Little is known about the role of perceived racial bias and health-related stigma on the health of youth with sickle cell disease (SCD). The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of perceived racial bias and health-related stigma among youth with SCD and its relationship with psychological and physical well-being.
Twenty-eight youth with SCD, ages 13 to 21, were recruited from outpatient and inpatient settings at an urban children's medical center. Participants completed measures of perceived racial bias, perceived health-related stigma, depression, quality of life, and pain burden.
Most participants endorsed occurrences of racial bias and health-related stigma. The findings indicate that greater perceived racial bias was associated with greater pain burden, and greater perceived health-related stigma was related to lower quality of life.
Perceived racial bias and health-related stigma may be important to consider for future research investigating the psychological and physiological features of SCD for youth.