Background: Leprosy has over time been seen as a symbol of shame and stigmatization as people affected by leprosy continue to be stigmatized and discriminated against even after they have been cured. The study aimed to assess the perceived levels of stigmatization, psychosocial well-being, and self-esteem among individuals living at a leprosy center in South-West, Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design of face-to-face research was conducted in a leprosy center using a simple random technique. The study instrument was a self-structured questionnaire containing sociodemographic details, questions on stigmatization towards the individual affected by leprosy and their family members, and questions regarding their psychosocial well-being adapted from literature, as well as questions adapted from the validated Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) by Morris Rosenberg to assess their self-esteem. Data were analyzed with the aid of SPSS version 26 software.
Results: A total of 134 participants were included in the study. Most of the participants were females (61.2%) within the age range of 21- 40 years old (32.8%), and are students (25.4%). Out of the 134 participants, 29.1% (39) of them were affected by leprosy. The participants perceived a high level of stigmatization (37.3%), a high level of psychosocial well-being (38.8%), and demonstrated a moderate level of self-esteem (50.7%). The male gender perceived both low (B = -3.054, p = 0.004) and high (B = -1.84, p = 0.049) stigmatization at p< 0.05. The married (B = -5.421, p = 0.004), the Christians (B = 5.424, p = 0.043) and Islamic (B = 7.743, p = 0.011) participants perceived low stigmatization at p< 0.05. The participants within the age range 21 - 40 (B = 6.25, p = 0.019) and 61 – 80 years (B = 7.29, p = 0.017) perceived high psychosocial well-being while the single (B = -4.43, p = 0.049) and married (B = -5.26, p = 0.017) participants perceived low psychosocial well-being at p< 0.05. None of the demographic factors had relationships with self-esteem at p< 0.05. The perceived levels of stigmatization (r= 0.314, p= 0.0001) and psychosocial well-being (r= 0.225, p= 0.009) are associated with the level of self-esteem at p< 0.05.
Conclusion: This study concludes that the individuals affected by leprosy and their family members living at the leprosy center experienced a high level of stigmatization and, a high level of psychosocial well-being but had moderate self-esteem.
- Ajibade BL, Okunlade J, Olawale F. Prevalence, management and perceived psychological impact of leprosy disease in National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Training Centre, Saye village, Zaria (2005–2010). IOSRJ Pharm Biol Sci. 2013;8(4):9–12.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Global leprosy (Hansen disease) update, 2019: time to step up prevention initiatives. WER. 2020;36(95):417–440.
- Dangana JM, Yusuff PM. Knowledge, attitude, and barriers to the utilization of the leprosy community clinic among Yangoji community members. Int J Soc Sci Humanit Rev. 2019;9(2):248-258. ISSN: 2276-8645.
- Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Leprosy. Available from: https://www.ncdc.gov.ng/diseases/factsheet/33
- World Health Organization (WHO). Global leprosy situation, 2012. Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 2012;87(34):317–328.
- Tabah EN, Nsagha DS, Bissek ACZK, Njamnshi TN, Njih INN, Pluschke G, et al. Community knowledge, perceptions and attitudes regarding leprosy in rural Cameroon: The case of Ekondotiti and Mbonge health districts in the South-west Region. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018;12(2): e0006233. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006233
- Van Brakel WH, Sihombing B, Djarir H, Beise K, Kusumawardhani L, Yulihane R, et al. Disability in people affected by leprosy: the role of impairment, activity, social participation, stigma and discrimination. Global Health Action. 2012;5(1):18394. doi:10.3402/gha.v5i0.18394
- Ibikunle PO, Nwokeji SC. Assessment of stigma among people living with Hansen’s disease in south-east Nigeria. Lepr Rev. 2017;88(1):43–57.
- Hosoda M. Hansen’s disease recoverers as agents of change: a case study in Japan. Lepr Rev. 2010;81(1):5-16. DOI: 10.47276/lr.81.1.5
- Nasir A, Yusuf A, Listiawan MY, Makhfudli M. The life experience of leprosy families in maintaining interaction patterns in the family to support healing in leprosy patients in Indonesian society. A phenomenological qualitative study. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022;16(4):e0010264.
- Sermrittirong S, Van Brakel WH, Bunbers-Aelen JFG. How to reduce stigma in leprosy—a systematic literature review. Lepr Rev. 2014;85(3):149–157. PMID: 25509715.
- Nasrudin HC, Yusuf A, Hargono R, Suwandi T. The effect of individual, family, and environmental factors on family stigma with leprosy. Adv Soc Sci Educ Humanit Res. 2018;98(October):153–157.
- van ‘t Noordende AT, Korfage IJ, Lisam S, Arif MA, Kumar A, van Brakel WH. The role of perceptions and knowledge of leprosy in the elimination of leprosy: A baseline study in Fatehpur district, northern India. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019;13(4):e0007302. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007302 PMID: 30951526
- Yamane T. Statistics: An Introductory Analysis. 2nd ed. New York: Harper and Row; 1967.
- Rosenberg M. Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Measures Package. 2008;61(52).
- Charles B, Jeyaseelan L, Pandian AK, Sam AE, Thenmozhi M, Jayaseelan V. Association between stigma, depression and quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in South India—a community-based cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12:463. pmid:22720691
- Sanyal D, Gupta D, Mahapatra N, Samanta SK. A process report on physical and psychological determiners of social functioning in leprosy patients. Indian J Leprosy. 2011; 83:225-229.
- Bakare AT, Yusuf AJ, Habib ZG, Obembe A. Anxiety and depression: a study of people with leprosy in Sokoto, NorthWestern Nigeria. J Psychiatry. 2015; S1(004). doi: 10.4172/2378-5756.S1-004.
- Moura SH, Aparecida M, Grossi F, Lehman LF, Salgado SP, Almeida CA, Rocha MO. Epidemiology and assessment of the physical disabilities and psychosocial disorders in new leprosy patients admitted to a referral hospital in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Lepr Rev. 2017; 88:244–257.
- Somar P, Waltz MM, van Brakel WH. The impact of leprosy on the mental wellbeing of leprosy-affected persons and their family members - a systematic review. Global Mental Health. 2020; 7: e15. https://doi.org/10.1017/gmh.2020.3
- Tsutsumi A, Izutsu T, Islam AM, Maksuda AN, Kato H, Wakai S. The quality of life, mental health, and perceived stigma of leprosy patients in Bangladesh. Soc Sci Med. 2007; 64:2443–2453.
- Rao PS, Raju MS, Barkataki A, Nanda NK, Kumar S. Extent and correlates of leprosy stigma in rural India. Indian J Leprosy. 2008;80(2):167-174.
- Try L. Gendered experiences: marriage and the stigma of leprosy. Asia Pac Disabil Rehabil J. 2006; 17:55–72.
- Ebenso B, Newell J, Emmel N, Adeyemi G, Ola B. Changing stigmatization of leprosy: an exploratory, qualitative life course study in Western Nigeria. BMJ Glob Health. 2019;4:e001250. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001250
- Thilakavathi S, Ponnaiah M, Mehendale S. Disclosure of leprosy by health care providers in South-India: Patients' perception and relevance to leprosy control, Tamil Nadu. Lepr Rev. 2016; 87:155-160.
- Dijkstra JIR, Van Brakel WH, Elteren M. Gender and leprosy-related stigma in endemic areas: A systematic review. Lepr Rev. 2017; 88:419-440.
- Tsutsumi A, Izutsu T, Islam AM, Amed JU, Nakahara S, Takagi F, Wakai S. Depressive status of leprosy patients in Bangladesh: association with self-perception of stigma. Lepr Rev. 2004; 75:57-66.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Religious Communities unite to address leprosy associated stigmatization and discrimination. Available from: https://www.who.int/news/item/24-06-2016-religious-communities-unite-to-address-leprosy-associated-stigmatization-and-discrimination
- Teli AR, Ghorapade N. A study to assess the level of self-esteem among leprosy patients at selected societies of Sangli District. Int J Nurs Educ. 2018;10(4):12-14. www.ijone.org
- Safaa MZ, Fatma NK, Amany AM. Assessment of self-esteem and coping strategies among leprotic patients. Am J Nurs Res. 2019;7(2):109-115. DOI:10.12691/ajnr-7-2-2.