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Collaboration for Research in Understanding Stigma in Healthcare (CRUSH)

CRUSH – Research Focus Overview

Stigma can fuel discrimination and social inequalities while denying social acceptance and reduce opportunities for the individuals/groups. This can lead to negative implications for health and wellbeing through experiences and feelings of shame, blame, hopelessness, distress, secrecy, loneliness and isolation. Stigma is also frequently cited as the main reason people do not access health care.

CRUSH (Collaboration for Research in Understanding Stigma in Healthcare) is focused on advancing knowledge and understanding on stigma to improve care provision and health outcomes for the individuals/groups experiencing stigma. We are committed to undertaking evidence-based research on stigma and discrimination in healthcare to support stigma reduction efforts through education, prevention, care, and treatment.

Associate Professor Cindy Jones (Lead) | Dr Amy Bannatyne (Co-Lead)

We aim to:

  • explore and understand the different manifestations of stigma, including stigma experiences (e.g., experienced, anticipated, internalised, perceived, and secondary) and stigma practices (e.g., stereotypes, prejudice, discriminatory behaviour);
  • understand how stigma manifests in policy, resource allocation decision making, law and other systemic context;
  • develop and validate stigma and discrimination related metrics (e.g. instruments and tools);
  • address stigma in health professional education;
  • develop and evaluate stigma education, prevention, and care interventions or programs; as well as
  • lead or foster partnerships among key stakeholders to create and implement strategies and policies that reduce or eliminate stigma and discrimination in healthcare, the communities in which people reside, and the communities which engage with them.

CRUSH Research Group Academic Staff and HDR students

Research projects, grants and publications

  • “Stigma can be defined as a mark of shame, disgrace or disapproval which results in an individual being rejected, discriminated against, and excluded from participating in a number of different areas of society.” 

    - World Health Organization, 2001
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