Douglas A. Drossman, MD is joined by his co-author Jordyn H. Feingold, MD/MSCR Candidate and moderator, Purna Kashyap, MBBS to discuss their latest article “Deconstructing Stigma as a Barrier to Treating DGBI: Lessons for Clinicians.”
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Stigma, defined as social devaluation based on negative stereotypes toward a particular population, is prevalent within health care and is a common phenomenon in disorders of gut‐brain interaction (DGBI). Characteristically, DGBI including functional dyspepsia (FD) lack a structural etiology to explain symptoms, have high psychiatric co‐morbidity, and respond to neuromodulators traditionally used to treat psychopathology. As a result, these disorders are frequently and wrongly presumed to be psychiatric and carry a great deal of stigma. Stigma has profound adverse consequences for patients, including emotional distress, medication non‐adherence, barriers to accessing care, and increased symptoms. The basis for stigma dates back to the 17th Century concept of mind‐body dualism. Patients and health care providers need to understand the factors that promote stigma and methods to ameliorate it. In this minireview, we address the data presented in Yan et al.’s (Neurogastroenterol Motil, 2020, e13956). We offer concrete solutions for clinicians to mitigate the impact of stigma to optimize treatment adherence and clinical outcomes for patients with DGBI.