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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1895-1903

Knowledge, attitude, and health seeking behavior on leprosy among urban adults in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu: A Community-based cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, BIHER University, Chrompet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Saveetha University, Thandalam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Gopalakrishnan
Department of Community Medicine, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, BIHER University, Chrompet, Chennai - 600 044, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2086_20

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Introduction: Although various measures are taken to create awareness about the epidemiological features of leprosy and encourage health-seeking behavior, they have seldom been able to tackle the high incidence of new leprosy cases in India. Objective: To determine Leprosy-related knowledge, attitude, and health seeking behavior among the urban population in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. Materials and Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among a sample size of 640 people above 18 years of age residing in the study area, selected by multistage random sampling. A structured pretested questionnaire was used for data collection, and the data analysis was done using SPSS version 22. Results: Among the study participants, 54.7% of the participants had adequate knowledge and 23.3% had favorable attitude towards leprosy. With regard to knowledge, 66% of the participants believe that leprosy is a serious disease, and 71.2% of them were aware of transmission of leprosy from person to person. With regard to attitude, 57.7% were afraid of being diagnosed with leprosy, and 57% felt compassion and desire to help those diagnosed with leprosy. With regard to health-seeking behavior, around 83% preferred treatment from government hospitals and allopathic treatment. Male sex, occupation, education, and marital status were found to be having statistically significant association with knowledge, while the latter two were found to be associated with favorable attitude towards leprosy. Conclusion: Unfavorable attitude and inadequate knowledge regarding leprosy was found among the study participants. Behavior change communication programs have to be enhanced at community level to improve the knowledge and attitude regarding leprosy among the population.

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