Impacts of the diagnosis of leprosy and of visible impairments amongst people affected by leprosy in Cebu, the Philippines.
PURPOSE: To quantify the impact of the diagnosis of leprosy and of visible impairments in people affected by leprosy.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Three interview-based questionnaires designed to measure activity limitation, participation restriction, and general self-efficacy were used to collect data from three Groups. Group 1: leprosy affected people with visible impairment, Group 2: newly diagnosed leprosy patients with no visible impairment, Group 3: patients with other skin diseases symptomatic for more than 1 month.
RESULTS: One hundred and eight subjects were recruited. The subjects with visible impairments (Group 1) had higher levels of participation restriction than those with skin disease (P0.012), and participation restriction was similar between subjects in Groups 2 and 3 (P0-305). The people in Group 1 (35 subjects) also reported significantly more activity limitation compared to the people in either Group 2 (35 subjects) or Group 3 (38 subjects) (P 0-001, respectively). The subjects in Group 2 had no significant activity limitation compared with those in Group 3 (P0.338). A multivariate analysis showed that severe visible impairment was a risk factor for activity limitation (odds ratio 5.68, 95% CI: 1.09-297, P0.039) and a low level of self-efficacy (Odds ratio 6.38, 95% CI: 1.06-38.3, P0-043) among people affected by leprosy.
CONCLUSION: Visible impairments affected the activities and attitudes of people affected by leprosy. However, others without visible impairment, had activity limitations, participation restrictions and levels of general self-efficacy that were similar to patients with other skin diseases. Prevention of visible impairments should be considered a key intervention for stigma reduction.