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Title: Physical disability and psychosocial impact associated with lymphoedema in patients attending filariasis clinics in the Colombo district.
Authors: Wijesinghe, R.
Ekanayake, S.
Wickremasinghe, A.R.
Keywords: lymphoedema
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists
Citation: The Bulletin of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists. 20056; 03(1): 27
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Lymphatic filariasis is a leading cause of long-term disability and can lead to significant social and economic impact in affected individuals. OBJECTIVE: To describe the physical disability and psychosocial impact associated with lymphoedema in patients attending two filariasis clinics in the Colombo district. METHODOLOGY: 413 patients with lymphoedema attending the filariasis clinics in Werahera & Dehiwala were enrolled in the study after obtaining informed written consent. Data was collected using a pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire and analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). RESULTS: The patients' mean- age was 51.27 years. 72.4% were female. The right lower limb, left lower limb, right upper limb and left upper limb were affected in 50.8%, 59.1%, 4.8% and 4.1% respectively. The mean duration of lymphoedema varied from 5.27 to 11.64 years. 11.9% of patients had other family members with swollen limbs. 37.7% of patients with lower limb oedema reported difficulty in walking (p=0.023). The swollen limb affected the work of 87 patients and 26 persons reported loss of job. 8.7% felt that they were stigmatized by society. 25,2 % and 5.8% reported having problems interacting with the community and the family, respectively. 36.8% of patients felt the swollen limb was a major problem. 5.7% and 6.3% of married persons reported sexual and marital problems respectively, due to lymphoedema. Of those who had marital problems, 77.3% reported sexual problems aswell(p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Lymphoedema gives rise to physical, psychological and social consequences in affected individuals. Morbidity control, in addition to control of physical disability, should also target the psychosocial consequences. ACKNOWLEGEMENT: Funding by the University of Sri Jayawardenepura Research Grant ASP/6/RE /2004/05 is acknowledged.
Description: Oral Presentation (OP 18) The bulletin of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists, 4th-6th August 2005, Colombo
ISSN: 1391-930x
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers

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