Quality of life of leprosy patients in Sabah.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) among the subtypes of leprosy and to examine correlation with deformity and lepra reactions.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study done at Dermatology Outpatient Clinic, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and two health clinics in Kota Kinabalu between 1st April 2019 and 30th November 2019. A standardised case report form was formulated to collect the demographic data and disease profile of the leprosy patients. The quality of life (QoL) was assessed using Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 54 patients were included with a male to female ratio of 2.4:1 (38 males and 16 females). The mean DLQI score was 8.31±6.15. The difference between the mean DLQI scores among the leprosy subtypes was not significant. The most affected domain was symptoms and feeling followed by daily activities and leisure. Twenty-one patients (38.9%) had facial deformity and they were found to have significantly higher DLQI score. WHO grade 1 and 2 disability were observed in 37 patients (68.5%) with higher DLQI score compared to those without any disability. More than half of patients with MB leprosy (52.2%) developed lepra reactions but the difference of mean DLQI scores were not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Leprosy-related disabilities may predispose patients to develop psychosocial problems which may have negative impact on QoL. Thus, periodic assessment of QoL should be incorporated into the management of leprosy patients.