Lung cancer stigma has far-reaching and devastating consequences for both stigmatized individuals and public health efforts. Preliminary data suggest that lung cancer patients are stigmatized based on smoking status and that lung cancer stigma has negative psychosocial and interpersonal effects for patients. However, there is a significant need for conceptual clarification and an integrative focus on appropriate measurement. The proposed research will synthesize perspectives from patients, providers and published literature into a coherent conceptual blueprint for developing a psychometrically sound measure of perceived lung cancer stigma. Specific study objectives are to: 1) develop a conceptual framework of the lung cancer stigma construct through literature review and patient interviews (N = 36), 2) Construct an initial item pool based on the patient interviews, assessments from clinical experts, and patient focus groups, 3) Reduce and refine measure items through use of cognitive interviews and a readability analysis. This study represents an initial effort to refine conceptualization needed to accurately assess stigma among lung cancer patients and generate a theoretically-derived measure. This research is significant because it will provide the basis for development of a psychometrically sound and culturally sensitive measure of lung cancer related stigma. The findings will provide a foundation for quantitative evaluation of the proposed measure, as well as future planned investigations into psychosocial, communication, and behavioral correlates of lung cancer stigma. Ultimately, this research will guide the development of interventions to address lung cancer stigma and its consequences.
The relevance of this research is in the understanding of stigma that lung cancer patients might face. Using this understanding, we will develop a scale that measures lung cancer stigma. This scale will help to identify individuals who are affected by lung cancer stigma and could benefit from interventions to address these issues.
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