Social stigma, adherence to medication and motivation for healing: A cross-sectional study of leprosy patients at Jember Public Health Center, Indonesia.
Objectives: Social stigma surrounding leprosy patients (LPs) in the community is still related to the adherence of these patients to medication and to their internal motivation for healing. Unfortunately, the leprosy case programme has not been optimally established in public health centres (PHCs). The aim of this study was to assess the social stigma towards adherence to medication and motivation for healing among LPs in PHCs in Indonesia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to May 2017 at PHCs in Jember, Indonesia. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire, and secondary data related to medical treatment was assessed from PHCs' medical records. The data were analysed using a -test and a Chi-square test, while linear regression was used to evaluate factors that could influence LPs' adherence to medication and their motivation for healing.
Results: Among the 35 LPs in this study, 25.7% and 74.3%, respectively, had paucibacillary and multibacillary types of leprosy. The type of leprosy was associated with the length of time patients were infected with the disease, their adherence to medication and their motivation for healing. The factors that influenced adherence to medication and motivation for healing were the time period that the LP remained infected and the type of leprosy.
Conclusions: Infection period and type of leprosy were associated with adherence to medication and motivation for healing in the community. Efforts should be made to find active cases of leprosy at PHCs. Activities at PHCs should include self-care groups to improve LP adherence to medication and their motivation for healing in the community.