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A retrospective study of disability profile of live leprosy patients in a district of Maharashtra

Jayashree D Naik, Sandesh V Kamble, Swapnil R Jain, Madhuri Pandurang Mathurkar, Jitendra R Dolare, Vivek Patil.

Background: Globally, by 2000, leprosy was eradicated; however, it still persists to be the major reason of peripheral neuropathy, disability, and disfigurement in few developing countries. The problem of disabilities assumes increasing importance not only in terms of evolving better methods of treatment, correction of deformities, and rehabilitation of the disabled but also with regard to better medical management of patients under antileprosy therapy.

Objective: To assess sociodemographic characteristics of live leprosy patients with disability, to determine grade and pattern of disability in them, and to find association between them.

Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective descriptive–analytic study, which included records of all registered live leprosy patients with disability from 1971 to 2014.The records of diagnosed patients were obtained from Office of ADHS leprosy, Sangli, Maharashtra, India.

Result: A total of 1,213 patients with deformities were analyzed, among which 62.73% were male and 37.27% female subjects, and 37.5% were in geriatric age group. Majority of the patients [1,176 (96.9%)] belonged to multibacillary (MB) group. Frequency of disability was more in MB leprosy than in paucibacillary patients. Grade 1 disability (loss of sensations) was seen in majority [663 (54.7%)] of cases. Most common disability among study subjects was anesthesia of palm.

Conclusion: Proportion of disabilities in the leprosy patients was higher, which might have been because of delay in referring to health-care centers, incomplete treatment course, and having no access to medical centers in the past.

Key words: Disability, leprosy, multibacillary, paucibacillary, deformity, claw hand

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