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Factors associated with perceived stigma among community members living close to leprosy centre in Malaysia
Introduction: Stigma is strongly associated with leprosy that affects the social status of leprosy patients. The main problem of leprosy is that it presents a negative stigma and a very poor image to the patient. Stigma is a sign that represents unwanted traits that are contrary to one's personality within the community. Stigma is also a social process that results in the patient being unwanted. The purpose of this study was to determine perceived stigma among community members living close to leprosy center in Malaysia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the communities around leprosy center from June to October 2019. A total of 260 persons were selected by simple random sampling to answer question on demographic, socioeconomic status, placement distance, information source, infected family, knowledge, attitude and stigma. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation, independent t-test and multiple linear regression. Results: The mean stigma score obtained was 11.41 (SD=5.38). Negative attitude among community were significantly correlated with higher stigma scores (aOR 0.365, 95% CI 0.20, 0.53). Conclusion: The stigma scores obtained in this study were lower compare to other countries and negative attitudes are a major contributing factor to the stigma toward leprosy patients. This negative attitude can be avoided by raising awareness of leprosy among community living nearby to leprosy center.
Year of Publication
Global Journal of Public Health Medicine
Number of Pages