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European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences: Proceedings

Living in the Shadow and Light: Iranian Youths’ Responses to Diabetes-Related Stigma

Samereh Abdoli, Mehri Doosti Irani, Soroor Parvizi, Naimeh Seyed Fatemi, Massoud Amini


This study aimed to explore the responses of Iranian young people with type 1 diabetes to the diabetes-related stigma. Conventional qualitative content analysis approach guided this inquiry. Volunteered people with type 1 diabetes were recruited by purposeful sampling from one endocrine and metabolism center in Isfahan in 2012. Data gathering was done through 17 individual unstructured in-depth interviews and 3 focus groups. Data saturation was achieved through 33 participants. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. All participants acknowledged stigma and responded it in different ways, which was categorized in two main categories including living in the shadow (hide and seek, missing diabetes, withdrawal) and moving toward light (diabetes disclosure, destruction of the false bubbles). The most response especially for girls was to live in the shadow of silence that can be associated with negative consequences affecting diabetes management. Moving towards the light, suggests that it is possible to help people with type-1-diabetes to achieve a normal life as much as possible. It is necessary to plan the anti-stigma programs and engage them actively to reduce stigma and mitigate or prevent its negative impacts.


diabetes type 1-related stigma, qualitative research, social stigma, stigma management

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