multiple groups (e.g. sexual and gender orientation, profession, HIV status).  We anticipate finding few validated stigma scales specific to these populations.

Discussion and conclusions:  There is a need to develop or adapt and validate scales for measuring stigma consistently and meaningfully among sex workers and MSM globally.  A strong literature base demonstrates that stigma can negatively impact physical and mental health outcomes and be a barrier to accessing health services.  Evidence-informed stigma mitigation interventions and the use of validated stigma scales could help address these inequities for key populations.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify and evaluate existing methods used to measure stigma among key populations such as sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM). Discuss the role(s) of validated stigma scales for consistently and meaningfully measuring stigma and informing effective stigma mitigation intervention.

Keyword(s): Sex Workers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-investigator or principal author on other studies on vulnerable populations, including sex workers and transgendered populations. My prior qualitative and mixed methods research has examined their experiences, attitudes towards them, and barriers to access to care for these populations. I am a physician and MPH candidate with systematic review training and have clinical and research interests in appropriate public health and clinical care programs targeting vulnerable populations' health needs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.