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Reading: Interventions for Stigma Reduction–Part 1: Theoretical Considerations


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Interventions for Stigma Reduction–Part 1: Theoretical Considerations


Hugh Alistair Cross ,

Anandaban Hospital, Tikha Bhairav, Lele, Lalitpur, NP
About Hugh Alistair

BSc (podiatry) in 1993.  Awarded PhD in 1996. Dr. Hugh Cross started working in 1997 as Prevention of Disability Development Officer with Lalgadh Leprosy Services Centre (a project of the Nepal Leprosy Trust) and subsequently became a Programme Director (1998 to 2001) in the organisation.

In 2001, Dr. Hugh Cross assumed the post of Regional (Asia) Consultant for the Prevention of Disability (POD) for the American Leprosy Missions and continues in that post till date. He is also the Leprosy Mission International Representative in Nepal and member of the ILEP Technical Commission (ITC). He has numerous published journal articles, books and book chapters to his credit.

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Miriam Heijnders,

Independent researcher/advisor, NL
About Miriam
The author has a PhD in stigma and non-compliance to leprosy treatment. Currently works as an independent researcher/advisor.
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Ajit Dalal,

The University of Allahabad, IN
About Ajit

The author is a Professor of Psychology in University of Allahabad, India. He obtained a doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and has published in the areas of causal attribution, health beliefs and indigenous psychology. He has received the Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship and worked at University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has also been the recipient of the UGC Career Award, Rockefeller Foundation Award and ICSSR Senior Fellowship.

Has published about 70 research articles and book chapters, in addition to eight books, including Attribution Theory and Research, New Directions in Indian Psychology (Vol.1), Social Dimensions of Health and Handbook of Indian Psychology. He is the editor of the journal ‘Psychology and Developing Societies’ published by Sage.

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Silatham Sermrittirong,

Raj Pracha Samasai Institute, TH
About Silatham

Ms Silatham Sermrittirong is currently associated with the Raj Pracha Samasai Institute in Thailand as a Technical Officer. She manages leprosy related trainings and workshops, and prepares and implements plans of action related to the National Leprosy Programme in Thailand.

She also coordinates with other organizations in and outside Thailand to implement the national  leprosy control programme, supports and enables regional and provincial leprosy coordinators across Thailand to effectively carry out the Thai leprosy programme and conducts leprosy related research projects (many publications, primarily in Thai journals).

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Stephanie Mak

VU University, NL
About Stephanie

Bachelors degree in Bio-medical Science, University of Amsterdam (2007). Minor in International Development Studies (no degree) and first years courses of Spanish language and culture, University of Amsterdam (2008).

Currently undertaking a Masters degree in Infectious Diseases and International Public Health at VU University, Amsterdam.

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The contributors to the Working Group that produced this paper are like countless others who are confronted by programme realities in developing countries, such as the pressure to respond to the challenge of stigma in environments of extreme poverty, the issues of scant resources and the requirements to adapt objectives accordingly, and the competing demands for relief and emergency aid. It is in such contexts that researchers have the responsibility of making evidence-based recommendations and yet, regarding stigma interventions, they are confronted by a domain almost devoid of reliable evidence. Without examples of comparable situations that can be reviewed, it may be possible to make progress only through recourse to theoretical concepts. Broad guidelines, based on respected theories, may prove to be a sound foundation on which intervention programmes can be designed.

In this article, the discrete components of stigma that should be targeted in stigma intervention programmes are identified. It is also recommended that since stigma affects different levels in society simultaneously, stigma programmes should be multi-targeted and designed with an intention to adjust interactions between groups at different societal levels.

This article lays the foundation for a companion article that presents a generally applicable method by which plans for stigma interventions can be assessed (Interventions for Stigma Reduction – Part 2: Practical Applications).

How to Cite: Cross, H.A., Heijnders, M., Dalal, A., Sermrittirong, S. and Mak, S., 2012. Interventions for Stigma Reduction–Part 1: Theoretical Considerations. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 22(3), pp.62–70. DOI:
Published on 15 Feb 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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