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  1. Shabanloei, Reza MSc
  2. Ebrahimi, Hossein PhD
  3. Ahmadi, Fazlollah PhD
  4. Mohammadi, Eesa PhD
  5. Dolatkhah, Roya MD


Stigma is one of the main problems of patients suffering from cirrhosis, and it causes many challenges for the patients and their treatment. The present study aimed to discover and define the perceived stigma by cirrhotic patients. This qualitative study was conducted through a content analysis approach. The participants were 15 patients suffering from cirrhosis. Data were collected via semistructured, in-depth interviews and analyzed on the basis of methods described by Granheme and Landman. During data analysis, stigma was categorized into four categories and 13 subcategories: external representation of social stigma (others' avoidance behaviors, inadmissible tag, discriminative behaviors of treatment personnel, blaming behaviors), internal representation of social stigma (social ostracism, social isolation, curiosity to perceive people's perceptions), external representation of self-stigma (fear of disclosure of illness, threatening situation, difficult emotional relationships), and internal representation of self-stigma (condemned to suffer, self-punishment, self-alienation). Experiencing stigma is common among cirrhotic patients and may affect patients' coping with the illness and treatment. Thus, it is specifically important that treatment personnel know patients' perception, provide comprehensive support for these patients, and plan to enhance public awareness about the disease recommended.