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There has been a proliferation of research on mental illness stigma; however, lack of consistency and clarity in the conceptualization and measurement of mental illness stigma has limited the accumulation of scientific knowledge about mental illness stigma and its consequences.
Health-related stigma frameworks typically focus on one health condition in isolation. This tendency encourages a siloed approach to research on health-related stigma, impeding comparisons across stigmatized conditions and research on innovations to reduce health-related stigma and improve health outcomes.
The MMT-SMS measures enacted stigma (experiences of discrimination from others in the past or present), anticipated stigma (expectations of experiencing discrimination from others in the future), and internalized stigma (endorsement and application of negative beliefs and feelings about people receiving methadone and applying them to the self) among people receiving methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). Enacted and anticipated stigma from family members, employers, and healthcare workers are measured. The scale may be adapted for persons experienced with other forms of medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorders.