British Leprosy Relief Association
Social participation of persons affected by leprosy in an endemic district, West Bengal, India
aDepartment of Allied Health Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (DU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
bDepartment of Sociology & Populations Studies, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
cThe Leprosy Mission Trust India, New Delhi, India
Correspondence to: Dr. Pitchaimani Govindharaj, Lecturer, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (DU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (e-mail: pitchu˙firstname.lastname@example.org)
The aim of the study was to assess the level of social participation and the factors associated with it, among persons affected by leprosy reporting at the leprosy referral centre in Purulia, West Bengal, India.
A cross sectional study was conducted among persons affected by leprosy who were reporting at Purulia Leprosy Mission Hospital, West Bengal. A semistructured questionnaire was used to interview the participants concerning their socio-economic and disease status. The Participation Scale was used to measure participation restriction.
Of the 358 respondents, 41% were female, 60% were aged between 18 to 45 years and 58% were literate. Half the participants (55%) had an occupation as farmer or labourer, 75% of the participants’ family income was below 5000 rupees per month. 144 (40%) participants had a physical disability. 88 (25%) had restrictions in social participation, and of these 35 had severe or extreme restriction. There is a significant association between the presence of physical disability and participation restriction (p < 0.01).
The study found that physical disability was associated with restriction in social participation. In addition, the disease duration and economical status was associated with restriction in social participation. Early detection and management would reduce the risk of participation restriction. Socioeconomic rehabilitation is needed, particularly for physically disabled persons, to improve their social participation and their quality of life.
LeprosySocial participationStigmaDisabilityParticipation Scale