Structural determinants of stigma across health and social conditions: a rapid review and conceptual framework to guide future research and intervention.

Research paper by Claire C Bolster-Foucault, Brigitte B Ho Mi Fane, Alexandra A Blair

Indexed on: 11 Mar '21Published on: 11 Mar '21Published in: Health promotion and chronic disease prevention in Canada : research, policy and practice


Stigma has been identified as a key determinant of health and health inequities because of its effects on access to health-enabling resources and stress exposure. Though existing reports offer in-depth summaries of the mechanisms through which stigma influences health, a review of evidence on the upstream drivers of stigma across health and social conditions has been missing. The objective of this review is to summarize known structural determinants of stigma experienced across health and social conditions in developed country settings. We conducted a rapid review of the literature. English- and French-language peer-reviewed and grey literature works published after 2008 were identified using MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Google and Google Scholar. Titles and abstracts were independently screened by two reviewers. Information from relevant publications was extracted, and a thematic analysis of identified determinants was conducted to identify broad domains of structural determinants. A narrative synthesis of study characteristics and identified determinants was conducted. Of 657 publications identified, 53 were included. Ten domains of structural determinants of stigma were identified: legal frameworks, welfare policies, economic policies, social and built environments, media and marketing, pedagogical factors, health care policies and practices, biomedical technology, diagnostic frameworks and public health interventions. Each domain is defined and summarized, and a conceptual framework for how the identified domains relate to the stigma process is proposed. At least 10 domains of structural factors influence the occurrence of stigma across health and social conditions. These domains can be used to structure policy discussions centred on ways to reduce stigma at the population level.