British Leprosy Relief Association
Knowledge and self-care practice of leprosy patients at ALERT Hospital, Ethiopia
aAll African Leprosy, Tuberculosis Rehabilitation and Training Centre (ALERT), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
bArmauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
cLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Correspondence to: Edessa Negera, (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition to multi-drug treatment, patient self-care practice is crucial for the successful treatment of the disease. This study assessed the knowledge and self-care practices of leprosy patients at ALERT leprosy referral hospital in Ethiopia.
A total of 424 leprosy patients were interviewed using pre-tested structured questionnaires. The questionnaires included core points such as sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge of leprosy and self-care practices. Bloom’s cut off point was used to describe the knowledge and self-care practices of the respondents and statistical significance was assessed at 95% confidence interval with 5% of level of significance.
The knowledge score of the respondents was poor for 276 (65.1%) and good for 148 (34.9%). The level of knowledge varied significantly with respect to age group (p < 0.01), sex (p < 0.01), marital status (p = 0.003), educational status (p < 0.01) and income (p < 0.01). About 77.4% of interviewed patients had poor self-care practices and only 22.6 of patients had a good self-care practice score (p < 0.01). Age (p < 0.002), previous disability due to leprosy (p < 0.01), knowledge of leprosy (p = 0.038) and income (P = 0.028), were significantly associated with poor selfcare practice.
Although leprosy treatment, disability prevention and rehabilitation programs have been run in the country for decades, poor leprosy self-care practice and poor leprosy knowledge has been confirmed in this study. Therefore, the leprosy program should re-visit its strategy and mode of delivery to improve the leprosy knowledge and leprosy self-care practices of patients.