Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-46

A quality of life study of patients with leprosy attending the dermatology OPD of a tertiary care center of Eastern India

1 Department of Dermatology, IPGMER, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Pharmacology, Rampurhat Government Medical College, Rampurhat, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Dermatology, Wizderm Specialty Skin and Hair Clinic, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhishek De
Flat Number 3A, Arcadia 1, Dream Park, Sonarpur Station Road, Kolkata - 700 103, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_729_18

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Background: Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae affecting the skin, peripheral nervous system, and other tissues. The disease is associated with social stigma, and the patients sometimes suffer social discrimination because it often leads to visible physical deformities. Hence, leprosy may have severe impact on the quality of life (QoL) of patients. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of leprosy on the QoL of the affected patients and to find out whether there is some association with certain demographic and clinical factors. Materials and Methods: The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire was used to assess the QoL of 114 patients with leprosy who attended dermatology outpatient department of a tertiary care center of eastern India. This was a cross-sectional study. Results: Among a total of 114 patients, leprosy had no impact on the QoL of 15 (13.16%) patients. There was a mild impact in 23 (20.18%) of the patients. There was moderate impact in 37 (32.46%) of the patients. The disease had severe impact in the QoL of 39 (34.21%) patients. None of the patients had a very severe impact. Several of the clinical aspects such as nerve involvement, systemic features, deformity, disability grade, and type of leprosy have significant impact on QoL. Among the demographic factors, gender had some effects on QoL. Conclusion: Leprosy adversely affects the QoL of those affected. Although it is considered a social disease, at least in our part of the country, demographics have minimal effect on the QoL. Rather, important clinical aspects such as systemic features, nerve involvement, reaction, deformity, and disability have profound impact on the QoL of the patients.

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