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Knowledge, attitudes and practices of health professionals towards people living with lymphoedema caused by lymphatic filariasis, podoconiosis and leprosy in northern Ethiopia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Podoconiosis, lymphatic filariasis and leprosy are highly stigmatised neglected tropical diseases that cause lymphoedema. Their enormous impacts on health-related quality of life, mental health and economic productivity can be significantly reduced by morbidity management and disability prevention (MMDP) services, but to deliver such services requires appropriate training of healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of rural Ethiopian healthcare professionals towards people with lymphoedema as a way to assess training needs.

METHODS: This study used questionnaires to quantitatively assess KAP towards people with lymphoedema among rural healthcare professionals in northwest Ethiopia before and 12 months after a short training intervention.

RESULTS: Questionnaires were administered to 14 health professionals at baseline and 21 at follow-up. At baseline, 71% (10/14) were found to hold at least one stigmatising attitude towards lymphoedema patients, compared with 66% (14/21) at follow-up. Large gaps in knowledge were noted, with many unable to identify ways of treating/preventing the diseases.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed high proportions of healthcare workers holding stigmatising views and lacking essential knowledge about lymphoedema. To maximise the impact of MMDP interventions, further research is urgently needed to understand how to address these issues.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Dellar R
Ali O
Kinfe M
Tesfaye A
Fekadu A
Davey G
Semrau M
Bremner S
Year of Publication
2021
Journal
International health
Date Published
10/2021
Language
eng
ISSN Number
1876-3405
DOI
10.1093/inthealth/ihab067
Alternate Journal
Int Health
PMID
34634104
Publication Language
eng