Limited activity and social participation after hospital discharge from leprosy treatment in a hyperendemic area in north Brazil.
INTRODUCTION: Neural damages are among the main factors that contribute to physical disability in leprosy. Systematic monitoring using a broad physical, psychological and social approach is necessary.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to characterize the limitation of activity and social participation and its correlation with disabilities and/or impairment in individuals after being discharged from a multidrug leprosy therapy.
METHOD: A cross-sectional study conducted in Araguaína, state of Tocantins, which is a leprosy hyperendemic municipality. We included cases of patients who were discharged from treatment considered as cured from January 2004 to December 2009. We performed dermatological examination and applied the Screening Activity Limitation and Safety Awareness (SALSA) and social participation scales.
RESULTS: We included 282 individuals (mean age: 45.8 years old). The paucibacillary operational classification was more common (170; 60.3%). The eye-hand-foot score ranged from 0 to 12 (mean: 0.7). A total of 84 (29.8%) individuals presented limited activity. A slight restriction in social participation occurred in 18 (6.3%) cases. There was a statistically significant correlation between activity limitation, age (r = 0.40; p < 0.0001) and degree of functional limitation (r = 0.54; p < 0.0001), as well as of restricted social participation, activity limitation (r = 0.56, p < 0.0001) and functional limitations (r = 0.54, p < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Functional limitation due to leprosy had an impact on the conduct of activities and social participation after the discharge from a leprosy treatment. The association between Screening of Activity Limitation and Safety Awareness and participation scales will assist in designing evidence-based assistance measures.