Experiences of diagnosis, stigma, culpability and disclosure in male patients with hepatitis C virus: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Anna Krzeczkowska, Paul Flowers, Zoe Chouliara, Peter Hayes, Adele Dickson

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The current study aimed to explore the lived experience of patients with hepatitis C virus infection. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven male participants living with hepatitis C virus and were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Two master themes were identified: (1) diagnosis and the search for meaning and (2) impact of stigma on disclosure. Participants reported fears of contaminating others, feelings of stigma and concerns of disclosing the condition to others. Response to diagnosis, stigma and disclosure among the participants appeared to be interrelated and directly related to locus of blame for virus contraction. More specifically, hepatitis C virus transmission via medical routes led to an externalisation of culpability and an openness to disclosure. Transmission of hepatitis C virus as a direct result of intravenous drug use led to internalised blame and a fear of disclosure. The inter- and intra-personal consequences of hepatitis C virus explored in the current study have potential implications for tailoring future psychological therapy and psychoeducation to the specific needs of the hepatitis C virus population.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalHealth (United Kingdom)
Early online date13 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 May 2019

Keywords

  • disclosure
  • hepatitis C virus
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • stigma

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