Hansenologia Internationalis ISSN 1982-5161 Submeter Artigo

Vol. 1, Nº 2 (1976)

Encontre mais sobre:  T. Frist

pag: 184 - 90


A study of community attitudes and knowledge in relation to leprosy

T. Frist

Palavras Chave:
Lepra - Estigma. Hanseníase. Integração. Educação Sanitária. Reabilitação social.


A study of community attitudes and knowledge in relation to leprosy was undertaken in the Bauru Region of the Brazilian State of Silo Paulo as preparation for an integration project in the region. A representative sample of approximately 500 persons was interviewed in 7 municipalities by 15 psychology students. The results of the study showed that the level of knowledge about leprosy in the region is very low with the mean score on a basic knowledge test being 37.5% correct. While results showed the existence of a "leprosy stigma" in the region, they also demonstrated a considerable degree of accep- tance on the part of the general population to maintaining close work and friendship rela- tionships with patients under treatment. Other answers to questions in the study indicated that the roots of the "leprosy stigma" lie more in the fear of "contagion" and the disease's effect on social relationships than in the fear of physical problems such as pain and defor- mities. The author is left with a feeling of cautious optimism as to the success of inte- gration efforts when these are accompanied by health education activities with those with whom the patient Is to maintain close contacts.

Leprosy - Stigma. Hanseniasis. Integration. Health education. Social rehabilitation.

Secretaria de Estado da Saúde Coordenadoria de Controle de Doenças Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima Fundação Paulista contra Hanseníase

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