Perception toward the disease of the people affected by leprosy.

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TitlePerception toward the disease of the people affected by leprosy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsGovindharaj P, Srinivasan S, Darlong J
Abbrev. JournalInt J Mycobacteriol
JournalInternational journal of mycobacteriology
Year of Publication2018
Publication Languageeng

Background: This study aimed to explore the disease severity perceived by people affected with leprosy reporting at leprosy referral center, Purulia, West Bengal, India.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 358 persons affected by leprosy above the age of 18 and married who were reporting at tertiary leprosy referral hospital, Purulia, West Bengal, India. A semistructured questionnaire was prepared to collect the demographic profile, disease profile, and perceived severity of the disease.

Results: Among the participants, 41% of them were female, 60% were aged between 18 and 45 years, 58% were literate, and 40% of the participants had physical disability. The participants had multiple feelings of fear, anxiety and sorrow when first diagnosed as leprosy affected. Majority (69%) of the participants had fear of the disease. A significant association was present among males and females feeling fear of leprosy and the female feared more than male.

Conclusion: The present study emphasizes the need for continuous counseling and health education for persons affected with leprosy to avoid or minimize the psychological problems. Periodical screening and counseling will improve their psychosocial well-being and quality of life.

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