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IP Indian Journal of Immunology and Respiratory Medicine

Stigma, shame, and blame experienced by patients with lung cancer: A qualitative study

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Research Article

Author Details : Rushi Rabari, Chandrashekhar Purohit*

Volume : 5, Issue : 2, Year : 2020

Article Page : 75-77

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Background: Stigma is experienced by a patient when he/she is termed as less desirable, handicapped and
infected. This feeling may come in terms of feeling or enact. When the stigma is felt by the patients, it is
known as shame. It is experienced by the patients as they develop the fear of being discriminated as well
as they have an inferiority complex.
The aim of this study was to draw on narrative interviews with patients with lung cancer and to explore
their perceptions and experience of stigma
Materials and Methods: A qualitative study (post ethical committee approval) was carried out among 40
lung cancer patients at the Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Science. The study period was one year (May
2018 to April 2019). During the course of the study, the patients were asked to narrate about their story
since starting when they were diagnosed with the disease. The interview was the selected instrument for
data collection. From the data, various themes were created.
Results: Majority of the patients belonged to 51-60 years of age group. The result showed that majority
of the patients had non-small cell cancer. The patients agreed that they have often experienced a situation
where people avoid contact after knowing about their disease. Many of the patients accepted that smoking
became one of the major reasons for their lung cancer.
Conclusions: It was found that the patients feel stigma as other people associate them to have acquired
lung cancer due to their habit of smoking. This adds up when the people think that the cancer patients will
not survive and they start distancing them from the patients. The stigma can have adverse implications on
the patients by restraining them from seeking support and care from anyone.

Keywords: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Stigma.

Doi : 10.18231/j.ijirm.2020.042

How to cite : Rabari R, Purohit C, Stigma, shame, and blame experienced by patients with lung cancer: A qualitative study. IP Indian J Immunol Respir Med 2020;5(2):75-77

Copyright © 2020 by author(s) and IP Indian J Immunol Respir Med. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (