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Hanses's disease: knowledge and changes in the life of wounded people

Hanses's disease is a millenary illness, characterized as a public health issue. This study aims to verify the knowledge of people with Hansen's disease about their problem and its treatment and point out possible changes in their lives as a consequence. We conducted interviews with people in treatment for multi-bacillary Hansen's disease in a Basic Health Unit of Sobral, Ceará State, in 2005. We realized that the knowledge about the disease is elementary, usually expressed by people's own experience, involving negative feelings. Some bearers showed to have appropriate knowledge according to the literature, acquired through the internet, books and information from friends and relatives. The main changes in their lives after the diagnosis was related to the use of medicines, as some people related improvement in their symptoms and others worsening, interfering in their daily activities.

Hansen's disease; Knowledge; Prejudice

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