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  1. Moore, Grace A. BSN, RN
  2. Hawley, Diane A. PhD, RN, CCNS
  3. Bradley, Pat DNS, RN


The purpose of this study was to identify and categorize stigmas associated with hepatitis C. This article will address the qualitative analysis of participants' written narratives describing stigmatic events. These narratives were in response to a question that incorporated a functional definition of stigma. The sample consisted of 39 participants who completed a survey during support group meetings. Of the participants, 84.6% experienced hepatitis C-related stigma. With the qualitative data saturated, a total of five themes and 16 concepts were found. The idea that ignorance precedes all stigmas was refuted with the finding that some concepts may not involve ignorance, as defined in this study, about hepatitis C. This notion was further applied to existing theories concerning disease-related stigma. The findings in this study expand our current knowledge of the complexity of stigma. Implications for nursing practice will include comprehensive structural and institutional application of policy. Furthermore, population and peer education about hepatitis C and against stigma will be a worthy opponent to the problem at hand.