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Original Research Articles

Disclosure of Disease among Women affected by Leprosy: A Qualitative Study

Authors:

SenthilKumar Ramasamy ,

Bethesda Leprosy Mission Hospital, Champa, IN
About SenthilKumar
Senthilkumar is a Physiotherapist with a Master's degree in Physiotherapy and Social Work. He previously worked at Bethasda Leprosy Mission Hospital, Champa, Chhattisgarh. He is actively involved in social research on leprosy and research in physiotherapy.
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Pitchaimani Govindharaj,

Department of Allied Health Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (Deemed University), Chennai, Tamilnadu, IN
About Pitchaimani
Dr. Pitchaimani is a Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Allied Health Sciences of Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (Deemed Univeristy) in Chennai, India. He is actively involved in social research on leprosy and research in physiotherapy.
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Archana Kumar,

Bethasda Leprosy Mission Hospital, Champa, Chhattisgarh, IN
About Archana
Archana has a MS in General Surgery and has been working as Deputy Superintendent at Bethasda Leprosy Mission Hospital, Champa, Chhattisgarh for the last 17 years. She specializes in leprosy diagnosis, treatment and reconstructive surgery.
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Suganya Panneerselvam

All India Institute of Medical Science, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, IN
About Suganya
Mrs. Suganya is a Nursing Officer at All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Raipur, Chhattisgarh. She completed her Master's degree in Psychiatry Nursing and is actively involved in Nursing Research.
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Abstract

Purpose: Although leprosy is completely curable with multidrug therapy, it
is unfortunate that the stigma attached to leprosy persists even today. Fear of
social exclusion prevents disclosure of the disease to the family and community.
This study aimed to evaluate the extent of disclosure of disease among women
affected by leprosy in a tertiary referral hospital in Chhattisgarh State, India.

Method: A qualitative study was conducted with 57 women affected by leprosy
who reported at a tertiary referral hospital in Champa, Chhattisgarh State. The
respondents were 18 years of age or older, and had completed multidrug therapy
for leprosy. They were asked whether the disclosure of disease had affected their
interactions with family, neighbours and community members.

Results: Of the 57 women, 48 (84%) had disclosed their disease to their family,
17 (30%) to their neighbours and 13 (23%) to the community members. Thirty
women (53%) reported that they experienced problems after revealing the
ailment to their family, friends and neighbours. The qualitative analysis found
that negative behaviour towards people affected by leprosy still persists in the
community. Consequently, women affected by leprosy try to hide their disease
due to fear of negative community reactions.

Conclusion: This study emphasises the need to spread awareness about the
disease and its transmission, by educating the people affected by leprosy, their
families and the community. This should be a continuous process in order to
reduce or remove the stigma and discrimination against women affected by
leprosy, in particular.

How to Cite: Ramasamy, S., Govindharaj, P., Kumar, A. and Panneerselvam, S., 2020. Disclosure of Disease among Women affected by Leprosy: A Qualitative Study. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 31(3), pp.64–78. DOI: http://doi.org/10.47985/dcidj.393
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Published on 19 Dec 2020.

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