Back to search
Publication

Depression and mental wellbeing in people affected by leprosy in southern Nepal

Abstract
Background
Leprosy, a leading cause of disability, remains endemic in southern Nepal. Alongside physical impairment and stigmatization, many people affected by leprosy suffer from mental health problems.

Objectives
This study had two objectives: (a) Establishing a baseline level of mental wellbeing and depression among people affected by leprosy in southern Nepal, and (b) Examining factors that influence mental wellbeing and depression in this target group.

Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted using three interview-administered questionnaires measuring level of depression (PHQ-9), mental wellbeing status (WEMWBS) and level of stigma (5-QSI-AP). Random clustering sampling was used to include leprosy-affected people from Self Help Groups (SHGs) and the reference group was matched based on socio-demographic characteristics. All participants were adults with no additional major morbidities. A sample of 142 persons affected by leprosy and 54 community controls were included.

Results
People affected by leprosy participating in SHGs had a significantly lower level of mental wellbeing and higher level of depression than the general population. Both mental wellbeing and depression were influenced by gender and the level of stigma. In addition, the level of depression was associated with the disability grade of leprosy-affected people.

Conclusion
Leprosy-affected people need mental health-care interventions at different organizational levels, with attention to identifying individuals at increased risk for mental health problems or with additional needs. These findings highlight the demand for further research on specific interventions to improve the mental health of leprosy-affected people.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
van Dorst MMAR
van Netten WJ
Waltz MM
Pandey BD
Choudhary R
van Brakel WH
Year of Publication
2020
Journal
Global Health Action
Volume
13
Issue
1
Number of Pages
1815275
Language
eng
ISSN Number
1654-9716, 1654-9880
DOI
10.1080/16549716.2020.1815275
Publication Language
eng