Psychosocial Correlates of Patients with Leprosy in Lagos.
Background: Leprosy is unique in its psychosocial aspectbut this has drawn only limited research attention especially in the developing countries where leprosy is most endemic. Aims: The aims of this study were to identify some of the psychosocial problems encountered by patients with leprosy and compare same with those suffering from tinea vesicolor in Lagos. Method: The instruments administered to the subjects consist of a questionnaire to elicit demographic/ Qpsuyecshtoiosnoncaiairl e v(aGrHiaQbl-e3s0 )a. nDda tath we as3 0a-nitaelmyz eGd eunseinragl thHee a1l0thth version of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 10). Results: A significantly higher psychological distress level with probable psychiatric morbidity of 36.7% was obtained in the leprosy compared to tinea vesicolor patients (16.7%). There was a significant association between higher psychological distress in patients with leprosy and illness duration and rejection (by family, friends and society). Other psychosocial factors like displacement as a result of illness, knowledge about the disease, reporting for treatment after diagnosis, and reactions of friends to patients were significantly associated with psychological distress in patients with leprosy. Conclusion: There was a higher rate of psychiatric morbidity among patients with leprosy than the controls. Similar findings have been reported from other part of the world. Certain psychosocial factors correlated strongly with psychiatric morbidities in patients with leprosy. The findings have been discussed and the implications highlighted.
Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 6 (2) 2008: pp. 54-59