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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

On-line version ISSN 1806-4841

Abstract

MARTINS, Bruna Dacier Lobato; TORRES, Fernanda Nogueira  and  OLIVEIRA, Maria Leide Wand-Del-Rey de. Impact on the quality of life of patients with Hansen’s disease: correlation between Dermatology Life Quality Index and disease status. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2008, vol.83, n.1, pp. 39-43. ISSN 1806-4841.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962008000100005.

BACKGROUND: Hansen’s disease is a chronic infecto-contagious illness caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It is characterized by dermato-neurological damage, varying in spectrum between two steady poles. Albeit curable, it still represents an important public health problem, Brazil being the second most endemic country in the world. Its higher morbidity is associated with reactions and neural damage, which is able to cause permanent disabilities that significantly compromising the quality of life of the patients, with self-stigmatization and shame. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the degree of compromise in the quality of life of patients with Hansen’s disease. METHODS: Observational study with correlation between clinical indicators of severity and a questionnaire on quality of life: the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). RESULTS: Of the 40 evaluated patients, the majority presented an impairment in the quality of life, which ranged from the serious to the very serious score in the Dermatology Life Quality Index. Individual analysis of disease indicators also showed a correlation between severity and the Dermatology Life Quality Index. CONCLUSION: Hansen’s disease causes suffering that exceeds the pain and the malaise strictly related to the physical damage, having a great social and psychological impact. This justifies both improvements to a multidisciplinary health care approach and the need of health actions aiming at disease control.

Keywords : Endemic disease; Hansen´s disease; Quality of life; Questionnaires.

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