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|Title:||Disparities and Factors Associated with Coronavirus Disease-2019-Related Public Stigma: A Cross-Sectional Study in Thailand|
|Abstract:||Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related public stigma is a major challenge, with scarce available evidence. This study aimed to determine the disparities and factors associated with COVID-19-related public stigma in the Thai population. We conducted a cross-sectional study involving a voluntary online survey in Thailand from 21 April 2020 to 4 May 2020. We invited 4004 participants to complete a series of questionnaires, including the validated COVID-19 public stigma scale and questions on relevant COVID-19-related psychosocial issues. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to investigate the factors associated with COVID-19-related public stigma. The prevalence of COVID-19-related public stigma was 24.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.2–26.2) for no/minimal, 35.5% (95% CI, 33.4–37.6) for moderate, and 40.3% (95% CI, 38.2–42.4) for high. We observed disparities in the prevalence of COVID-19-related public stigma according to participant characteristics and psychosocial factors. Using the no/minimal group as a reference group, the six predominant risk factors significantly associated with a moderate and high degree of COVID-19-related public stigma were middle-aged or older adults, male, divorced/widowed/separated, current quarantine status, moderate/severe fear of COVID-19, and medium/high perceived risk of COVID-19. Additional risk factors significantly related to a high degree of COVID-19-related public stigma were religion (Buddhist), region of residence (non-capital city), and exposure to COVID-19-related information. Disparities in COVID-19-related public stigma due to sociodemographic and psychosocial issues are frequent in the Thai population. To reduce public stigmatization, early identification of vulnerable groups and the development of tailored mitigation strategies should be implemented during the pandemic.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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