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Mental health and quality of life burden in Buruli ulcer disease patients in Ghana

Amoako, Yaw Ampem, Ackam, Nancy, Omuojine, John-Paul, Oppong, Michael Ntiamoah, Owusu-Ansah, Abena Gyawu, Boateng, Harriet, Abass, Mohammed Kabiru, Amofa, George, Ofori, Elizabeth, Okyere, Portia Boakye, Frimpong, Michael, Bailey, Freddie, Molyneux, David ORCID: and Phillips, Richard Odame (2021) 'Mental health and quality of life burden in Buruli ulcer disease patients in Ghana'. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 109.

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Buruli ulcer disease (BUD) is a necrotic skin neglected tropical disease (NTD) that has both a mental and physical health impact on affected individuals. Although there is increasing evidence suggesting a strong association between neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and mental illness, there is a relative lack of information on BUD’s impact on the mental health and quality of life (QoL) of affected individuals in Ghana. This study is to assess the impact of BUD on mental health and quality of life of patients with active and past BUD infection, and their caregivers.

We conducted a case control study in 3 BUD endemic districts in Ghana between August and November 2019. Face-to-face structured questionnaire-based interviews were conducted on BUD patients with active and past infection, as well as caregivers of BUD patients using WHO Quality of Life scale, WHO Disability Assessment Schedule, Self-Reporting Questionnaire, Buruli Ulcer Functional Limitation Score and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale data tools. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the characteristics of the study participants. Participant groups were compared using student t test and chi-square (χ2) or Fisher’s exact tests. Mean quality of life scores are reported with their respective 95% confidence intervals. Data was analysed using STATA statistical software.

Our results show that BUD patients with active and past infection, along with their caregivers, face significant levels of distress and mental health sequelae compared to controls. Depression (P = 0.003) was more common in participants with active (27%) and past BU infection (17%), compared to controls (0%). Anxiety was found in 42% (11/26) and 20% (6/29) of participants with active and past BUD infection compared to 14% (5/36) of controls. Quality of life was also significantly diminished in active BUD infection, compared to controls. In the physical health domain, mean QoL scores were 54 ± 11.1 and 56 ± 11.0 (95% CI: 49.5‒58.5 and 52.2‒59.7) respectively for participants with active infection and controls. Similarly in the psychological domain, scores were lower for active infection than controls [57.1 ± 15.2 (95% CI: 50.9‒63.2) vs 64.7 ± 11.6 (95% CI: 60.8‒68.6)]. Participants with past infection had high QoL scores in both physical [61.3 ± 13.5 (95% CI: 56.1‒66.5)] and psychological health domains [68.4 ± 14.6 (95% CI: 62.7‒74.0)].

BUD is associated with significant mental health distress and reduced quality of life in affected persons and their caregivers in Ghana. There is a need for integration of psychosocial interventions in the management of the disease.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > Other Bacterial Infections. Zoonotic Bacterial Infections > WC 302 Actinomycetales infections. Mycobacterium infections
WM Psychiatry > WM 100 General works
WM Psychiatry > WM 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 07:18
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2021 07:18


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