Content » Vol 42, Issue 6

Original report

Effects of impairments on activities and participation in people affected by leprosy in The Netherlands

Frederik J. Slim , Carine H. van Schie, Renske Keukenkamp, William R Faber, Frans Nollet
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0569


Objective: To assess the prevalence of impairments and eva­luate the relationships between impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions in people affected by leprosy living in The Netherlands.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Subjects: Eighty-two people affected by leprosy living in The Netherlands.
Methods: A postal questionnaire was performed. Impairments were inventoried with the Total Impairment Score. Activity limitations were assessed with the World Health Organization Disability Schedule II (WHODAS-II) and participation restrictions with the Impact on Participation and Autonomy (IPA) questionnaire.
Results: A high prevalence of impairments was found (83%), mostly in hands and feet. Activity limitations were substantial, and highest for the WHODAS-II domains “household/work” and “getting around”. The severity of impairments correlated significantly with activity limitations. Eye and foot impairments independently contributed to the domains “household/work” and “getting around”, explaining 34% and 40% of variance. Poor or very poor participation (IPA) was reported by 13–32% of persons, mostly in the “autonomy outdoors” and “family role” domains. These domains were associated with activity limitations and hand impairments
Conclusions: People affected by leprosy in The Netherlands encounter limitations in activities and participation restrictions, which are related to the severity of impairments. The high prevalence of disability suggests rehabilitation care should be considered for a substantial proportion of people affected by leprosy.

Lay Abstract


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