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Qualitative analysis of the factors associated with dehabilitation of leprosy affected persons


Dehabilitation of leprosy affected persons (LAP) is unique for the disease and totally undesirable. This becomes more regrettable with availability of MDT, integrated services, and proper referral care. This study has been carried out to determine the specific factors through qualitative data analysis, contributing towards Dehabilitation of the leprosy affected persons and to identify community based solutions to prevent the phenomenon. All the qualitative methods of social science research viz. observation, in-depth interview and focus group discussions (FGDs) have been used in the study for conducting case studies. A total of 13 case studies of dehabilitated patients have been carried out in two states of India, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. A brief summary of case studies and findings have been presented in the paper. The case findings show various reasons such as delayed due to ignorance, economic and financial problems, defaulted from treatment due to side effects of MDT, embarrassing look of dressings of ulcers, miss interpretation of leprosy as mental illness and lack of immediate improvement after taking MDT etc., are responsible for dehabiliation of leprosy affected individuals. The qualitative analysis of case studies gives rise to the following inferences: Qualitative findings provide evidence for delay i.e. starting of proper treatment after development of deformity is a common phenomenon among the deformed, the specific phenomenon found to be prevented through special approaches include-delay of treatment after reporting to treatment centre and getting dehabilitated while treatment is going on, delay in reporting for treatment after noticing the symptoms has been found to be due to the reasons viz. ignorance, economic problem and carelessness of the family members (husband), defaulting of MDT is due to various reasons viz. psycho-social, economic and nature of treatment facilities etc. in the PHC. Discussion with the patient's family members and the neighborhoods brought out their perceptions on how to prevent the phenomenon of defaulting, which is the primary reason for Dehabilitation. The study also highlights various specific factors of the above phenomenon, with special reference to female patients and the factors promoting colonization of the dehabilitated. The community activities that have been proved to be successful in preventing/managing dehabilitation and replicable in similar situations are of three broad categories viz. Patient Involved Community Actions (PICA) such as - cured patients convincing of family members with ignorance, disbelief on MDT treatment, Financial support, Nonpatient Involved Community Actions (NICA) including - somebody from family accompanying the patient to proper treatment centre, community's willingness to accept patient's family and Actions of Social Institutions (ASI) that include - IEC with details of RCS and facilities of colony, knowledge about regularity and side effects of MDT, counselling to family members about their required appropriate involvement in patient's treatment

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Journal Article
Raju M S
Year of Publication
Indian journal of leprosy
Number of Pages
Publication Language