Systematic Review of Survival Analysis in Leprosy Studies-Including the Following Outcomes: Relapse, Impairment of Nerve Function, Reactions and Physical Disability.
Leprosy is a public health problem in South American, African and Oceanian countries. National programs need to be evaluated, and the survival analysis model can aid in the construction of new indicators. The aim of this study was to assess the period of time until the outcomes of interest for patients with or exposed to leprosy by means of survival analysis surveys. This review researched articles using the databases of PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Scielo and BVS published in English and Portuguese. Twenty-eight articles from Brazil, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia were included. The Kaplan-Meier method, which derives the log-rank test, and Cox's proportional hazards regression, which obtains the hazard ratio, were applied. The mean follow-up until the following outcomes were: (I) leprosy (2.3 years) in the population who were exposed to it, (II) relapse (5.9 years), (III) clinical manifestations before, during and after treatment-nerve function impairment (5.2 years), leprosy reactions (4.9 years) and physical disability (8.3 years) in the population of patients with leprosy. Therefore, the use of survival analysis will enable the evaluation of national leprosy programs and assist in the decision-making process to face public health problems.