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PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 378-382

A comparative study of the quality of life, knowledge, attitude and belief about leprosy disease among leprosy patients and community members in Shantivan Leprosy Rehabilitation centre, Nere, Maharashtra, India


Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College and Hospital Research Centre, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhavi J Mankar
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College and Hospital Research Centre, Nerul, Navi Mumbai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.91063

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Background: Leprosy a chronic infectious affliction, is a communicable disease that posses a risk of permanent and progressive disability. The associated visible deformities and disabilities have contributed to the stigma and discrimination experienced by leprosy patients, even among those who have been cured. Aims and Objectives: 1) To assess the knowledge, attitude and belief about leprosy in leprosy patients compared with community members. 2) To find the perceived stigma among leprosy patients. 3). To evaluate the quality of life in leprosy patients as compared to community members using WHO Quality of Life assessment questionaire (WHOQOL- BREF). Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre, Shantivan, Nere in Panvel Taluka, district Raigad from October - December 2009. A pre-designed and pre-structured questionaire was used to evaluate knowledge, attitude and perceived stigma among leprosy patients and community members. WHO Quality of life questionaire (WHOQOL-BREF) was used to assess quality of life in leprosy patients and controls. Data analysis was done with the help of SPSS package. Result: Among the cases and control, 43.13% of cases were aware that leprosy is an infectious disease compared to 20.69% of control. 68.62% of cases had knowledge of hypopigmented patches being a symptom of leprosy compared to the 25.86% in control. There was overall high level of awareness about disease, symptoms, transmission and curability in leprosy patients as compared to control. Among control group, 43.10% of population said that they would not like food to be served by leprosy patients as compared to 13.73% in study group. It was seen that the discrimination was much higher in female leprosy patients as compared to male leprosy patients. The mean quality of life scores for cases was significantly lower than those for control group in physical and psychological domain but not in the social relationship and environmental domain. The mean quality of life scores for male cases were lower in each domain as compared to male control group but the difference was not significant except in the physical and enviornmental domain. The mean quality of life scores for female cases were lower in each domain as compared to female control group and the difference was not significant except in the psychological domain. Conclusions: There was a significant difference in physical domain in male leprosy patients and psychological domain in female leprosy patients as compared with their respective gender controls. The leprosy patients were more aware about the infectious nature of the disease, symptoms, transmission, and curability than the control group. A negative attitude was seen towards the leprosy patients in the society.


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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008