Journal of Nursing and Women’s Health
The problem is the identified stigma related to certain diseases affecting the quality of care provided by healthcare workers. Somatic diseases or those with vague signs and symptoms are subject to various stigmas. Due to the lack of a known cause of fibromyalgia, the disease is subject to stigma. The purpose of this qualitative narrative study was to bring awareness to healthcare educators about the potential impact of stigma. Educators may transfer stigma to their students, which may affect the quality of care. The research question guiding this study was, “How might healthcare educators’ perceptions of chronic illness transfer to their students?” The detailed analysis of 20 interviews with medical educators and students identified the perceptions and experiences of each. The results of this study emerged from in-depth examination of the 20 participants’ perceptions from the viewpoints of how they participated in the medical education, either as a student or as an educator. Five main themes emerged from the data: experiences, subjective information, effort, education, and environment. According to the findings of the study, healthcare educators and caregivers passed on stigma perceptions to the students. The healthcare educators were unaware of the transference and many stated they took precautions to avoid such transference. The students identified a vector of stigma and offered the opportunity to alert the healthcare community of a change necessary from within. Identification of several areas suggested how changes in the educational delivery system could address the subtle stigma transference and meet academic needs of the students.