Profile of patients affected by Hansen's disease seen at the Outpatient Clinic of Dermatology at Hospital Evangélico de Curitiba.
BACKGROUND: Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic infectious disease with worldwide distribution. Although it is a curable disease, it remains as a public health problem, with Brazil being the second most endemic country in the world. The skin lesions and neural damage, which lead to physical disabilities, affect the patients' self-esteem, cause a decrease in quality of life and interfere in the patients' lives.
OBJECTIVE: Identify the profile of the patients affected by leprosy seen at the Outpatient Clinic of Dermatology of Hospital Evangélico de Curitiba and characterize the levels of quality of life of the sample in the week prior to the survey by means of the Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire.
METHOD: Application of the Dermatology Life Quality Index to 22 patients diagnosed with leprosy in the period from May to October 2009.
RESULTS: Among the 22 patients who participated in the study, 55% were male and 45% were female, with a mean age of 50.2 years. The scores obtained with the Dermatology Life Quality Index ranged from 1 to 25 points, with a mean of 10.23. Most of the patients (50%) had scores in the range severe or very severe; 31.8% of the patients obtained scores in the range mild or moderate, and 18.2% of the patients reported that there was no impairment of their quality of life.
CONCLUSION: The profile of the patients affected by leprosy in this study were men, with a mean age of 50 years and presenting the multibacillary form of the disease. The application of the Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire allowed us to verify that the score severe or very severe for quality of life was predominant in the sample, with higher impact on women and no significant difference concerning pauci or multibacillary leprosy.