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Publication

Knowledge and practice of eye-care among leprosy patients.

Abstract

In one hundred and thirty leprosy patients attending the Schieffelin Leprosy Research and Training Center, Karigiri, Tamil Nadu, India, the knowledge, attitude and practice of eye-care were ascertained using a questionnaire developed by Mathews & Mangalam. 74.6% the patients surveyed were aware of the disease, 60% knew about the early signs of leprosy, 74.6% considered leprosy curable and 36.9% knew the duration of treatment with MDT. Less than half of the patients (40.8%) knew that blindness occurred in leprosy and was preventable. More males had this knowledge (46.5%) than females (22.6%) (P = 0.001). Knowledge on how to take care of the eyes (26.9%), that eyes become anaesthetic due to leprosy (27.7%), and that precautions should be taken if sensation is lost (27. 7%) was very poor. Knowledge on prevention of damage in eyes (57.7%) and the fact that rubbing eyes could cause damage (55.4%) was found in more than half the patients. More males (64.6%) had knowledge on the prevention of damage in eyes than females (35.5%) (P = 0.008). Only 25.4% of the patients tried some measures to prevent eye injury, 21.5% used home remedies and all had the help of family members in their eye-care. More males (26.3%) used home remedies than females (6.5%). The older age group had better knowledge on taking care of the eyes than those aged 40 and below (P = 0.026). Although more patients with existing complications knew to take care of their eyes than those who did not have complications, the knowledge and practice of eye-care in both these groups were poor. Knowledge of leprosy in illiterate patients was not different from those who had some formal schooling, but the practice of eye-care differed significantly (P = 0.02). Health education must be undertaken to increase the knowledge of eye-care among leprosy patients, especially among illiterate persons, women and younger patients.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Yowan P
Danneman K
Koshy S
Richard J
Daniel E
Year of Publication
2002
Journal
Indian journal of leprosy
Volume
74
Issue
2
Number of Pages
129-35
Date Published
2002 Apr-Jun
Language
eng
ISSN Number
0254-9395
Call Number
Infolep Library - available
Alternate Journal
Indian J Lepr
Publication Language
eng