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Pain and quality of life in leprosy patients in an endemic area of Northeast Brazil: a cross-sectional study

Castro, Fabricia, D. N., Cuevas, Luis ORCID:, Feitosu, Vera, L.C., Gurgel, Ricardo, Q, Oliveira, Laudice, S, Santana, Jamilly, Santana, Julianne and Santos, Victor (2016) 'Pain and quality of life in leprosy patients in an endemic area of Northeast Brazil: a cross-sectional study'. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, Vol 5, Issue 1, p. 18.

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Pain emerges as a challenge in the treatment of leprosy patients. In this study, we describe the prevalence and type of pain in patients with leprosy, and its effect on patients’ quality of life in an endemic area of Northeast Brazil.

A cross-sectional survey of 260 patients attending leprosy reference centres in Sergipe, Northeast Brazil was conducted. Individuals were assessed for the presence and type of pain, skin sensory loss, peripheral nerve enlargement, touch and pinprick sensations, mechanical allodynia and nerve palpation. Participants completed the Douleur Neuropathique 4 questionnaire, and we also used the Brief Pain Inventory scale and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF instrument to arrive at our results. One hundred and ninety-five (75 %) patients reported pain, mostly of the neuropathic type. Pain was moderate in 84 (43.1 %) and severe in 94 (48.2 %) participants. The presence of pain was associated with disability (p = 0.001), leprosy reactions (p = 0.004) and lower quality of life. Most patients with neuropathic pain were treated with steroids, despite their low efficacy for this type of pain.

Pain is highly prevalent among leprosy patients and is associated with low quality of life. Leprosy management should include a systematic assessment of the type of pain a patient experiences in order to provide adequate treatment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: PMID: 26951147 Access: SM http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/ Subjects: SM
Subjects: WB Practice of Medicine > Medical Climatology > WB 710 Diseases of geographic areas
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > General Infection > WC 195 Infection. Cross infection. Laboratory infection
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > Other Bacterial Infections. Zoonotic Bacterial Infections > WC 335 Leprosy
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 680 Tropical diseases (General)
WL Nervous System > WL 140 Nervous system diseases (General)
WL Nervous System > WL 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 14:23
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:12


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