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Functional Activity Limitation and Quality of Life of Leprosy Cases in an Endemic Area in Northeastern Brazil

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Santos, Victor S, Oliveira, Laudice S, Castro, Fabrícia D N, Gois-Santos, Vanessa T, Lemos, Ligia M D, Ribeiro, Maria do C O, Cuevas, Luis ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6581-0587 and Gurgel, Ricardo Q (2015) 'Functional Activity Limitation and Quality of Life of Leprosy Cases in an Endemic Area in Northeastern Brazil'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 9, Issue 7, e0003900.

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Abstract

Background
Few studies have evaluated the association between quality of life (QoL) and functional activity limitations (FAL) of leprosy patients as determined by the Screening of Activity Limitation and Safety Awareness scale (SALSA).

Aim
To identify the association between FALs and the QoL of patients during and post leprosy treatment.

Materials and Methods
Cross-sectional survey of 104 patients with leprosy followed in specialist reference centres in Sergipe, Brazil, between June and October 2014. QoL was evaluated using the World Health Organization-QoL-BREF (WHOQoL-BREF) questionnaire. The SALSA scale was used to measure FALs.

Results
Low SALSA scores were present in 76% of patients. QoL scores were lower for the physical and environmental domains, with median (interquartile range (IQR)) scores of 53.6 (32.1–67.9) and 53.1 (46.9–64.8), respectively. There was a statistical association between increasing SALSA scores and lower QoL as measured by the WHOQoL-BREF.

Conclusion
Functional limitations are associated with lower QoL in leprosy patients, especially in the physical and environmental WHOQoL-BREF domains.

Author Summary
Leprosy is still a neglected public health problem. Leprosy causes disability and functional limitations (FALs) if not treated early. We describe the functional activity and quality of life (QoL) of adults with leprosy attending two reference centres in Sergipe, Brazil. Patients with leprosy had low QoL, which was associated to the degree of FALs. Despite increased access to diagnosis and modern multidrug leprosy therapy, leprosy is still strongly associated with FALs and low QoL. We stress here the importance of public health efforts to diagnose the disease early and to provide supportive systems for patients receiving treatment in endemic areas.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 84 Health services. Delivery of health care
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > Other Bacterial Infections. Zoonotic Bacterial Infections > WC 335 Leprosy
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003900
Depositing User: Jessica Jones
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 10:32
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:11
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5591

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