Development of COVID-19 Stigma Scale: Validity and Reliability Study


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Background: Stigmatization leads to severe consequences both individually and socially. This situation can also occur in epidemics and complicate the treatment process. Therefore, the objective evaluation of stigma and the creation of an action plan on this issue are the most basic steps in the fight against the epidemic. This study aims to develop, study the reliability and validity of a scale that evaluates stigma against individuals who experienced COVID-19.

Methods: A 24-item draft scale was prepared by considering the stigma experienced by individuals who experienced COVID-19 both in their close relations and social environment. The study was conducted on the relatives of the patients referred to XXXX University School of Medicine Hospital’s different policlinics. In addition to the developed COVID-19 Stigma Scale (CSS), and the COVID-19 Information Questionnaire (CIQ) were applied.

Results: The sample of the study consisted of 323 healthy individuals who were 54.5% male, with a mean age of 39.0±13.7 years.  In the factor analysis, which included 24 items, five items with a factor load below 0.40 were eliminated. It was determined that final version of the scale consisted of three factors and these factors (rejection, discrimination, and emotional reactions) explained 61% of the total variance. The Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the total CSS was calculated as 0.91. A significant negative correlation was found between the CSS total and CIQ total scores (r=-0.301, p<0.001).

Conclusion: The CSS is valid and reliable in assessing the stigmatization of individuals in the healthy population towards COVID-19 patients.







Original Research