Factors associated with social participation of women affected with leprosy reporting at a referral centre in Chhattisgarh, India
Objective: To assess the level of social participation and to study the factors associated with the social participation of leprosy-affected women after release from multi-drug therapy.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was undertaken involving a consecutive sample of women cured of leprosy, aged between 18 and 72 years, recruited at Bethesda Leprosy Mission Hospital, Champa. Their level of social participation was measured using the Participation scale (P Scale).
Results: Of the 113 participants, 85 (75%) women showed no restriction in social participation while 28 (25%) women did have some restriction. There were statistically significant associations between social participation restriction and age, disease type, and disability grade, and also in relation to the knowledge or lack of knowledge about the diagnosis of leprosy amongst neighbours and community members.
Conclusion: This study observed that elderly women, those who have the multibacillary form of the disease and Grade 2 deformities faced more restriction as regards social participation. A higher level of participation restriction was found among participants whose neighbours and community members knew of their disease condition. A special effort is needed to reach poor and marginalized leprosy-affected women and it will require the promotion of women’s empowerment to improve their level of social participation.