Author(s): Sentrk V, Saduyu A
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Abstract As a gross estimate, leprosy currently affects 11-16 million patients worldwide There are currently 3600 registered patients in Turkey. The social stigma connected to leprosy makes this disease completely different from others. Even nowadays people affected by leprosy have to leave their village or are socially isolated. The physical deformity ratio is approximately 25\% in other countries whereas it is more than half in Turkey. The prevalence of mental disorders among leprosy patients is higher than that among the general population. Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder among leprosy patients. Another important finding is that the long duration of the illness and physical handicaps raise the risk of psychiatric disorders. Nevertheless, the results of two studies conducted in Turkey on this subject contradict the results of international studies. Leprosy patients experience functional disabilities that limit their lives and ability to establish relation ships with others both in social and occupational fields. The physical disability rate is high (75\%) in Turkey. A review of the literature revealed several papers on the psychosocial aspects of illness but few references to the degree or pattern of psychiatric disorders among leprosy patients. The main purpose of this paper is to review psychiatric disorders and disabilities in leprosy patients and to obtain concrete results.
This article was published in Turk Psikiyatri Derg
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry