Limitations in activities of people affected by leprosy after completing multidrug therapy: application of the SALSA scale.
OBJECTIVES: To identify people affected by leprosy with impairments after completing multidrug therapy for leprosy, and to assess their limitations in conducting daily activities by applying the Screening of Activity Limitation and Safety Awareness (SALSA) scale.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed of all residents of a medium-sized city who were treated for leprosy from 1998 to 2006. A specific questionnaire was applied to obtain general and clinical data and the SALSA scale was used to assess limitations in activities. Impairments were assessed using the 'World Health Organization leprosy disability grading system' (WHO-DG).
FINDINGS: Of the 335 people affected by leprosy treated in the period, 223 (62.1%) were located and interviewed. A total of 51.6% were female with a mean age of 54 years (SD +/- 15.72) and 67.9% had up to 6 years formal education. The borderline form predominated among interviewees (39.9%) and 54.3% suffer from associated diseases with hypertension (29.1%) and diabetes (10.3%) being the most common. Pain was reported by 54.7% of interviewees. By multiple logistic regression analysis, associations were found between limitations in activities and being female (P < 0.025), family income < or = 3 minimum wages (P-value < 0.003), reports of major lesions (P-value < 0.004), pain (P-value < 0.001), associated diseases (P-value < 0.023) and the WHO-DG (P-value < 0.001). Disabilities, as identified using the WHO-DG, were less common (32%) than limitations in activities as evaluated by the SALSA scale (57.8%).
CONCLUSION: Limitations in activities proved to be common in people affected by leprosy and were associated with low income, being female, reported major lesions, disability, disease and pain.