Context: Leprosy remains a leading cause of peripheral neuropathy and disability globally despite the extensive efforts to reduce the disease burden. It is associated with social stigma, and the patients sometimes suffer social discrimination because it often leads to visible physical deformities.
Aim: The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of educational program on the health consequences of patients with leprosy.
Methods: The study was conducted at outpatient clinics in Dermatology Hospital affiliated to the Ministry of Health and population. A quasi-experimental (pre/post-test) design was used on a purposive sample of 72 leprosy patients. Four tools were used to collect the data for this study: A structured interviewing questionnaire, a patients' reported practices checklist, an attitude assessment scale for patients with leprosy, and health consequences assessment questionnaire for patients with leprosy.
Results: The current study reveals a significant improvement in the patients’ knowledge, reported practice, and attitude toward leprosy. A significant improvement in health consequences (problems and needs) after education compared with the preintervention level. An association between the total knowledge, practice, and attitude after health education was significant (p<0.001). An association between the mean and standard deviation of knowledge, practice, and attitude before and after the health education program was significant (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Educational program had a remarkable effect on improving patients' knowledge, practice level, patient attitude, and health consequences (problems and needs) of leprosy. The study recommended applying educational programs for patients with leprosy in different health care settings focusing on prevention from disabilities.
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