Patients receiving palliative care experience stigma associated with their illness, personal identity, and healthcare utilization. These stigmas can occur at any stage of the disease process. Varying stigmas combine to cause palliative care patients to feel misunderstood, contribute to treatment barriers, and further negative stereotypes held by clinicians. Stigma surrounding palliative care patients stems from complex intersections of varied access to resources, familial and physical environment, socioeconomic status, mental health and disorders, and identity characteristics. This article examines the relationship between the stigmatization of mental health and palliative care through three pathways: stigma and barriers existing within healthcare, the tendency of this stigma to undermine social support, and patient deferral of treatment-seeking in response to stigma. Recommendations to address and diminish stigmatization are presented, including advocacy, increased research and assessment, and contextual and intersectional awareness. Clinicians are also encouraged to turn to their colleagues for peer support and team-based care.
|Journal||Illness Crisis and Loss|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.
- mental health
- palliative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science