A study on stigma and apprehensions related to COVID-19 among healthcare professionals in Delhi

Kartikey Yadav, Ananya Ray Laskar, S. K. Rasania


Background: Public health emergencies during pandemics of communicable diseases, may cause fear leading to social isolation and stigma. Cases have been reported of healthcare professionals (HCPs), facing discrimination on account of heightened fear and misinformation. However, there is dearth of literature with regards to the nature and magnitude of this stigma. Hence, this study was conducted to assess perceived and experienced stigma related to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among HCPs and also assess their apprehensions about testing, quarantine/isolation and consuming Hydroxy-chloroquine as prophylaxis (HCQ).

Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken among the HCPs working in Delhi during the period May to July 2020. The study was conducted using a semi-structured online questionnaire which was circulated on official contact numbers and email IDs of HCPs in the Google.doc format.

Result: Seventy percent of the participants in the current study perceived some kind of stigma, 50% of study participants perceived some form of stigma in their residential colony, 46% observed change in behaviour of their neighbours. Around 20% of participants experienced stigma, most commonly being rude behaviour or harassment from neighbour/landlord. A statistically significant association was observed between marital status (p=0.038), designation (p=0.021) and place of stay (p=0.013) of the study participants and perceived stigma among them. The level of awareness regarding HCQ was high (94.3%), but more than 60% didn’t consume it due to apprehension about side effects.

Conclusion: In view of the substantial stigma faced by the HCP, necessary measures to curb the fear and dispel misinformation related to COVID-19 must be undertaken. the rural population.


Stigma, COVID-19, Healthcare professionals, Apprehensions, HCQ

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