What stops people completing multi-drug therapy? Ranked perspectives of people with leprosy, their head of family and neighbours - across four Indian states

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Raju, MS
John, Annamma S
Kuipers, Pim
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2015
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Abstract

Summary: To maximise successful completion of multi-drug therapy (MDT) and optimise treatment outcomes for people with leprosy, it is vital to understand the relative importance of perceived factors which prevent them from completing the required number of doses in time. Objective: To explore personal, family, social, community, attitudinal, practical, geographical, cultural and traditional factors which may influence adherence to treatment, a two-phase study was undertaken comprising issue identification via focus groups, and a ranking exercise via individual interview. Study Design: The perspectives of 895 respondents (320 people affected by leprosy who were not able to complete treatment, 302 of their ‘operational heads of family’, and 273 of their nearby community members) across four states of India namely i.e. Andhra Pradesh (Salur), Chhattisgarh (Chandkhuri), Maharashtra (Kothara) and Uttar Pradesh (Barabanki) were collected, using a checklist interview method. Results: Findings suggest that seeing positive changes in their symptoms as well as not seeing improvement can lead to non-completion of MDT. Problems with scheduling and travel expenses were also key issues. Better management of the expectations of people affected by leprosy and reducing the burden of treatment may be important strategies. The importance of stigma and poverty were noted through a number of issues, none of which were particularly highly ranked. Conclusions: The nature and diversity of perceived issues identified across respondent type and particularly region, suggest that the determinants of adherence are complex and multi-factorial. More community based approaches with greater coordination at the community level are recommended.

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Leprosy Review
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86
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© 2015 British Leprosy Relief Association. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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Clinical sciences
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