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Title: Physical disability and psychosocial impact due to chronic filarial lymphoedema in Sri Lanka
Authors: Wijesinghe, R.S.
Wickremasinghe, A.R.
Ekanayake, S.
Perera, M.S.
Keywords: Filariasis
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Filaria Journal. 2007; 6:4
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Information on the physical and psychosocial disability of lymphatic filariasis in Sri Lanka is scarce. Therefore this study was carried out to describe the physical disability and psychosocial impact associated with chronic lymphoedema in patients attending filariasis clinics in the Colombo district, Sri Lanka. METHODS: Four hundred and thirteen patients with lymphoedema of limbs attending filariasis clinics in Werahera and Dehiwala in the Colombo district were enrolled in the study after obtaining informed written consent. Data were collected using a pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS. RESULTS: Majority (95%) of patients had lower limbs affected and there was a significant association with difficulty in walking (p = 0.023). The swollen limb affected the work of 87 (52%) of employed patients and 26 persons reported loss of job. Approximately 25% and 6% reported having problems interacting with the community and family, respectively and 8.7% felt that they were rejected by society. The swollen limb was perceived as a major problem by 36.8% of patients. Of the married persons, 5.7% and 6.2% reported sexual and marital problems respectively, due to their swollen limb/s. Of those who had marital problems, 77.3% reported sexual problems as well (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Lymphoedema significantly affects physical, psychological and social functioning in affected individuals. Morbidity control, in addition to control of physical disability, should target the psychosocial consequences.
Description: Indexed in Scopus; In PUBMED
ISSN: 1475-2883 (Electronic)
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Articles

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