Providing care to people with Parkinson's disease (PD) poses challenges for family carers, including experiencing stigmatic beliefs —i.e., family stigma. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no empirical study examining the stigmatic experiences of family members of people with PD. This was the aim of the present study. Three focus groups with 22 Israeli spouses of people with PD were conducted. Data were analyzed using theory-led thematic analysis. Overall, the spouses in our study shared mainly experiences of the stigma attached to the illness and/or to their loved ones, and not to themselves as carers. Three major themes emerged: the stereotypes that typify PD, stigmatizing behaviors towards the person with the disease, and structural stigma. Our findings highlight the profound stigma confronting carers of persons with PD, particularly when it comes to structural stigma.
- Family stigma
- Parkinson's disease