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A New Instrument to Measure Family Support among People Affected with Leprosy: Leprosy Family Support Scale (LFSS)

This study aimed at developing a scale to measure family support for people affected by leprosy (PAL). A cross-sectional scale development study was carried out in a tertiary leprosy referral centre, Purulia, West Bengal, India. A 10-item scale was developed to measure the family support and administered with a consecutive sample of 416 persons affected by leprosy aged above 18 years, and 71 completed the scale twice within an interval of three to four weeks. Developing the scales involved face and content validity, internal consistency, factor analyses, construct validity and test–retest reliability. Construct validity of the scale was determined by using the Participation Scale (P Scale) and World health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-Bref) scale. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a single factor solution accounting for 82.79% of the total variance. Cronbach's alpha was 0.97, and the test intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.93. The total score of the LFSS scale had a moderate positive correlation with WHOQOL total score (r =0.44, p=0.00) and a significant weak negative correlation with the P Scale (r = –0.34, p=0.00). The LFSS scale is acceptable, valid and reliable for measuring the family support of the people affected by leprosy. It is a promising tool that can be easily incorporated into the leprosy programme.

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Journal Article
Govindharaj P
Srinivasan S
Darlong J
Mahato B
Acharya P