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Review of leprosy research evidence (2002-2009) and implications for current policy and practice.


INTRODUCTION: The ILEP Technical Commission (ITC) advises ILEP member associations on technical aspects of leprosy. A major review of research evidence in leprosy was published prior to the International Leprosy Congress in 2002. This current report updates that review based on research published between 2002-2009 and focuses on interventions for prevention, early diagnosis, chemotherapy, reactions, prevention of disability, stigma measurement and reduction and rehabilitation in leprosy.

METHODS: A systematic search of electronic databases of published literature for systematic reviews, controlled trials and ongoing trials was conducted in July 2009. The search identified 13 reviews and 21 controlled trials. The data from these studies were extracted and the references cited by these studies reviewed. Each member of the ITC took responsibility to review this evidence for each of the 7 topics and prepared a report summarising the evidence and making recommendations. These findings were presented and discussed at a Forum held in London in March 2010. The report was finalised following this Forum. The evidence was graded using a standard grading system for levels of evidence. However for some topics the evidence used qualitative and other designs which do no conform to this grading but was considered relevant and appropriate.

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Journal Article
van Brakel WH
Cross H
Declercq E
Deepak S
Lockwood DN
Saunderson P
Smith WC
Batty J
Nahodilova L
Soutar D
Augustine V
Ebenso B
ILEP Technical Commission