Author(s): Atre SR, Rangan SG, Shetty VP, Gaikwad N, Mistry NF
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To study sociodemographic profiles, perceptions about leprosy and health seeking patterns among adult leprosy patients and parents of children with leprosy detected through a prevalence survey conducted earlier, in rural areas of Panvel tehsil in Maharashtra. METHODS: The study was cross-sectional and used mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods. Of the 97 confirmed rural leprosy cases who had been detected through the initial prevalence survey, 58 newly detected adult leprosy cases and parents of 22 children detected with leprosy were interviewed with a semistructured interview schedule between May 2008 and March 2009. FINDINGS: The study revealed that most of the leprosy patients belonged to the poor socioeconomic strata. Nearly 58\% of the adult patients reported that they had been detected through the survey within 3 months of noticing their symptom(s) for the first time. Despite having been diagnosed and receiving treatment, only 48\% of adult cases knew their condition as leprosy, reflecting their poor knowledge of the disease and lack of communication between providers and patients. The symptom 'patch on the skin' seems to have percolated in the community. Despite approaching the private or public sector for help in the first instance, many patients and children remained undiagnosed and untreated for leprosy. CONCLUSION: Active surveys for leprosy case detection should substitute the self-reporting approach until IEC measures are sufficiently effective to achieve a significant impact on transmission. Nevertheless both approaches will need the presence of staff with active diagnostic skills and optimal drug availability at PHCs.
This article was published in Lepr Rev
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care