A new brief opioid stigma scale to assess perceived public attitudes and internalized stigma: Evidence for construct validity

Lawrence H. Yang, Margaux M. Grivel, Bradley Anderson, Genie L. Bailey, Mark Opler, Liang Yi Wong, Michael D. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One key strategy to improve treatment access for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) is overcoming stigma that is internalized by such individuals. Because few theoretically-derived, multidimensional measures of substance abuse stigma exist, we contribute a brief, theoretically-based measure of opioid-related stigma (adapted from Corrigan's Self-Stigma of Mental Illness Scale) to assess perceived stigma and internalized stigma among individuals with OUD. This study presents initial validation of the newly-developed Brief Opioid Stigma Scale among 387 adults who entered an inpatient opioid managed-withdrawal program. The scale assesses: (1) Stereotype awareness (“Aware”), or the extent to which individuals who use opioids perceive community members to believe OUD-related stereotypes; (2) Stereotype agreement (“Agree”), or the endorsement of stigmatizing beliefs by individuals who use opioids; (3) Self-esteem decrement (“Harm”), or the diminution of self-esteem due to these negative stereotypes’ impacts on self-worth. Psychosocial measures including self-esteem, depressive symptoms, mental and physical functioning, and desire for aftercare OUD medication treatment, were administered to assess construct validity. Results showed that greater endorsement of the “harm” stigma subscale was associated with greater depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem, and poorer mental and physical functioning. The “aware” stigma subscale displayed similar overall patterns of associations with self-esteem and depression but to a lesser magnitude. The “aware” stigma subscale was positively associated with desire for aftercare methadone and naltrexone treatment, and the “harm” subscale was positively associated with desire for aftercare buprenorphine treatment. Results indicated good initial construct validity. Tailored stigma interventions are recommended for specific aftercare OUD medication treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume99
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A new brief opioid stigma scale to assess perceived public attitudes and internalized stigma: Evidence for construct validity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this