Quality of life of patients with paucibacillary leprosy.
BACKGROUND: Leprosy, an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, can affect the skin and the peripheral nervous system and, depending on the level of involvement, it can lead to severe deformities. Leprosy is classified into two major groups: paucibacillary (up to five lesions) and multibacillary (more than five lesions). The deformities that appear during the progress of the disease can affect the quality of life.
OBJECTIVE: To assess quality of life of patients with paucibacillary leprosy diagnosed and treated early in the outpatients' clinic.
METHODS: The Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire and ShortForm36 were applied to 49 outpatients undergoing treatment at the Leprosy Multidisciplinary Group of the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculdade de Medicina of the Universidade de São Paulo.
RESULTS: The majority of the patients (63%) did not show impairment of the quality of life, according to the results obtained by the Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire. In the questionnaire Short Form-36, the scores assessed showed slight impairment of the quality of life.
CONCLUSION: On this study, we can conclude that this group of patients, with paucibacillary leprosy, did not show important impairment of the quality of life. Therefore we can conclude that the earlier the diagnosis and the treatment the lesser the influence on the quality of life.