A cross-sectional multicentre study to assess the quality of life in leprosy patients



Leprosy is a disease associated with disabilities and deformities with major impact on the social, economic and psychological quality of life of the affected individual. The aim of this study is to assess quality of life (QOL) in leprosy patients who were on treatment and surveillance in Hospital Selayang, Hospital Kuala Lumpur and the Leprosy Centre Sungai Buloh using Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire and the factors associated with the reduction in health-related quality of life. A total of 150 patients with leprosy were included. Mean DLQI for all leprosy patients were 6.95±6.43, on treatment was 8.13± 6.46, under surveillance 4.02 ± 5.0 .The mean DLQI of the patients in the Leprosy Centre was 10.23 ± 6.41. Twenty-four percent of leprosy patients had higher DLQI>10. The domains of DLQI that were most affected for the patients on treatment were ‘symptoms & feelings’, while “work and school’ was the most affected domain for patients under surveillance. Predictor factors for DLQI> 10 were multibacillary cases, disability at diagnosis and delayed diagnosis. For WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire, patients at the Leprosy Centre Sungai Buloh had the lowest QOL in all domains when compared to patients on treatment and surveillance. Factors associated with a lower QOL include marital status, unemployement, lepromatous leprosy, multibacillary leprosy, grade 2 disability at diagnosis and delayed diagnosis.This study demonstrates the low QOL among patients in the Leprosy Centre as compared to those stay in the community. Predictor factors for higher DLQI> 10 were multibacillary cases, disability at diagnosis and delayed diagnosis.


Dr. Anisha Bhullar