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Development of a Multi-Dimensional Measure of Cancer Stigma

Development and validation of a measure of cancer stigma for global use in low-resource clinical settings

Development of a Multi-Dimensional Measure of Cancer Stigma

This study is a collaboration between the University of Utah and Kamuzu Central Hospital. Past research in both the United States and Malawi has highlighted the impact of stigma along the cancer treatment continuum and its impact on care engagement and quality of life, especially among the most vulnerable populations. However, no single scale exists to measure the experience of cancer stigma from the perspective of individuals living with different types of cancer. A validated measure of cancer stigma, which can be used agnostic of cancer types, is critical to measure stigma across populations and over time, as well as for interventional studies that aim to reduce the impact of cancer stigma. This study aims to: 1) develop a comprehensive cancer stigma measure that has dimensions of enacted, anticipated, and internalized stigma and is applicable to both Malawi and diverse U.S. cancer populations, and 2) administer the survey among cancer patients in Malawi and cancer patients at the University of Utah who identify as racialized and/or minoritized populations.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute as a supplement to the Utah Cancer Center (P30 CA042014-33S5)


Kimani Watt Tsidya
Drs. Kimani and Watt with Mercy Tsidya, study coordinator at Kamuzu Central Hospital

Stephen Kimani, MD

Principal Investigator


Melissa Watt, PhD

Gita Suneja, MD
Department of Radiation Oncology


Huntsman Cancer Institute

Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi

Cancer stigma; vulnerable populations; cancer care engagement; stigma reduction